I thought that probably there will be a lot of recipes for risotto submitted for the rice theme. Therefore I thought it will be a great idea to share one of my favorite recipes for risotto leftovers. These soft and crunchy balls are so cute, tasty it is worth a while to prepare risotto in order to make these. Once I made a 7 course dinner for a friend and still these have been the star of the show. Actually, I think other rice leftovers will be good as well, just make sure your mixture is sticky enough (add more egg). Nobody would believe you made them from leftovers. —Cordelia
about 10 rice balls
Arancini (Rice Balls) and Sauce
of guerre cheese (or other metling cheese like fontina or mozarella. I used Kasseri)
panko bread crunbs
small onion diced
cloves of garlic
can of diced tomatoes
few basil leaves, shreded
salt and pepper
yolk or small egg
About a cup or cup and half of cooked risotto (recipe below or leftovers)
small onion chopped
stalk of celery chopped
of liquid (I use half chicken stok and half water)
Cook the sauce: In a pan satue the diced onion with table spoon of olive oil and a bit of salt on medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add the chopped garlic and saue for another minute.
Add the tomato paste and mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes until caramelized a bit.
Puree the diced tomatoes in a food processor and add to the pan with the sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.
Cut the cheese to small 1/4 inch cubes.
Form the balls: bit the egg and add it to the cooled mixture of the risotto. Mix well. Take a small handful of the risotto and flatten it in your palm. Put in the middle a cube of cheese. Form a ball of the rice around it (about the size of ping-pong ball ~1.5" in diameter) . We your hands if it is to sticky. Set a side until you form all the balls.
Put the bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Roll each ball in the bread crumbs until covered well.
Heat oil in a small pan, enough for deep frying. Check if the oil is warm enough by dipping the stick side of a wooden spoon in the oil. If you see little bubbles around it the oil is warm enough. Or throw in few bread crumbs and see if it sizzle right away.
Fry the balls in the oil for few minutes on each side until golden brown Let them drip on paper towels.
Add the basil to the sauce and keep some for decoration. put few tablespoons of sauce on each plate and put a rice ball or two on top. Decorate with a bit of good olive oil and shifonade of basil leaves.
You can make the balls and the sauce a head of time, but make sure you fry the balls just before serving so the cheese will oozes when eating. You can keep the balls in warm oven for a bit.
In a small pan bring the stock to a boil and then continue to simmer on lowest heat.
Satue the onion and the celery with a bit of salt in the olive oil for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and satue for a minute.
Add the rice and satue for 3 minutes until all covered in oil, a little transparent and a bit toasty.
Add the wine, mix well until the wine evaporated. Add the salt and pepper.
Add a ladle of boiling liquid at a time. On medium low heat mix until the liquid was almost fully absorbed by the rice. Then add another ladle of liquid and so on. The whole process of adding the liquids should take about 17-20 minutes. Close to the 17 minutes taste the rice. When it is soft but still has a little bite to it (al-dente) take it of the heat.
Add the butter and cheese and mix well. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes or so.
For the Arancini recipe this risotto should not be as runny as regular risotto, so at the end add just a bit of liquids. Though don't worry too much about it, it will get firmer when it cools down.
Let the risotto cool completely before you make the balls.