A wise farmer once said “any food can be made better by breading and frying it in nugget form.” I believe his name was McDonald. Arancini are delicious little balls (or whatever shape you like – I used an onigiri press given to me following the recipe a few weeks ago) of rice and various other flavourings. While they can be made fresh, I like to make them whenever I have leftover risotto. In this case it was my Sundried Tomato and Pine Nut Risotto, which is still a staple at my dinner table.
These make a fantastic starter or snack, but would also serve well as a meal served with a nice fresh salad.
- Risotto of your choice (plenty of recipes on here, just use the search bar above) – cooled.
- Breadcrumbs (if you can make your own by blending stale bread, but the golden stuff from supermarkets will work though panko would be preferable.)
- Rapeseed/Sunflower/vegetable oil
- Wet your hands to avoid stickiness, then form your cooled risotto into small balls, cones or whatever shape you like. Just make sure they’re nice and compressed.
- Bread using the standard 3 bowl technique – roll in flour, then coat with beaten egg, then roll in breadcrumbs until thoroughly coated. Repeat the egg and breadcrumbs for a thicker, more well sealed coating. I like to give it a little squeeze after this step too – really make it solid.
- Fill a pan with oil around 3cm deep. I use a small saucepan so that it gets plenty deep without wasting too much oil, but really it’s up to you. Feel free to use a deep fat fryer. Heat until a breadcrumb dropped in it bubbles vigorously.
- Fry the arancini a couple at a time, turning regularly for a couple of minutes until nicely browned – the filling is already cooked, you’re really just heating and crisping up the coating. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.