Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Home-Made Arancini: Deep-Fried Risotto Balls


I'd read about arancini (pronounced 'aran-chi-ni') for ages, but was never able to have the discipline to leave any risotto left over to make them. This time, though, I made loads of risotto so I knew that the next day we would have these little babies.




They're so cute; little balls of fluffy rice coated in egg and hreadcrumbs with a cube of cheese pushed into the centre. They're deep-fried for about 4-5 minutes and the rice heats up, the cheese in the middle melts and the breadcrumbs go really crunchy. They are also really low effort, which I love.
All I can say is, if you're cooking risotto for dinner one night, you owe it to yourself to make a couple of extra portions and make these the next day. Just put the leftover rice in a bowl, cover with cling film and place in the fridge.
Here's how you make them. They're made with a Bolognese-style filling too, instead of cheese, or you can use any kind of cheese you want. I think mozzarella is most often used but I used little cubes of Cheddar because that's what I had. I have given the technique below, rather than a proper recipe because it will depend on how much rice you have leftover.



 
Arancini
Ingredients:
  • beaten egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • leftover risotto rice
  • cubes of cheese
  • oil for deep frying 

Method

First, pour the oil into a medium sized saucepan and start to heat it up.

Pinch an apricot-sized blob of the cooked and chilled risotto rice and form it into a ball. Push in the cube of cheese and then fill over the gap it's made by pushing on more rice, if you need to.

Dip in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs. Repeat for the rest of the rice.

The oil should now be hot. Drop in (carefully) a cube of bread, to see if it sizzles and turns golden. If it does, it's ready.

Deep fry the arancini in batches, for about 5 minutes, until they are golden and crisp. You will need less cooking time if your arancini are smaller.

Drain on kitchen paper, and eat, safe in the knowledge that you will never throw away leftover risotto again.