wild mushroom arancini

I am generally horrible at eating leftovers.  I should back up – I rarely have leftovers, likely because of my upbringing as a member of the “clean plate club”.  When I do manage to not consume my entire plate of food, either at home or out at a restaurant {likely due to inhuman portion sizes not any self-restraint}, I always neatly place my leftovers in the fridge with the best intentions.  However, once placed in the fridge, my leftovers are quickly forgotten – when I contemplate my next meal, somehow I am always either underwhelmed or bored with the prospect of eating the same thing twice within a 24-hour period.  Perhaps I was born in the wrong generation – I seem to lack the Depression-era mindset of letting nothing go to waste that my parents were raised with, and I am a lesser woman for it.

Leftover risotto appears to be the exception.  Italians seem to be proficient at transforming ingredients from last night’s meal in a fresh and inventive manner that makes you forget you are eating leftovers.  I have never tried making arancini on my own, likely due to the fact that I usually never have leftovers from this recipe {see aforementioned club membership}.  However, leftovers permitting, they are incredibly easy and can be put together with ingredients you are likely to have on hand.  What makes these little fritters so incredible is the delicious stratification of textures – a crisp, golden brown crust surrounds a middle layer of soft, yet toothsome risotto, which in turn surrounds a molten, gooey nucleus of cheese.  Something you can be sure of?  You won’t have leftovers of these leftovers.

Do you have any go-to recipes to use leftovers creatively?

Note:   Most recipes I came across called for regular breadcrumbs – although it may not be traditional, I prefer the texture provided by Panko {Japanese breadcrumbs}.

Recipe continued after the jump…

Recipe

Makes 6 to 8 arancini

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 c. leftover risotto
  • 3/4 c. panko {Japanese style bread crumbs} or regular bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 c. mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 c. marinara sauce

Pour enough oil into medium saucepan to reach a depth of about 3 inches.  Heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°F on a candy thermometer.

While oil is heating, in a medium bowl, mix together risotto, egg, 1/2 c. Panko and Parmesan cheese until well blended.  Pour remaining 1/4 c. of Panko in a medium bowl.

Using your hands, shape risotto mixture into 2 inch balls.  Insert a piece of mozzarella into the center of each ball, making sure that it is covered on all sides by the risotto mixture.  Roll arancini in bowl of Panko until evenly coated.

When oil is hot, carefully drop arancini into oil, a few at a time, careful not to overcrowd the pot.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the arancini are golden brown and cooked through.  Carefully remove the arancini from the pot using a slotted spoon or spider, and place onto paper towels or a rack.  Immediately season arancini with kosher or sea salt.  Serve immediately with warmed marinara sauce.

Thank you so much for reading!

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12 Responses to wild mushroom arancini

  1. Wonderful! I made these a while ago and blogged about them – aren’t they simply divine? 😀

  2. Maggie Sause says:

    These look incredible!! Must try…

  3. petit4chocolatier says:

    Looks delicious!

  4. Karen says:

    If I see them on a menu, I always order them. I think I’ll have to make risotto just for the purpose of these lovely little bites because I’m like you…I usually don’t have leftovers when I make risotto.

  5. I have the same problem in our family. I never have any left over risotto and I so much love this little appetizer especially with the tomato sauce. Thanks for stopping by so that I could find your site. Looking forward to keeping in touch. Take care, BAM

  6. daryouchka says:

    These look absolutely delicious! I can’t believe I’ve never made arancini (well I guess that would be because I never manage to have enough leftover risotto to do so…)

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