Arancini di Riso

arancini di risoSome see leftovers as a problem; I welcome the challenge of letting nothing go to waste. Although many of us today do not have to worry about extracting every last bit of nutrition from the food we buy, that was certainly not the case for our forebears—or for my mother when my siblings and I were children. This simple Sicilian dish of leftover risotto shows how a good cook can stretch the food budget while making delicious wholesome meals. If only we all treated our food as a gift rather than a commodity, we would have a better world.

That said, these little croquettes are so good that it is worth making risotto especially for them. If you do, make sure to let it cool thoroughly before making the arancini. The best way to do that is to spread the rice out on a sheet pan and put it in the refrigerator.

Take the quantities as suggestions only and add whatever other ingredients you like. Peas are a good addition.

Ingredients

 

Onion, minced

50 grams

½ medium

Mushrooms, finely chopped

30 grams

3 or 4

Olive oil

As needed

As needed

Marsala or dry sherry

30 milliliters

2 Tablespoons

Cream or half-and-half

30 milliliters

2 Tablespoons

Cold risotto

400 grams

2 cups

Eggs

2

2

Parmesan, grated

30 grams

1 ounce

Salt and pepper

To taste

To taste

Breadcrumbs*

About 100 grams

About ½ cup

Oil for frying

As needed

As needed

* for a gluten free product, use corn flakes pulverized in a food processor.

Method

Heat about 15 milliliters (1 Tablespoon) of olive oil in a fry pan and sauté the onions until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook until fragrant. Pour in the marsala and toss until evaporated. Add the cream and boil down until nearly dry. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the risotto, eggs, Parmesan, and the mushroom mixture. Season to taste with sald and pepper. Using your hands form the rice into 3 cm (1¼ inch) balls then flatten each one slightly. Put a quantity of breadcrumbs into a plate and coat the patties.

The arancini can be shallow fried in a skillet or deep fried. I chose the latter, frying them in batches in 175°C (350°F) oil for 4 minutes. If you shallow fry them, make sure that the oil stays hot so that they do not become greasy.  

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