Best-ever arancini

Cook this Italian favourite from scratch or make good use of last night’s leftover risotto.

Less than 30 minutes

Serves 6-8 as a snack

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Handful fresh thyme 
  • 1 cup (250ml) arborio rice 
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) white wine (optional)
  • 3 cups (750ml) warm chicken or vegetable stock
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • ½ cup (125ml) cream
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) grated parmesan
  • Cubed cheese (like mozzarella or cheddar) for stuffing (optional)
  • Cake flour, for dusting
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup (250ml) regular or panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil, for deep-frying 

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan or pot and fry onion, leek and garlic for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add bay leaves, thyme and rice and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add wine (if using) and cook, while stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until liquid is almost evaporated. (This is called deglazing and loosens the flavourful bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.)
  4. Reduce heat for low and slow cooking.
  5. Add about ⅓ cup (80ml) stock at a time, allowing it to fully absorb before pouring in the next addition.
  6. Stir continuously for 15-20 minutes to ensure the rice releases starch as it cooks, that’ll give you the deliciously creamy texture.
  7. Once all the stock is added, there should be a thick, creamy sauce covering the rice. The rice should be cooked through and plump.
  8. Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme.
  9. Season and stir through cream and parmesan.
  10. Cool completely.
  11. Flatten 2 Tbsp (30ml) cooled rice mixture in the palm of your hand. 
  12. Place a generous cube of your favourite cheese in the centre, and enclose to form a ball. Coat in flour, dip in whisked egg and finally coat in breadcrumbs.
  13. Deep-fry in hot oil until golden. 
  14. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

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