Arancini – Way less difficult than learning how to pronounce it.

February 16, 2014

Fancy word, easy dish – it’s just crispy risotto balls, you guys, no need to panic!

So here’s what you do:  Make your favorite risotto recipe.  Mushroom risotto?  Awesome.  Spring risotto with peas and arugula?  Beautiful.  Butternut squash risotto with caramelized onions?  Fantastic!  (Though, uh, make sure your butternut is cut into little bitty chunks, or your arancini are going to be huge.)

Once your risotto is made, spread it out onto some sheet pans and let it cool.  (Pro tip.  Freezer for twenty minutes?  Works like a dream.)

Form your cooled risotto into balls.  Use a cookie scoop for easy portioning.  Or, y’know, eyeball it, or whatever’s easiest.  You want like 1-inch diameter babies, or thereabouts.

If your risotto is on the dry side, dredge them in some beaten eggs, then lightly coat them in bread crumbs.  I used panko because I love the extra crunch and coarse texture.

Fry ’em up.  You can deep fry them or pan-fry them and finish them in the oven.  Or if you’re me and you managed to totally run out of time, spray the everliving tar out of them with good cooking spray and throw them in the oven.  375 degrees, until heated through and a bit browned.

That’s it!  So amazing.

Oh, fancypants variation: stuffed arancini!  If you’ve made plain risotto, stuff the balls with your choice of: little cube of mozzarella, little cube of truffle butter (or heck, go uber fancy and go with a lovely pate), little bit of meat of choice, whatever you like.  Also an option: serve with sauce! (Marinara seems standard, but no reason you can’t go with a nice cream sauce or wine sauce.  Sky’s the limit, man.)

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