Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of The Desk and The Stove
Although these delicious fried risotto balls are a Sicilian street food, they make a fabulous party canapé. I made them for our flat warming party and they were quite a hit – the combination of gooey melted cheese, crunchy fried goodness and warm rice is truly sublime. They can even be made ahead of time and reheated when your guests arrive – just serve with a good bottle of Nero d’Avola for the perfect transformation from Sicilian street to tasty party treat.
(or cut a big ball into 6 small pieces)
¾ cup day-old risotto
⅔ cup bread crumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup of flour
2 liters vegetable oil
1- Take your day-old risotto out of the fridge. Grab a handful of the risotto and lay it flat against the palm of your hand. With your other hand, put a small mozzarella pearl in the middle, and roll the rest of the risotto around it to form a ball. Roll it around between your hands to smooth it out. Repeat until all of the balls are formed.
2- Put the flour, lightly beaten eggs and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Using one hand for the dirty work and keeping the other one clean, roll each ball around to cover starting with the flour first, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs to coat. Once they have been dipped, rolled and covered, use your clean hand to place the balls on a clean plate.
3- Pour the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan or wok and bring the heat to medium-high. You can check the heat by throwing in a bit of flour – if it begins to sizzle, it’s ready.
4- Carefully drop each risotto ball into the oil and fry until golden brown – approx 2-3 min. Regulate the heat as necessary.
5- Once the arancini have been fried off, place them on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil. Serve immediately, or store and reheat at 400 F for 5-7 min. Strain the oil and reserve in a glass jar for the next time you want to deep fry something.