Arancini three ways

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Fried balls of risotto brought to life in three different forms.

Arancini three ways

Traditionally, arancini were rice balls made from yesterday's risotto. The risotto would be formed into balls, perhaps stuffed with a bit of cheese, rolled in bread crumbs and fried. Well, fortunately, today's can't-wait-for-anything society finally got something right! We finally asked in one voice why we should wait until tomorrow when we could be munching on arancini today?

Why indeed? So, when you get a hankering for your own rice balls, here is a basic risotto recipe you can make quickly and then get on to one of the arancini recipes below!

Easy risotto recipe

Yields 16-24 risotto balls or 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. First, start the broth simmering. Put the broth and garlic in a saucepan and heat it over medium heat. It should be warm when you are ready for it.
  2. Next, put the olive oil in a skillet and let it get hot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and sauté it for 8 minutes or until translucent. Then, pour in the rice and stir to coat in olive oil.
  3. Cook the rice for about 60 seconds.
  4. Next, add two ladles of broth into the rice and stir it a few times. Let the rice cook until there is no more broth and add two more ladles of broth. Continue until all broth has been used.
  5. Finally, finish the risotto with butter and Parmesan cheese. You can eat now as is or you can go ahead and make arancini.

Basic arancini

Yields 16-24 arancini

Ingredients:

  • 1 risotto recipe (see above)
  • 2 cups panko or seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Let the risotto cool and then shape the risotto into quarter-sized balls. Next, roll them in the bread crumbs. Let the arancini sit while you bring the oil to temperature.
  2. Pour the oil into a fryer or deep soup pot. Bring the oil to 375 degrees F (or get it hot over high heat).
  3. Fry the arancini in small batches and serve while warm.

Mozzarella arancini

Yields 16-24 arancini

Ingredients:

  • 1 risotto recipe (see above)
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups panko or seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Let the risotto cool. Next, instead of just forming the balls, take enough rice for half an arancini and make an indention. Put a piece of cheese into the indention and then cover with enough rice to make a quarter-sized ball.
  2. Repeat with all the rice, then roll the balls in the bread crumbs.
  3. Pour the oil into a fryer or deep soup pot. Bring the oil to 375 degrees F (or get it hot over high heat).
  4. Fry the arancini in small batches and serve while warm.

Italian sausage stuffed arancini

Yields 16-24 arancini

Ingredients:

  • 1 risotto recipe (see above)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 cups panko or seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Let the risotto cool. While cooling, warm the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Once hot, add the sausage, onions and peppers. Cook until the sausage is done all the way through and the peppers are soft.
  2. Next, just like with the mozzarella, take half the amount of rice you'll need, then put a small amount of sausage and peppers into the middle of the rice. Top with the rest of the rice needed to make a quarter-sized ball.
  3. Roll the arancini in the bread crumbs.
  4. Pour the oil into a fryer or deep soup pot. Bring the oil to 375 degrees F (or get it hot over high heat).
  5. Fry the arancini in small batches and serve while warm.

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