When life gives you risotto, you make arancini. Cheddar cheese-filled arancini.
Seriously. Since I popped my deep frying cherry, suddenly it feels as if I can deep fry anything. And since i had leftover risotto, that gave me the perfect opportunity to fry up some fresh arancini.
Arancini is an Italian dish that essentially, is cold, leftover risotto that is formed into a ball, breaded with seasoned bread crumbs and deep fried. It traditionally features a small block of mozzarella cheese in the middle and when fried, becomes this ooey-gooey treasure-filled center that I always can’t wait to sink my teeth in. As an accompaniment, it’s usually served with a marinara sauce of some sort.
Again, this is a dish you can’t really fuck up. It’s deep-fried for god’s sake and anything deep fried is automatically amazing (or atleast in my book, this rings true). It’s a cinch to make and isn’t limited by the type of risotto you make. You can use any leftover risotto and, in my case, use any cheese that easily melts (ie. mozzarella, cheddar, gruyere, brie, etc.). In my opinion, you also don’t have to put so much oil. I guess, in a sense, that isn’t technically deep frying, but since I hardly have any vegetable oil in my household, I only enough to make a small pool in my non-stick pan. You just have to make sure it is browned on all sides.
Sounds easy enough, eh? Let me know how it goes!
Cheddar cheese-filled arancini
What you’ll need:
– 1 1/2 cup leftover risotto, cold
– 2×2″ block of cheddar cheese, divided into 12 mini cubes
– 1/2 cup all purpose whole wheat flour
– 1 egg, beaten
– 3/4 cup Panko
– Vegetable oil, for frying (I used sunflower oil)
– Sriracha (optional)
What you’ll need to do:
1. Divide the flour, egg, and panko into three separate bowls.
2. Take a block of cheese and wrap 1-2 tbsp of risotto around it. Roll into a ball and place on a plate and set aside. Repeat until all the cheese and risotto mixture are finished.
3. Heat as much oil as you needed in a heavy bottom pan (if deep frying, use atleast 1.5″ deep of oil; I used a saute pan and used enough oil to create a pool) over high heat. The oil is hot enough when a droplet of water is placed in the oil and it sizzles.
4. When the oil is hot enough, add your arancini balls into the pan. These will cook very fast, between 1-2 minutes. Once browned on the bottom, flip and brown on the other side. When they are done, remove the balls and place onto a plate lined with paper towel to remove the excess oil.
5. Serve hot and with Sriracha. Makes 12 mini balls.