Thursday, February 18, 2010
If you're unfamiliar with them, don't worry. I'm here to help.
Once long ago, I too was one of those poor, unfortunate arancini-less schlubs. Wandering though life without the deep fried carbohydrate bomb that would someday complete me.
Then, while waiting for a connecting train somewhere in the hill towns of Italy, I came face to face with the golden blob of deliciousness.
I had no idea what it was, but it didn't matter. It was so perfectly golden and so obviously deep fried that had to be good. (I'm of the opinion that deep fried always equals good. You could deep fry a cockroach, or even a Hot Pocket, and it has the potential to be delicious.) I quickly purchased two and brought them back to Mr. Humble, who I had abandoned earlier with my bags to explore the station.
Hold on, I need to nom on these while taking photos...
Okay, so the train station arancini were not all that good. They were cold and gluey. They were... well, train station food.
Still, I adore risotto and I knew that deep frying it was going to take my love of the starchy rice to the next level.
This recipe calls for leftovers, preferably risotto that has been allowed to sit in the fridge overnight. Feel free to use any risotto recipe you like. You can also toy with the fillings, as this is a very flexible appetizer. I enjoy a fresh basil pesto risotto, filled with buffalo mozzarella. Or saffron risotto filled with shrimp. Just use your imagination.
Technically, since this is deep fried, you might even be able to involve Hot Pockets.
Not So Humble Arancini
yields roughly 1 dozen
2 cups cold, leftover risotto
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying
Heat your oven to 300°F
Cut the mozzarella into a dozen 1cm cubes.
Grab a golf ball sized hunk of the cold risotto and press the cube into the center and mush the risotto around it. Roll it into a ball and set aside. Repeat until you've formed all the risotto balls.
Then take the balls and coat them in the egg and then the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess.
Heat several inches of oil over medium heat (350°F) and fry the risotto balls in batches, drain briefly on paper towels and then transfer to the oven to hold.