Leftover Risotto? Make Arancini, Of Course

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Now a few days ago, I professed my love for the Italian favorite, risotto, and today, I thought I’d share a great dish that uses my favorite food —  arancini.

Arancini are fried rice balls commonly used with leftover risotto. The dish originated in Sicily in the 10th century and are a popular Italian street food. Other than the fact that they are delicious… I love their name, arancini, or little oranges, a name that invokes their shape and color once fried. Adorbs!

Traditionally these arancini are filled with a meat ragu, peas and cheese (or arancini con ragù). I’ve had arancini like that and man they are delicious, but today I decided to go a simpler route. I chose to fill my arancini with a little mozzarella!

And oh my goodness, I found a place in Bushwick (that’s nearby in BK y’all) called Arancini Bros that, you guessed it, serves all different types of arancini… from the traditional meat ragu to Philly cheesesteak to even dessert options (like nutella!). Got to get my butt over there soon!

Now, of course, the secret to arancini is actually having enough leftover risotto to even make them in the first place… It was quite a battle of willpower to save some risotto for this recipe and post! You know how I love my risotto. But, damn are these delicious… fried rice balls with melted cheese in the middle, YUM!

Arancini

Adapted from Food Network 

2 large eggs, beaten

2 cups leftover risotto, cooled

½ cup grated Parmesan

1½ cups dried Italian-style bread crumbs or Panko

2 ounces mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Salt

Pour enough oil in a large frying pan and heat over medium heat. 

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Arancini

Stir the eggs, risotto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the bread crumbs in a large bowl to combine. Form the mixture into 1¾ inch-diameter balls. Insert 1 cube of mozzarella into the center of each ball.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Arancini

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Arancini

Roll the balls in the remaining bread crumbs to coat.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Arancini

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.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Arancini

Next up in my culinary trip around the world is Italy… I’ve already started with these two risotto dishes but I have a few more Italian classics coming your way!

Arancini
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups leftover risotto, cooled
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1½ cups dried Italian-style bread crumbs or Panko
  • 2 ounces mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Pour enough oil in a large frying pan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir the eggs, risotto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the bread crumbs in a large bowl to combine. Form the mixture into 1¾ inch-diameter balls. Insert 1 cube of mozzarella into the center of each ball.
  3. Roll the balls in the remaining bread crumbs to coat.
  4. 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.
 

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