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.
- 4 cups left over mushroom risotto
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups of Italian style breadcrumbs
- 1 medium bocconcini
- ½ cup parmigiano reggiano
- 5 tablespoons of flour
- 1 litre of canola oil
- In a bowl mix mushroom risotto with 1 beaten egg, ½ cup of parmigiano and a couple of tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
- If the mixture is still too soft put a bit more breadcrumbs till a nice consistency to make a ball.
- Cut bocconcini into small pieces and add to risotto.
- With a tablespoon, scoop the mixture and use another spoon to start molding the risotto into a ball.
- then flour hands slightly and mold mixture into a nice ball about 3-4 centimeters in diameter.
- Beat 2 eggs add some salt and pepper.
- Place risotto balls into egg mixture and coat well, then place in bowl with flour and coat well.
- Put arancini on a sheet and put into the fridge to firm up about 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
- Take arancini and again place in egg mixture.
- In a bowl pour the rest of the breadcrumbs and place risotto balls in coating well, then place back on baking sheet and into the fridge till ready to cook.
- In a pot heat up 1 litre of canola oil
- Place arancini into oil slowly, and cook till nice and golden brown about 3 - 4 minutes.
- Take out and put on a plate with some paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
You can use any vegetable oil of your liking. If you want you can freeze arancini and use them at a later day, make sure they are packed well to prevent freezer burnt.