So you made our prawn and asparagus risotto and you’ve got a little leftover (what great self control you have). This recipe for arancini is the perfect way to use up the risotto you haven’t gobbled down, what’s more is you can use it for pretty much any risotto combination – it works perfectly when you have a little leftover but not quite enough for a full meal.
If you haven’t heard of arancini before, you are in for a treat. Take risotto, bread it, add a little cheese if you fancy and deep fry it – genius. Arancini, which means little oranges in Italian, originated in Sicily. What we love most about arancini is it can be transformed from a street-food snack, to a stunning starter with hardly any effort. It’s also a recipe that really allows the cook to experiment with flavour combinations.
Whilst doing our research we found some great information from an Italian food blog called Grand Voyage Italy. If you’re looking for some Italian meal inspiration and general wanderlust then look no further. This lovely family blog run by dad Jerry, mom Lisa and son Lucas is certain to make you reconsider the 9-5 and hop on a plane to your new life in Italy. Lisa gives a little insight into the varying kinds of arancini:
“The traditional arancino comes in two main variants: the first is perfectly round in shape filled with a ragu sauce of meat, mozzarella and peas; the second is called al burro (“with butter”) and has a longer, pear-like shape and is filled with diced mozzarella and prosciutto and grated cheese. In the Sicilian city of Catania, the Arancino alla Norma (with eggplant) and a version with Bronte pistachios are among the most popular. In other regions the fillings might include mushrooms, sausage, gorgonzola, chicken, swordfish and even squid ink.”
One swordfish arancini for us please! If that hasn’t got you salivating at your office desk we’re not sure what will. Imagine that sad bowl of leftover risotto in your fridge given a new life with a golden crisp crumb and gooey centre. What’s more arancini is so simple to make. Once you get over the fear of frying at home (just keep an eye on the pan), it’s a super simple seafood recipe and both comforting and impressive.
Ingredients (makes 4/5 medium balls):
- 2 portions of leftover prawn and asparagus risotto
- 1 egg
- 50g plain flour
- 150g dried breadcrumbs/ panko crumbs
- Vegetable oil, to cook
- Optional – 1 ball of mozzarella
- Get your cold risotto from the fridge. You can make the risotto from scratch for this recipe but make sure you allow cooling time. If your prawns are looking a little chunky from the night before cut these down a little. Roll a tablespoonful of the risotto between wet palms to form a ball around the size of a golf ball.
- If you are using mozzarella poke a hole in the middle and put a small chunk (about a 1cm) into the middle of the ball and plug the hole with extra rice. Repeat until all the rice is used up.
- Heat a deep-fat fryer to 170°C or fill a large saucepan one-third full of oil and heat until a cube of bread dropped into the hot oil sizzles and turns golden brown in 30 seconds.
- Dip a rice ball into the flour, shake off any excess, then dip into the egg, allowing any excess to drip off. Finish by coating completely in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining balls.
- Cook in batches until golden brown (around 2-3 minutes) making sure the oil comes back up to temperature between batches, and drain on kitchen towel. Sprinkle with a little salt and perhaps a squeeze of lemon and serve hot.