It is very easy to pigging out of yourself on delicious little morsel like this arancine, especially when you are talking and munching at the same time, sometimes you just don't realize how filling this can be. So make sure that you remind your guests there will be another dish coming. I, very rarely to serve this as an appetizer, instead, I like to serve my Arancine with vegetable salad as a main dish for weekend brunch or lunch. This recipe can be easily become a vegetarian dish, instead of beef filling, only put a few small cubed of mozarella inside.
For The Risotto:
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 lb Arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock, keep hot
1/2 tsp saffron, dissolve with 1 tablespoon hot stock
parmesan cheese (as much or as little as you wish)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Saute the onion with olive oil in sauce pan over medium heat until translucent, add the rice and fry for a minutes. Add the hot chicken stock a ladleful at a time, as soon as the liquid is almost absorbed, add another ladleful of hot chicken stock, keep stirring and adding the stock until you use the whole 4 cup of the stock. Which by then the rice will be soft and creamy but the grain is still firm when you bite to it. It may take about 25 to 30 minutes. Add saffron liquid and parmesan cheese, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir, and let cool completely.
For the Filling:
1 lb beef shoulder cut into small cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1-16oz canned chopped tomato
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan set over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil until soft, add the beef, and the garlic. Stir, add canned tomatoes, and nutmeg. Continue to cook until the meat is tender on low heat for about 45 minutes. Add chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.
make about 8 - 10
Cooled beef filling
3 oz fresh mozarella cheese, cubed
2 egg whites, lightly whisk with a fork
2 cups dried plain bread crumbs
enough vegetable oil for frying
Dampen your hand with cold water, take about 2 tablespoon (depending how large you want you want it to be) of cooled risotto, flatten it, add about half tablespoon of filling, enclose, and form into a ball. Dip arancine in the egg white, then rool it in the bread crumb, shake off the excess. Place the ball in a baking sheet, continue this step until you use up all of the rice. Place the baking sheet in the Refrigerator for 30 minutes. Reserve any leftover filling for other use.
Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan, set the heat to medium high. Fry the arancine in batches until golden on all side. To achieve the almost perfectly round and golden brown arancine, turning them often. Remove and drain the excess oil on a wire rack. Serve immediately, or for the shake of photo on your blog, do it now, so you will get a nice melted mozarelle that look very appetizing. If you wait too long or worse, cold, then you will get that hard mozarella look (like mine here).