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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Risotto / Arancini Balls

This is a recipe from an amazing friend and cook, who has competed in several competitions, J. Camilleri.   This while a fiddly recipe is not difficult and the results are awesome.   With mini arancini I don't add the filling. The main problem with this recipe in our house is I make the risotto and everyone wants to eat it hahahaha, so I often make double so I'll have enough for arancini. To make it cheaper I use half a teaspoon of tumeric instead of saffron. You can add finely diced mushroom, fried chicken or bacon and peas at the end stage if you like (when you mix in the cheese and butter to the cooked risotto). I like to use Panko bread crumbs for the best result. 

Arancini - stuffed rice balls

These are great for parties and get togethers - they are risotto balls filled with various fillings and are delish and very morish. You can stuff them with whatever you wish - I like them with a bolognese meat sauce but a simple cheese mix like these have is sooo yum! They are best made the night before you want them so they can firm in the fridge and make it easier to cook

Risotto:
2 Tablespoon olive oil
60 g butter, chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 cups arborio rice
1 litre chicken stock, warmed
pinch of saffron threads (optional)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
80 g grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until translucent. Add the rice and saut√© for 1–2 minutes, then pour in the warm chicken stock. Add the saffron and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered with a lid, and stirring from time to time, until the rice is cooked (about 20 minutes). Finish by stirring in the parmesan and the remaining butter until well combined. Pour into a shallow dish and set aside to cool.

Filling:
100g Fetta cheese
1 cup Mozzarella - grated/shredded
1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Pesto (from a jar - I love the Barilla brand)

Crumble up the fetta and mix with the parsley and pesto then combine with the mozzarella

Coating:
Flour
2 eggs - beaten with a splash of milk
2 - 3 cups of breadcrumbs
Oil for deep frying

Assembly:

Take a heaped tablespoon of risotto and roll it in the palm of your hand to form a ball. Push a hole in one side and fill with a teaspoon of cheese mixture (or whatever filling you are using). Seal the hole and roll again, ensuring the filling is completely enclosed. Keep a bowl handy filled with water or oil so you can lubricate your palms to make it easier to roll each one. Roll the balls in flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs and then cover and keep in fridge for an hour or over night. Fry in batches for about 4 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.

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