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Leftover Risotto is Just Arancini in the Making

Is there anything more satisfying than pairing fried finger food with a crisp cocktail? In this version, Bobby Flay transforms ultra cheesy leftover risotto into delightful arancini balls—with even more mozzarella in the middle, for good measure.

Watch Bobby make this recipe in real time:

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Arancini with Buffalo Mozzarella and Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette Served with Bicicletta Cocktail

  • Author: Misfits Market

Ingredients

Scale

For the Arancini:

  • 3 cups leftover cooked and cooled risotto
  • 1 ball of Buffalo mozzarella, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups panko-style bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups neutral oil, such as avocado oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, roughly chopped

For the Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette:

  • 1 cup jarred sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
  • 1 small clove fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon jarred Calabrian chiles, chopped
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Bicicletta Cocktail:

  • 3 ounces dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
  • 2 ounces Campari
  • Splash of club soda
  • Lemon or orange slice
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. To form the rice balls (arancini) spoon about ¼ cup of the cooled risotto into the palm of your hand and form into a flattened patty about 2 inches or so in diameter.  Making a little divot in the center, place 1 square of the mozzarella in the divot.  Carefully encase the cheese by closing the patty of risotto around it, shaping it into a ball. Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining risotto. These can be formed ahead of time and placed into the refrigerator to chill and set up.
  2. Meanwhile, set up a dredging station: Place the rice flour, the eggs, and the breadcrumbs into 3 separate shallow bowls. Season each with salt and pepper. Dredge each risotto ball in the rice flour, tapping off the excess. Next, dip into the egg, making sure to coat all sides, and let the excess drip off.  Finally dredge in the breadcrumbs, being careful to cover all sides. Carefully transfer the breaded rice balls to a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat the process until all the rice balls are done.
  3. In a deep-sided skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat, until oil shimmers and reaches approximately 350°F. Carefully, using a spider and working in batches, fry the rice balls in the oil until golden brown on all sides, approximately 4 minutes each. Transfer the cooked arancini to a paper towel lined sheet tray and season with salt.
  4. For the vinaigrette: To a small blender, add the sundried tomatoes, garlic, chiles, vinegar and honey and blend to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Carefully, while the motor is running, add the oil in a steady stream until fully emulsified.
  5. Plate arancini with the vinaigrette and garnish with parsley for serving.
  6. For the cocktail: Combine the wine and Campari to a glass filled with ice and gently stir. Top with club soda  and garnish with citrus slice.

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