I made a rather nice mushroom and pea risotto last night. I’d made a little too much though and so I refrigerated the remainder thinking I’d reheat it. A quick Google revealed that I’d need to rethink. There are plenty of warnings about reheating rice and not leaving it standing at room temperature for too long. There are also explanations that the texture of risotto rice changes as it takes on more liquid while cooling. There is one use for leftover risotto the web suggested – make arancini. I realised that I’ve had these before and wasn’t overly impressed. They were enormous, the ones I had previously, and they fell apart at the slightest touch. I decided to try and used the essence of Curvy Carrot’s recipe to make a better version. I love a leftovers recipe.
I wanted a baked arancini because I wanted something slightly more healthy and because I don’t own a deep fat fryer. I divided up the risotto and aimed for a size just smaller than a billiard ball. I divided the mixture accordingly and then took each portion and removed a further quarter from each. With the larger part if made a bowl shape, inserted a piece of low fat herby cream cheese, and then used the remaining risotto to form it into a sealed ball. This was surprisingly easy – being realistic in the size and the amount of cheese embed pretty crucial.
I then rolled the balls in some rough breadcrumbs I’d made. Following Curvy Carrot’s advice I then dipped them in beaten egg and then applied a second coating of breadcrumbs. I sprayed olive oil onto a baking tray and the sprayed more onto the arancini before putting them in the oven. I baked them for around 25 minutes at 180 degrees – turning them regularly.
The end result was very good. The shell had a good crunch and, although they did break apart easily, the texture was very good. The soft cheese was molten in the middle and, served with a tomato and basil sauce they made a nice change.