Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Risotto Balls (Arancini)

Remember that butternut squash risotto I made a few weeks back? Well, we had tons leftover. (Why can't I remember that there are just the three of us now?)

Anyway, I froze the leftovers and finally found time to make them into one of my most favorite appetizers ever, risotto balls. Creamy and cheesy meets deep-fried and crunchy here folks. These are to die for.

The beauty of these babies as it relates to entertaining is that the risotto is made in advance and the only prep work involved at party time is the dredging and frying. Super quick and super easy. I'm going to give you the deep frying directions here. Feel free to use your favorite risotto recipe to make this your own special appetizer.

These risotto balls are stuffed with a little cube of cheese just to put them over the top. I used pepper jack here, but once again, use whatever cheese you like or have on hand.

Risotto Balls (Arancini)

2 cups risotto, chilled
2 ounces cheese, cubed 1/2"
1 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Tabasco (optional)
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
vegetable oil, for deep frying

I used my deep fryer to make these, but if you're going to make them on the stove, use a heavy pan and heat about 3" of oil to 350 degrees.

Set up a work station with three separate shallow containers. In the first container place the flour and season with salt and pepper. In the second container, whisk the eggs with a few drops of Tabasco (if using.) In the third container, place the Panko and season with Italian seasoning and parsley.

Prepare a baking sheet with waxed paper. This is where you'll place your prepared risotto balls before deep frying them. Prepare another baking sheet with paper towels. This is where you'll place your deep fried risotto balls to drain.

Take about a heaping tablespoon of risotto and form it into a ball, about 1 1/2". Make a small hole in the ball and insert the block of cheese.

Reform the ball so the cheese is covered. Dredge each ball in the flour then into the egg then into the Panko crumbs. Drop into the heated oil and fry until brown and heated through, about 4 minutes, turning the balls halfway through frying. Drain on paper towel.


Sarah said...

Those look so good! very tasty indeed and (almost) easy to eat in front of guests!

Barbara Bakes said...

They do look cheesy delicious!

June said...

Oh good heavens Mags, these look amazing and your pic...well you know who won't have any problems accepting this one. I love these little morsels too - in fact, a couple of years ago I made a ton of these for a Christmas party. They're great make-aheads, inexpensive to eat and fabulous tasting!

Snooty Primadona said...

OMG! I might never again form mine into cakes. From now on it's going to be balls with cheese in the middle. Yum!

CookiePie said...

OMG those look AMAZING!!!

Alyssa said...

There have only ever been three of us here, and I have the same problem sometimes. The arancini look delicious. I've never tried them, but I think the continued exposure —I'm seeing them everywhere I look!— is wearing me down.

stephchows said...

yours look perfect! i had these out one time and they were the size of softballs and still cold in the center! (not good) yours look drool worthy :)

Megan said...

I've made arancini before, but now I need try making them with butternut squash risotto! They look fabulous!

Mags said...

Sarah: They're great for guests, easy to keep warm, fun to eat!

Barbara: thanks!

June: Aren't they fabulous? (I submitted, we'll see)

Snooty: Yes, you must try these with the cheese.

Cookiepie: Thank you!

Alyssa: You're a TRY THEM ALREADY!

Steph: Yeah, I can imagine that large ones would cook entirely too quickly on the outside, leaving the inside cold.

Megan: Yes, the butternut risotto does work very well here.

southern cookin said...

My goodness! These look amazing! I will try this one..Yummy. Following you as of now....:)

lakegirl said...

These looks wonderful! I always make risotto cakes from my leftover risotto but didn't realize you could freeze it. Thanks, great to know!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Yum... Looks fantastic! Love the picture of the gooey cheese in the middle :)

SouffleBombay said...

These look wonderful, and a great pic too. I have never made them and now think I will, thanks!

Lori Lynn said...

I just saw these on They look fantastic!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Yes please! I love risotto, but right now, these look awesome!

Brenda Craig said...

Cannot wait to try this your way and using a risotto we use made with my this is lovely and making me hungry...have sent this and some of your reicpes to my the pics...they are lovely and well done...blessings Brenda

Anonymous said...

we made these for a dinner party tonight, and they were so fabulous! we used an acorn squash risotto, and poked a chunk of pepper jack cheese inside...yummo! we also made a creamy tomato fondue sauce to dip them in. thanks for the amazing recipe!!

Emma Percival said... FABULOUS! I used a Parmesan risotto, stuffed with mozzarella. Wonderful! Thanks for the recipe