Deep frying isn’t something I do routinely, but I’ve always wanted to make arancini, as well as deep-fried Spanish olives. Because of that, I purchased a small electric deep fryer many moons ago. I finally made arancini; the olives are next.
Arancini are savory Sicilian snacks, made from a little ball of risotto, sometimes filled with cheese, and deep fried.
One good thing about making arancini is that leftover risotto can be used, and in fact, is encouraged. But keep it a “plainer” risotto. Risotto with chunks of butternut squash obviously wouldn’t work well.
Classic risotto is perfect. I included some mushroom powder for a bit more flavor.
For the cheese, caciocavallo is recommended. There is a smoked variety of this cheese, but I used non-smoked. Mozzarella is a good substitute.
If used seen photos of traditional arancini, they typically have a smoother breadcrumb coating. Because I used a combination of panko and some fresh breadcrumbs, the coating looks a bit more lumpy. But it still worked!
For the Arancini:
1 recipe of risotto, made with about 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2 beaten eggs
1 cup flour
2 cups breadcrumbs – I used a mixture of fresh bread crumbs and panko
Enough plain oil in which to deep fry the arancini
Start by making the risotto the previous day before serving. I added mushroom powder, some cream, and some Parmesan. Chill the risotto overnight.
To prepare the Arancini, cut up the cheese into small cubes. The size really depends on how big your arancini will be. I used a small cookie scoop, pushed in the cheese, then covered it with more risotto. With the cold risotto, it was easy to mold them into spheres.
Have the bowl with the eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs ready. Take the arancini and dip them in flour, then eggs, then the breadcrumbs. Place on a cookie sheet. When you’re done, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator.
Set up your electric deep fryer and heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Fry about 3 at a time in the basket, and when sufficiently browned, place them on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet. Continue with the remaining arancini.
Serve still hot.
I served these with a truffle aioli.
But you could use a marinara for dipping as well, or a curry ketchup.
My arancini are a little large. I have trouble with fiddly little things, which is why I’m not a cake decorator. But, then you get to bite into a lot of melted cheese….