Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Arancini di Riso for I Heart Cooking Clubs

I am going to miss cooking with Giada.

Wait, what the hell am I saying? I’m not going to quit cooking with Giada! I’m just going to have to add another chef to my roster of dishes to try. And that won’t be hard, because the choices we are voting on for the next chef over at I Heart Cooking Clubs is full of winners (I admit, I’m rooting for anyone BUT Bobby Flay). Personally, I am a big fan of Rick Bayless, so I think you can see where MY vote lies....

This week’s theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs is Potluck, which is designed to give us the opportunity to try recipes that we have been drooling over but just haven’t quite fit any of the recent themes. The only hard part about that concept for me, is narrowing it down. There are still SO many recipes I want to try, but fate helped me make my decision this week.

While Ginny was visiting this weekend, we made a batch of Creamy Leek Risotto from the Silver Spoon cookbook that is one of our personal favorites. Granted, it is not the Mushroom and Peas Risotto that Giada’s recipe calls for, but I suspect she’ll forgive me since I’ve seen multiple versions of her recipe. You know, that and the fact that I’m allergic to mushrooms.

If you’ve never had arancini, these can be made any number of ways, and it a great way to use up leftovers. The creamy leek risotto is wonderful for this because it stays very moist in the center while the outside fries up to a nice, crispy shell. Serve your arancini with a dish of marinara or alfredo sauce for dipping. These are terrific as an appetizer, or, if you’re me, a main dish on a night when you are already deep-frying something for the hubby.

Arancini di Riso

• Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
• 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
• 2 cups Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas, recipe follows, cooled
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
• 1 1/2 cups dried Italian-style bread crumbs
• 2 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (my risotto is creamy enough, I didn’t use the mozzarella)
• Salt

Pour enough oil in a heavy large saucepan to reach the depth of 3 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F.

Stir the eggs, risotto, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs in a large bowl to combine. Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Using about 2 tablespoons of the risotto mixture for each, form the risotto mixture into 1 3/4-inch-diameter balls. Insert 1 cube of mozzarella into the center of each ball. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs to coat.

Working in batches, add the rice balls to the hot oil and cook until brown and heated through, turning them as necessary, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rice balls to paper towels to drain. Season with salt. Let rest 2 minutes. Serve hot.
Just look at the beautiful creamy center on these!
Be careful – these puppies are going to be HOT in the center! They are so worth it, though. Arancini are one of the reasons I make risotto....just for the leftovers!

This is my submission to the I Heart Cooking Clubs Potluck this week!


Kim said...

Yum, yum, yum! I've always wanted to make arancini, but I never have leftover risotto (it's kind of like leftover bacon around here). These look gorgeous Beth! I think I'm breaking out the deep fryer for my potluck dish too.

Yvette said...

I'm fond of risotto, so Arancini goes up the "to do list".
Because they look delicious.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I've always wanted to make these too! What a great way to use up leftover risotto.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I could eat a million of these! I'm thrilled about your corzetti stamp that's coming. What kind did you get? so curious! prouditaliancook@hotmail.com

Deb in Hawaii said...

I once made a pan-fried risotto cake from Ina and loved it so I imagine these could only be better with the deep frying. Great pick! ;-)