Arancini (Fried Risotto Balls)
Like some sort of mad fryentist, give me a pan of hot oil and I will riff on and on and on… See Fried Cheese Curds for what was really Part II of my latest fry tear (and a delicious one at that).
Part I began last Friday night, when my cousin Kelly and her husband Jomo came for dinner, and I spied leftover risotto in the cooler. The vision of arancini leapt into my head and while I really didn’t have time to make them, I did anyhow, and gosh were we glad that I did. Risotto is lovely fried (le duh), especially with a little square of mozzarella cheese pressed into the middle (le duh), and just beautiful to snack on with a glass of Prosecco.
In fact, I would happily have just that for dinner, with sliced tomatoes and a light salad to finish.
I made mine gluten-free by using Udi’s white bread ground into bread crumbs in the food processor. Stir some of the bread crumbs into cold, leftover risotto to hold things together a bit, then roll risotto into 3/4-inch (or smaller; small is better, in this rare case) balls. Press a small cube of mozzarella into the center of the ball (optional), then roll the ball in more bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the risotto as you go. You want a sturdy coating to hold the filling in place as the balls fry.
Use peanut oil or safflower oil to fry them (not canola which tastes disgusting when heated to high heat). Serve hot.