Happy Friday! or Fryday as we like to call it around these parts.
Today is a good day, because not only do Brian and I fly home tonight (my home), but I’m also sharing this recipe for fried risotto balls, aka arancini, aka incredible. A special shout-out to my also incredible sis Kate for making these with me. Thanks, sis!
Kate and I are big fans of risotto balls. We get them on a too-regular basis at Taylor Gourmet, our favorite DC-hoagie joint. Our coworkers are no strangers to the place either, so when it came time to prepare a little something (and I prepared many things, I’ll share more later) for a coworker’s work bridal shower, I knew I had to give homemade risotto balls a try. And boy, am I happy I did.
If you’re already familiar with making risotto, you’ll know just how easy and straight forward it is. The only downside, and it’s a small one, is how long the process can take. If you’re cool with that, you can definitely do this.
You can read the full recipe instructions below, but here’s the lowdown. You cook your risotto, mix it with italian bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and egg, wrap it around a piece of mozzarella, roll it into a ball, dip it in more breadcrumbs, fry, and ooo and aah, and enjoy, and ooo and aah some more.
Here they are floating around in all that beautiful, golden oil.
Kate and I found that frying five at a time was about the most we could handle. We wanted each ball to have enough room to swim around. We’re also the easily overwhelmed type.
I’m still new to this frying thing. You can see my first experiment with churros here. I don’t have a fryer so I’ve been using my prized dutch oven, and if you’re in the market for one, I highly recommend it. It’s from West Elm and I absolutely love that it’s white, simple and not 300+ dollars. While I know that Le Creusets are the be-all and end-all of dutch/french ovens, I’m really not into the look of them, like not at all. Instead, I got this prettier one for the fraction of the cost and I couldn’t be happier with it. I think it’s beautiful and I love it so much that I got the matching cast-iron skillet. I’m mildly obsessed.
And I’m ultra obsessed with these. Here they are looking so round and inviting. They are the ultimate crowd pleaser and have quickly earned their right as my go-to for gatherings and parties. Pair them with marinara sauce, and you can rest on your laurels.
And here’s that ooey gooey mozzarella that we haven’t really addressed much, which is a real shame, because it’s probably the best part. But don’t listen to me, go see and taste for yourself.
And here’s one more picture for good measure.
Alright, that does it from me. I hope you have yourself a fantastic Labor-Day weekend. Enjoy the recipe. TGIFryday.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- 5 cups vegetable or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- vegetable oil for frying
- 4 cups risotto
- 2 cups italian bread crumbs
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 4 ounces mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes
- In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, combine oil, butter and onion. Cook onions until golden.
- Stir in arborio rice, let cook for a 3 minutes.
- Next, pour in broth until rice is covered. Stirring frequently, let the liquid absorb fully.
- Continue the process by pouring in the rest of the broth one cup at a time, stirring frequently.
- Risotto is ready when the liquid has fully absorbed and the risotto is soft and creamy.
- Pour oil in a heavy-bottomed large saucepan 3-inches high. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees.
- Stir the eggs, risotto, parmesan, and 1 cup of the bread crumbs in a large bowl to combine. Place the remaining breadcrumbs for coating in a medium bowl.
- Using about 2 tablespoons of the risotto mixture for each ball, form a disc and place 1 cube of mozzarella in the center, wrap the risotto around the mozzarella, and roll the ball in your hands.
- Coat the risotto balls in the bowl of breadcrumbs.
- Working in batches, add the risotto balls to the hot oil and cook until brown and heated through, turning them as necessary, about 4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rice balls to paper towels to drain. Season with salt. Let rest 2 minutes.
- Serve hot. Enjoy!