Arancini is simply risotto (rice) balls and is a great way to use your leftover risotto but in my house this is an appetizer made for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. My daughter loves Arancini and it is a great way to get her away from her phone or out of hiding. It's best to make the risotto the night before so it is cold and sticky making it easier to stuff them. Traditionally is stuffed with cheese and meat but we just use fresh mozzarella. Since I am only making the risotto for the Arancini I will cheat and make the risotto in the oven but if I were making risotto as a side dish or meal I would do it over the stove the traditional way, which is labor intensive with constant stirring and additions of liquid.
Oven Technique for Risotto
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups of Chicken broth, heat to simmer
1 cup Parmesean cheese
1/2 cup of White wine
3 TBS unsalted butter
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp White pepper
Preheat oven 350
Put rice and 4 cups of chicken stock into a Dutch Oven with lid. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and stir in the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth, parmesean cheese, wine, butter, salt and pepper. Stir until liquid is absorbed and the risotto is creamy. Cover and refridgerate the risotto until ready to use.
Assembly of Arancini
Fresh Mozzarella cubed
Optional wrap prosciutto around the mozzarella
Egg & 2 TBS Water for egg wash
Oil for frying
You will be making 2 to 3 inch balls
Heat oil in pan large enough to cover the risotto balls Tip if the oil is too shallow or cold the arancini will stick to the bottom of the pan
Put rice in your palm making a semi 1/2 circle. With your finger create a divit in the center, place cheese cube in the center and get more risotto to cover the the cheese. Ball up the risotto sealing the cheese inside.
Dip ball into egg wash and than into the bread crumbs
Place in hot oil being careful how many you add because as you add them you will be lowering the heat of the oil. I make only 4 to 6 at a time depending on the size of my pan, I don't want them to touch each other while they are frying.
Fry until golden brown
Serve warm with maranara sauce
Left overs can be frozen and reheated in the oven which the kids will go through quickly.