If someone had told me how easy it was to make arancini, I would have occasionally set aside some risotto for leftovers.
Actually that’s a lie.
I’d still probably eat it all. But I’d cook more specifically for arancini.
These balls are perfect to pass around while your guests arrive. They’re small enough to grab with two fingers and eat in two bites. Make more than you think you’ll need…trust me.
500 g leftover risotto
50 g kalamata olives, food processed into a paste.
50 g good mayonnaise
100 g all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
100 g panko
60 g mozzarella, broken into 12 small chunks
olive or canola oil, as much as you need for frying
Stir the olive paste and the mayonnaise together in a small bowl until well mixed. Reserve in the refrigerator.
Prepare three bowls, one each for the flour, beaten egg, and panko. Set a large piece of parchment near the bowls. This is where you’ll place the coated balls.
Using your hands, form small balls [tee hee!] of leftover risotto. The balls should be about 35-40g each, a little larger than a golf ball. Stuff each ball with a piece of mozzarella and reform the ball.
Roll the ball in flour, then in the egg, then in the panko. Reserve on a piece of parchment paper.
Heat oil to 325˚F in a deep-sided pot. You’ll need a few inches’ worth, enough to let the balls float freely. Use a spider to carefully lower a few balls into the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, until the balls are golden brown. Work in small batches, about 3-5 balls, so that the oil temperature doesn’t drop too low.
Serve immediately with the reserved kalamata aioli.
This is part of a cookbook proposal that’s out on submission right now. If you’d like to see what a book proposal looks like, click here.