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Cheesy Arancini Balls

Yield
Makes 8 servingts
Total Time
Arancini is the term for fried risotto balls, and we're stuffing ours with ooey gooey Grand Cru® cheese. Perfect for a fancy-feeling but easy weeknight family dinner that everyone will love.

Recipe by: Sarah Copeland, Edible Living

Ingredients

  • For the Risotto:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking vegetables
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (400g) Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, warm
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated Roth Grand Cru® cheese, plus more for rice balls
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • For the Arancini:
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen (and defrosted) peas, optional
  • 1 1/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 ounces Roth Grand Cru®, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • Extra virgin olive oil or canola oil, for frying
  • Fine sea salt, for sprinkling

Method

For the Risotto: 

  1. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Stir in the wine and cook until wine has evaporated, about 1 minute more. 
  2. Stir in 2 cups warm broth and salt & pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil. Stir, reducing heat to medium-low, and cook until liquid has evaporated. Add 1/2 cup broth and continue stirring, adding more broth 1/2 cup at a time, until liquid has evaporated and rice is al dente, 20 to 25 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and rice just cooked. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and cheese, and stir. 

For the Arancini:

  1. Into the risotto, stir in 1 large egg, peas (if using) and ¼ cup Panko to tighten the mixture. This will help the balls hold their shape, when fried.
  2. Spread risotto onto a cookie sheet or baking sheet, and refrigerate until completely cool, about 1/2 hour. Use a cookie scoop to scoop risotto into 2 tablespoon-sized (1 1/2-inch) balls. Roll between your fingers and set on a tray. When all balls are rolled, press a small piece of Grand Cru® into the center of each, and use your fingers to pat the rice around it. 
  3. Roll rice balls in 1 cup Panko in a shallow bowl or plate until coated, and return to the cookie sheet. Refrigerate balls for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. They can be prepped ahead, wrapped well and frozen at this point, for up to two weeks). 
  4. When ready to fry, preheat about 2 inches of olive or canola oil over medium heat until shimmering. Test temperature by gently adding one of the rice balls to the oil — it should sizzle and start to brown. 
  5. Fry the rice balls, three to four at a time, adjusting heat to maintain a constant temperature of 350 degrees F. Continue frying the balls, rolling in the oil lightly with a slotted spoon to make sure they cook evenly on all sides and maintain their shape, until deeply golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per ball. Remove with a slotted spoon, letting all the excess oil drip back into the pot, and drain on paper towel-lined plates. Sprinkle with sea salt. 
  6. Repeat with remaining balls, straining out any solids that are burning as needed. Serve warm, with marinara or harissa mayo.