Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Arancini di Riso

Hello Blorg (blog world)!
Today is a celebration of some really tasty bits, which is a result of a fabulous (and simple) dinner last night.
The dinner was risotto, one of the sister's Bruce favorite things to make in a pinch. There was a time when a white wine was omni-present in my hand whenever I was cooking, so Al and I naturally gravitated towards the risotto…only a 1/2c of wine needed, the rest is for the cooks!
For those of you who don't get what I am gearing at already….leftover risotto can be made into a fried friend, stuffed with whatever your heart desires.

Since the "summer" months have come upon us, and me being the ever popular party goer that I am, I have been on the hunt for delicious cocktail sized items that are ever so lush to munch upon while drinking bubbles and the like. Thus far, I have determined that the following are acceptable to eat (while getting your nails done at Julep, for example);
Strawberries bathed in dark chocolate ganache
Green Goddess Dip with blanched veggies
Mini Crab Cakes (baked in a mini muffin tin, tee hee how cute)
Mini Frittata bites
Wow, I happen to have a picture of all 4…

All made for Sam and Lauren's wedding weekend!
Berry Special occasion...
AND….now for the actual blogista section
May I present to you…the "little orange rice ball!"
Arancini di Riso is named such for the resemblance to an orange and the traditional filling of risotto Milanese (made with saffron, so a yellowish/orange tint reveals itself).
These arancini can be made small or large (as you can see I chose an actual size of an orange) to be popped in the mouth or cut with a knife and fork like a sophisticate, respectively.

Believe it or not, I spent at LEAST 20 minutes scouring the Italian wing of my cookbook library, only to find the guidelines for these balls in my trusty 'ol Everyday Italian. WTF Mario?

Here we go:
  • Make Risotto
  • Wait one day. Or if you are a hog, wait at least a couple of hours for the rice to cool, which makes it easier to form into a ball
  • Set up breading station (2 eggs, beaten and Japanese (panko) breadcrumbs)
  • Determine how big or small your arancini will be, then fill a pot with oil so that they will be submerged
  • Heat oil to 350 degrees. You will want to maintain a temperature of 350-375 throughout the process. Use a candy thermometer to determine this. You are not a wizard.
  • Prepare fillings! I chose pancetta with fresh mozzarella and feta with fresh mint. You could literally hide a rusty nail inside of of these things and I would still probably eat it.
  • Begin standard ball formation/stuffing mechanism
  • Assemble the dipped and breaded balls onto a nonstick surface, and await the plunge
  • Plunge (with a spider skimmer to avoid splashing of molten oil) for 3-4 minutes. Resist the urge to look directly over the bubbling pot of oil.
  • Examine your crispy browned specimen with splendor and awe!
  • Immediately sprinkle artistically with the finest of salts

These arancini would be perfectly paired with a slender glass of bubbles to cut the crispy outside… revealing the creamy, cheesy inside.
Now get out there, spend the $3.75 for a gallon of vegetable oil and BE SOMEBODY. Somebody with arancini.
Lastly, if you have any other interesting ideas for arancini fillings, please leave a comment. Comments are how I know i'm still alive and not having some Vanilla Sky freak out moment.


  1. Vanilla Sky:

    Brian: But wait. You're rich and women love you, and I'm from Ohio and I'm drunk. Can I tell you the truth?

    David: Everybody does.
    Brian: I dig her. And I've never said this to you before about any girl, but she could be - could be, could be, could be - the girl of my fucking dreams.

    David: You're not from Ohio.

    Brian: I know. But if she fucks up our friendship, she can go to hell. I won't allow it. We are bros.

    David: I feel the same way.

    Brian: Sure you do.

  2. I NEED to know what temperature the oil is supposed to be at, as well as how much OIL to use. Please advise.

  3. Hello Alyson,

    Thank you so much for reading EOA. Where are you cooking from these days?
    I have revised the deep frying instructions so they are easier to follow.
    Please DO let me know what filling you plan on using! Happy Fry Day!


  4. I ate those balls, pictured above, last night, and they were really good. Alyson, I'd suggest frying your balls at 490 degrees, until you get a crisp coating on the outside of the balls. Happy cooking.