I’ve wanted to make arancini for a few years and finally got around to it! My P.S. (Political Spouse/ hubby) was out of town on a political trip and I made my favorite comfort food, risotto! I made broccoli risotto and spent the night on the couch curled up with my bowl of risotto and the TV. I had a good portion of risotto leftover and was going to make arancini the next night.
But stuff happened and I got lazy and it was 4 days later before I got around to making that arancini. Not a problem, just a slight delay in plans. The risotto was nice and chilled and ready to be rolled.
I looked at many arancini recipes and decided the one used by Michael Symon on The Chew was simple enough. To my container of chilled risotto I added an egg, an egg yolk and about 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan. The recipe called for a full cup but I’d already added a lot of Parmesan when I made the broccoli risotto. I mixed it well with my hand (that worked best, trust me!) and prepared my rolling station.
I cut a good amount of fresh mozzarella into cubes on a small cutting board. I used two dinner plates and a small cookie scoop to roll the balls around the mozzarella cubes and place on the plates.
The recipe suggested using water on my hands to make it easier but I didn’t find that necessary. The balls rolled well in my hands after using the scoop. The cubes easily tucked into the center of each ball of rice. This might be more complicated if your risotto was more liquid but luckily mine was just right.
The plates went into the fridge until dinnertime. When I had about 3″ of oil heated in a medium saucepan I removed the risotto balls from the fridge. I rolled them in the panko crumbs and placed them back on the plates.
I carefully lowered 4-5 rice balls at a time into the hot oil. The arancini browned fairly quickly, and were removed with a slotted spoon onto paper towelling.
I fried a dozen of the balls and realized we were outnumbered. There were about 40 left on the plates and I made the call to freeze the remainder on the plates. When they were frozen I put them into a zippered freezer bag for another time.
The taste? So delish! I liked the crispy outside, the creamy inside and of course the centers of molten cheese. The arancini are best served with some marinara sauce and we were lazy and used marinara from a jar. I actually thought they were great without the sauce too. You could use your own preferences on the sauce part.
3-4 cups leftover Broccoli Risotto; chilled
1/2 cup Parmesan; shredded
8 ounces fresh mozzarella; cut in 1/2″ cubes
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko for extra crispness)
3-4″ of oil in a medium-sized saucepan
Marinara sauce for dipping (optional)
Stir together risotto, eggs and Parmesan in a bowl. Or use your hands to mix well.
Use a large cookie scoop or spoon to form balls to roll between your hands. Place on a plate or sheet pan until all arancini are rolled.
Roll balls in bread crumbs and place on plate again.
Heat 3-4″ of oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. You could also use an electric fryer if you wish.
Fry arancini 4 or 5 at a time until they are a deep golden brown and are heated through. Break one open to see if the cheese in the center is molten.
Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping if desired.