Sunday, 7 June 2015

Risotto Cheese Balls or Arancini

Arancini is a very Italian snack which is traditionally served on December 13 in eastern Sicily for the feast of Santa Lucia when bread and pasta are not eaten. The dish is believed to have been originated in Sicily in the 10th century when the Arabs ruled. Ever since it has become very popular and now it is served all year through at all Italian joints and is a scrumptious snack to start any party with. Last weekend I decided to go all Italian with my guests and chose the Arancini to start my party with. Since I did not have any Risotto (Italian rice) with me nor did I wish to buy, I substituted it with our regular small grain aromatic rice. I was a bit skeptical about the results but when I saw my guests devouring them, all my fears were put to rest. Serve these with your favourite dip and see your friends and family enjoy them heartily!!
2 cups risotto or small grain rice (I used aromatic jeera rice)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italian seasoned) plus more to coat
2 eggs
1 tbsp garlic finely chopped 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 medium onion chopped 
1/2 cup mushrooms sliced 
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano 
1 tbsp fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried parsley)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mozzarella or cheddar cheese cut into small cubes for filling 
1/2 tbsp olive oil plus more for frying 

Cook the rice or risotto until 90% done. Do not overcook. Drain and keep aside to cool. 
Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and add the garlic. Fry till slightly browned and then add the chopped onions and fry till soft. Now add the mushrooms and sauté till all the moisture dries up and the mushrooms are slightly browned. Take care that there is no water left from the mushrooms. Let it cool. 
In a bowl, take the cooled rice, mushrooms, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, herbs, fresh and dry, eggs, and salt and pepper and mix well. If you find the mixture too wet, you can add 1 tbsp breadcrumbs more. However take care not to add too many crumbs as the mixture will taste doughy. Make small balls from the mixture and then make a small hole and place a cube of cheese inside and seal from all sides. Roll the ball on a plate of breadcrumbs and arrange on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
Heat oil in a pan and fry the balls till golden on all sides. Drain the excess oil on kitchen towels and serve with your favourite dip. 

No comments:

Post a Comment