Imagine this, warm crispy texture of egg and breadcrumb coating, not just breadcrumbs, but a compilation of herbs, spices and parmigiano reggiano. Then into a moist flavorful starch of mushroom risotto and melted parmigiano, and the finale, a beautiful melted piece of fresh mozzarella. Now that’s what I am talking about, this appetizer is a little piece of heaven.
I don’t know about you but for me I love appetizers, a variety of small tastes of delicious food alongside a nice wine or prosecco. I remember our trip to Italy where we visited Venice known for “Cicchetti“, small appetizers Tapa style, accompanied by a glass of Spritz, Bellini or Prosecco, that italians call “Aperitivo“. In Venice there are numerous places that serve Cicchetti, in the likes of crostini, arancini, tramezzini, olives, cured meats, sardines, polpette, tuna, radicchio and of course rustic Italian bread, along with a nice chilled prosecco, white wine, or an Aperol Spritz. Absolutely a favorite way to eat for Nicoletta and I, and also for my son Joel who became a fan of prosecco after that trip.
This particular appetizer came to be after a friend of ours asked us to help with a party she was having. She had asked us if we could help out with the food, and more specifically wanted a casual appetizer night, where a few different appetizers would be served throughout the night. Nicoletta and I excited to be a part of this adventure made up a menu. One of the creations for the night was Mushroom Risotto Arancini. Some nice left over or even chilled mushroom risotto, a bit of egg, parmigiano cheese, bread crumbs, and a nice piece of mozarella cheese as a hidden treasure inside and voila! You have a great finger food, crispy on the outside, and creamy soft inside, with nice small strands of melted parmigiano and mozzarella, yummy. Served nice and warm. I don’t know what doesn’t taste good deep fried, but I know this. These were a hit!
People kept coming back and also people that were leaving were grabbing a few for the road.
We had some risotto left over and I made some and froze them so we could have them another day. The key is to wrap them up really well as not to get freezer burnt. This particular night we had them with a nice chutney I had made for a rib dish. A combination of rhubarb and caramelized onions spices and slow heat. The beautiful earthiness of the mushrooms along side the starchy risotto all enclosed within a crispy coating, then enjoying it with a dollop of chutney, reminds me of having corn fritters and jam. Love that savory, sweet partnership. I guess we can call this maybe an Italian fritter, maybe not, love the rolling of the rrrr… in arancini.
If you are planning a party keep these in mind, so easy to eat and so tasty, you will have people asking for more.