Prep Time 15 minutes - Total Time 1 hour plus cooling time - Makes 8
Italian food at its best. Crispy and golden risotto balls stuffed with wild mushrooms and gooey mozzarella.
You can either make this with leftover risotto or make the risotto, especially for the arancini. To be honest with you, whenever I make risotto there’s never any left. So if I ever want arancini I need to make some fresh risotto.
100g risotto rice such as Arborio.
1/2 small onion, finely diced.
1 garlic cloves, chopped.
Thyme leaves from a few sprigs, reserve some for garnishing.
300ml of chicken or veg stock.
50ml of white wine.
15g of Parmesan, grated.
15g of butter.
2 knobs of butter.
100g of mixed wild mushrooms
3 dried shiitake mushrooms.
1 tsp of Truffle oil, optional.
70g of grated mozzarella.
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying.
60g of panko breadcrumbs.
30g of parmesan cheese, freshly grated.
1 egg, whisked.
30g of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper.
The first thing to do is to get the stock on over a medium heat and add the dry shiitake. Leave them in the stock for a couple of minutes while they rehydrate. Then remove from the stock and roughly chop up.
In a separate pan add a drizzle of olive oil and 1 knob of butter. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, shiitake and season. Gently fry for 5-7 minutes or till the onions have softened.
Turn up the heat to high and add the rice. Make sure you keep stirring and after a minute or so the rice will start to go a little translucent. At this point, it’s time to add the wine. Keep stirring until the wine has almost gone.
Next, reduce to a medium-low heat and add your first ladle of stock. Only add one ladle at a time and continue stirring allowing the rice to absorb the stock before adding the next one. This will take around 15 minutes to cook, you want the rice to have a very slight bite to it, or of course if you prefer the rice more well done just keep cooking and adding the stock. You may need a little more or a little less stock so just keep checking the rice. If you run out of stock and need more just add boiling water.
When the rice is almost ready take the wild mushrooms and fry over a medium to high heat with a drizzle of olive oil, a knob of butter and season. Cook for a couple of minutes then tip out onto some kitchen paper to drain off any fat. Then roughly chop them up.
Once the rice is done take it off the heat, and mix in the chopped wild mushrooms, the butter, parmesan, truffle oil and mix well. Check for seasoning then spread out onto a baking tray in a single layer and leave to completely cool down. You could do all the above the steps in advance, I do it the day before.
When you are ready to cook the arancini sprinkle over the grated mozzarella, then mix to combine into the rice. Next, simply roll the rice into the size of a golf ball, you should get 8.
Now, get 3 dishes and put the flour in one and the egg in another. Mix the panko with the parmesan and place it in the last dish. Take an arancini ball and coat in the flour shaking off any excess, dip into the egg and finally roll in the panko. Repeat with the remaining ones.
To cook, take a large saucepan and fill it halfway with the vegetable oil. Heat over a medium to high heat till it reads 180° on a digital thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer you can check it by taking a few panko crumbs and placing them in the oil. If it starts to sizzle and turns a light golden colour within a minute the oil is ready. Alternatively, you can use a deep fat fryer set at 180°, that’s what I do. Fry the arancini in batches for around 6 minutes till beautifully golden and crispy.
Serve with some tomato sauce, a generous grating of parmesan cheese and a few fresh basil leaves. If you really want to make it luxurious you could grate over some fresh black truffle.