Monday, April 30, 2012

Arancini (Fried Italian risotto balls)

Remember previously when I had cooked mushroom risotto, I said that I had specially saved some leftovers? Yeps, these were the results.

Arancini are fried rice (risotto) balls coated in breadcrumbs. It is said to be of Sicilian origins and can be filled with a variety of fillings, the ones that I've made here are stuffed with loads of mushrooms, bacon and wrapped with brie cheese cubes.

 Arancini (Fried Italian risotto balls)

These are so addictive. In fact, we polished off the first batch quickly and I didn't had a chance to snap some photos of it. So some time later, I re-made a second batch of risotto, and increased the amount so that I could have more leftovers to make these more of these rice balls.

They taste so good piping hot out of the wok, and it goes well with ketchup, mayo, or even just eaten plain. The crispy seasoned bread crumbs, the flavourful mushroom risotto and the oozy cheese in the middle all combined to make one delicious snack. They taste okay at room temperature, the flavour is still as good, just that the brie cheese filling was no longer gooey and warm. So remember to fry and serve immediately!

Arancini (adapted loosely from here)
(makes ~14 pieces)
2 cups of leftover, cooked risotto (mushroom risotto recipe here)
2 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
1 cup Japanese bread crumbs (seasoned with some paprika, black pepper, salt and dried mixed herbs)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 round of Brie cheese, sliced into tiny cubes
2-3 cups of vegetable oil

Add  the egg to the risotto and mix well.
Add your breadcrumbs to a big plate and spread it out.
Next, run your hands under water, then begin rolling meatball size shapes of the mixture (I used an ice cream scooper to ensure equal sizes!). If you are stuffing the arancini, take your thumb and gently make an imprint in the middle. Stuff with your cheeses, ground meat, or vegetables, then form back into the meatball shape. Roll the ball into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure it is evenly coated. Place the completed ball onto a parchment paper lined baking tray.
Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Freeze the risotto balls for a few hours or until you are ready to fry them. (If you are not using them till much later, once they are frozen, keep in air tight refrigerator bag and just take it out and fry as and when you wish.)
Preheat your oil on medium heat in a heavy fry pot. You want the temperature to be about 350 degrees when frying.
Carefully drop the coated rice ball into the oil, and fry, roughly 4-6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until they are a deep golden brown. Remove and let them drain on some paper towel before serving.

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