Annabel Karmel's rice balls
Prep time:plus cooling and chilling
Cooking time:for rice, plus 16 mins frying
These tasty arancini rice balls were originally invented by thrifty Italians to use up leftover risotto!
- 10g(½ oz) butter
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- ½ small garlic clove, crushed
- 110g (4oz) risotto rice
- 500ml (17 fl oz) hot vegetable or chicken stock
- 30g (1oz) grated mozzarella
- 30g (1oz) mature Cheddar, grated
- 3tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
- 50g (2oz) dried breadcrumbs
- Pinch of paprika (optional)
- 2tbsp flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- Sunflower oil, for frying
- Salt and pepper, to season
Annabel suggests using ordinary grated mozzarella as it's a bit drier than normal mozzarella and helps to make the base mixture stickier.
- Melt the butter in a large pan and sauté the shallot for 2-3 mins, until translucent. Add the garlic and rice, and cook, stirring constantly, for a further 2 mins.
- Add 400ml (14 fl oz) of the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice for 20-25 mins until just tender. Stir every 4-5 mins and add a little extra stock if it becomes too dry.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Season to taste with a little pepper (you are unlikely to need extra salt). Spread the risotto out on a large plate and leave to cool, then cover and chill as quickly as possible.
- Take slightly rounded teaspoonfuls of cold risotto and roll into balls. Season the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper and a little paprika (if using). Put the flour on a plate and the egg in a small bowl. Dust the risotto balls with flour, dip in egg and coat in breadcrumbs then place on a baking sheet lined with cling film.
- Put enough oil into a large frying pan to give a depth of 1 cm (½ in) and put over a medium heat. When the oil is shimmering add the arancini and fry for 6-8 mins, turning frequently, until golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Serve with tomato sauce (ideally homemade) for dipping.
Freezing tips: Cover the baking sheet with cling film and freeze the arancini until firm then transfer to a re-sealable bag. Cook direct from frozen, on a medium-low heat increasing the cooking time to 10-12 mins. Check that the centres are piping hot then allow to cool slightly before serving.www.annabelkarmel.com