I have, until very recently, had a deep phobia of deep fat frying. I am a scaredy cat and I'm clumsy, and the two together + boiling oil has never seemed like the best idea to me. Marrying into a Gujarati family has meant I've had to face this fear as perhaps 50% of Gujarati snacks and breads are deep fried. I in no way aim to emulate this ratio in my diet but every now and again I do like a freshly cooked samosa or a puffed puri.
This is an Italian recipe that I first came into contact with in Carluccio's (I love Carluccio's!) The taste of these delicious, crispy risotto balls filled with melting cheese, remained there in my subconscious until I was faced one day with a massive batch of leftover risotto and couldn't face eating it for the third day in a row. And then, DING! I remembered.
This is ridiculously easy if you have leftover risotto to hand. I would actually also like to try making an Indian version using leftover khichuri, a type of lentil risotto - possibly filled with mincemeat or paneer.
All you need is leftover risotto (fresh isn't gluey enough to make the balls from so you'll just have to make a bit extra!), breadcrumbs, a relatively hard cheese (I used Edam here but cheddar is excellent too), and a beaten egg to use as egg wash. And one of these (I'm not sure what they're called but available
from any good Indian hardware/cookware shop!), which has considerably
lessened my fear of deep frying. I can stand half a metre away and
gingerly poke the cauldron of oil!
Cube your cheese into 0.5cm ish pieces. Mould the cold risotto around the cubed cheese into balls.
Then get a conveyor belt type thing going (preferably photograph yours in the right order) with risotto balls, egg wash, breadcrumbs and empty plate at the end, with forks in each to stop things getting too messy.
Get your oil nice and hot (drop a grain of risotto in it and if it sizzles and rises to the top, it's ready, if it sinks, it needs to be hotter. If the oil is smoking, it's too hot and you need to - carefully - take it off the heat for a bit).
Drop 4-5 of the breaded arancini into the oil (you can use the spoon to do this ) and fry for 5-6 min until golden brown.
Remove with the sieve-spoon/similar implement and place on a plate with sheets of kitchen roll. Repeat with batches of arancini.
I like to serve them with a crisp salad to cut the fried-ness, and two or three dips (sweet chilli-mango, chilli mayonnaise and ketchup, usually!)
p.s. burning a candle is THE best way of getting rid of frying smells. That's your Diptyque/Yankee/Jo Malone addiction justified, isn't it?
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