September 2, 2005 11:58 AM | By Adam Roberts | 17 Comments

When life throws you risotto, make Arancini!

There's nothing I like less than day-old risotto. When it's hot off the stove, all the textures and flavors meld together to create a soothing, heavenly mixture. But after a day in the fridge, it turns a bit gummy and then heating it up inevitably makes it gummier. What to do with day old risotto?!

Thank the Lord for this website. Because a while back, when I last made risotto, I said I threw out the leftovers because they were kind of nasty. A commenter wrote: "Don't do that next time! Make Arancini!" Which is exactly what I did last night.

Arancini is a fried risotto ball. Putting it together is a cinch. The only thing I had to go out and buy was breadcrumbs (and salad ingredients to serve with it) but that's it. That and cheese---but I had goat cheese on hand. So set up three bowls: (1) 1/2 cup of flour; (2) 2 eggs beaten; (3) 1/2 cup of bread crumbs.


I seasoned the flour a bit but that's your choice. Some of the recipes I read didn't have you do that, but I'm a rebel. I opened a package of Coach Farm goat cheese that I bought at the farmer's market, and unlike the last one this one was creamy and tangy just the way I like it:


So the next part's kind of gross, but just work fast. You open up your day-old refrigerated risotto, and stick your hand in and make a 1 to 2 inch ball. Flatten it and break off a piece of goat cheese, insert it in the middle, and reform the ball. (My risotto was really wet and it made all this really difficult, but I still managed.) Then dip that ball into the flour, coat, shake off; then into the egg; and finally the breadcrumbs. Here's what you'll end up with:


I rested them on wax paper as I heated up the oil. It took an entire bottle of Canola oil to fill 2-inches of my heavy pot, but that happens when you fry. You heat up the oil to 360 (make sure you have a thermometer) and once there, drop your balls in. (I wanna dip my balls in it!) (<--anyone remember that?)


They only took a little more than 2 minutes before they were golden brown. I took them out with a slotted spoon and drained them on paper towels:


Don't they look great? Just so I didn't feel too unhealthy, I served them with a salad (basically a bag of exotic lettuce with grape tomatoes in a homemade vinaigrette---I'm a pro!):


Biting into the Arancini was awesome: crunchy on the outside, and creamy/risotto-ey on the inside. Plus that goat cheese is a nice surprise:


It's almost worth making risotto so you can make this the next day. Two meals out of one dish: that's my kind of food.


Oh man oh man ... I might have to fry something for the first time ever! Talk about an indulgence that's worth it! I enjoy your style, your site. Many thanks for its many contributions. AK

Hoo boy, I don't know if the leafy greens are enough to cancel out the gooey fried goodness. Much like the 'diet coke cancels out a candy bar' concept, you might need to add a vegetable or two. ;D

They look like risotto fritters. I love anything fried..nice clever idea! Love me some fromage du chevre!!!!!

I pan fry my leftover risotta. I prepare it pretty much the same way as AG describes, but I flatten the balls into patties before I flour and bread crumb them. Saves a lot of oil and tastes almost as good. You can also oven bake the balls.

Time for a manicure, dude! ;-)

I miss Louie!!! I want to dip my balls in it! I'm so glad someone other than me still quotes The State.

What a wonderful meal. Who'd a thunk it!!!

"I wanna dip my balls in it!" is from the State. Man, I thought it was from just Stella. I never got to see the State. And your balls look delicious.

thank you thank you thank you!

2 or three times a year I make champagne risotto but the recipe I use makes enough to feed 5 people (we are only three) so I always have leftovers. Now I know what to do with the leftover risotto. Thank you.

You should make some babaganoush, because I would just *love* to dip my balls in that.

You are a pro--that plate looks outstanding. I watched Goddess Giada DiLaurentis make this on her show, and your little rice balls look just as tasty as hers.

And I would eat a shingle off the roof if it had goat cheese smeared on it.

Giada DiLaurentis? I'd love to dip my...

Never mind.

Do you remember $250 worth of puddin?? Is there anything you could do - maybe a chocolate mousse recipe to utilize that great food moment from The State??

i am in love with these! using the same principle, when i was in a panic about what to bring for a tgif, had no time or ingredients, i took the chickpea curry&rice we had eaten the night before, made balls, stuck in batter & deepfried. they were a huge hit!

Arancini, i live in melbourne, and i have just found a store that make them, they look incredible, i just can't wait to start making them... Oh my what a wonderful world we live in....

Melbourne Australia

Hey Damo, where is this store or can you get the number. i would like to try some. i used to buy them at Chadstone but they have moved out. I cannot seem to find them now


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