Today, I check off an item from my cooking bucket list. And I get to indulge…because today is “Fat Sunday” with the Sunday Supper crew! Today was the perfect excuse to dive into a dish that I normally wouldn’t prepare at home (I am a stickler for eating healthy in my own kitchen; when we go out to dinner I tend to do my “cheating” there!).
I have always enjoyed arancini when I’ve ordered them at restaurants, but I’ve never attempted to make them in my own kitchen. Until now. I have set out to accomplish this task in the past when I’ve created risotto dishes…but somehow my guests have always managed to eat the entire pot. Or I haven’t been able to show restraint and have eaten any leftovers before frying them up into arancini. I’m weak…so weak when it comes to risotto!
But the last time I made pancetta and mushroom risotto, I purposely made a double batch so I would have leftovers. And these little fried beauties were the end result. They went over so well with Justin (and me too)! If you haven’t enjoyed an arancini before, let me tell you about them. They are balls of risotto (usually leftovers) that are rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. The end result is a crispy crunchy exterior, with a creamy, rich interior. You can eat them as-is, or you can dip them in sauce.
I have to say – my arancini didn’t end up turning out to be perfect spheres. They were rolled out in golf ball size, but as I fried them in the pan they flattened a bit as I turned them. This was probably due to the fact that I didn’t want to fill a deep pot with oil for my frying; I only used a pan filled about 1/2″ deep with oil. Whatever – the shape didn’t much matter: they tasted great!
What will YOU be eating for Fat Tuesday (or Fat Sunday…haha)?
2 cups pancetta and mushroom risotto (recipe here) – use leftover risotto (room temp or slightly cold)
1 and 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs, separated
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Oil for frying
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix egg, 1/4 cup Panko, seasoned breadcrumbs, risotto (room temperature or slightly cool), and grated parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add remaining cup of Panko crumbs to a shallow dish.
2. Scoop a golf ball sized scoop of risotto into your hand, along with a pinch of shredded mozzarella cheese. Roll risotto and cheese into a sphere/ball.
3. Roll risotto balls in the shallow dish of Panko breadcrumbs until they are fully coated.
4. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, about 1/2″ deep in the pan.
5. Add arancini balls a few at a time to the pan to fry until golden brown, turning occasionally to brown on all sides (about 4-5 minutes for each arancini). Transfer from pan onto a paper towel to drain.
6. Place arancini on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes to cook through. Serve warm with marinara sauce to dip (if desired). Enjoy!
Make sure you check out all of the deliciously decadent recipes from the Sunday Supper crew today!
Cocktails & Other Beverages: