Friday, 4 January 2013

Cheese Arancini

cooked arancini with tomato sauce

These little stuffed rice balls are very economical as they can be made with left-over risotto and any firm cheese you want to use up...I used feta, as I had some left over after making my New Year's Eve canapés. 
Alternatively, cook up a basic fresh risotto and allow to cool before making. They're good fun, although rather messy, to make with children!
  • 1 cup risotto rice (arborio)
  • 2 cups hot vegetable stock
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 heaped tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of dried breadcrumbs
  • 100g mozzarella or other firm cheese, cubed
To make the risotto:
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan.
Gently fry the garlic for a minute or so.
Add the rice, paprika, pepper and basil and stir for a further minute.
Add 1 cup of vegetable stock, stir and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer and add the second cup of stock. Stir again, cover pan and cook for 15 minutes.
Continue cooking for 5 minutes until cooked through. When the rice is cooked, cool and refrigerate until needed.

arancini ready to be cooked
To make the arancini:
Take a good heaped teaspoonful of the cool risotto and form into a firm ball using your hands to squeeze the mixture together.
Poke a hole into the middle of the ball using your thumb, then place a small cube of cheese into the hole.
Squish the rice back over the hole to cover up the cheese completely. Repeat until all of the rice is used up.
Beat the egg in a bowl and place the breadcrumbs on a plate. First dip each rice ball into the beaten egg and then roll into the breadcrumbs until covered all over.

Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until needed.
Heat 2-3 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil in a large frying pan. 
Add the arancini and roll around in the pan gently to coat with oil. 
Cook for 10-15 minutes on a low-medium heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and piping hot. Alternatively, deep-fry for 5-6 minutes.

Serve with a simple tomato sauce and seasonal vegetables.

Top tip: Cooked rice should be cooled quickly and refrigerated, then re-heated thoroughly to avoid food poisoning
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  1. Arancinis! I (we) love them!
    Each time I cook rice I think about having more for arancinis...

    Yours are so perfect!
    I will have to cook more rice!

    1. family aren't so keen on risotto, so I have to make it up just to make the arancini!


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