Two of the things that he loves the most are things I almost never make for him - veal parmesan and arancini.
To make arancini, you need to have cold, leftover risotto but, trust me, if I am going to stand over a stove, stirring rice, for half an hour, I am not going to put it all aside to use for fried rice balls. Occasionally, I might have gone out of my way to double the recipe so that I could make these the next day but, honestly, that often just resulted in gluttony. We were left with all of us rolling around the house, moaning and groaning, with too much food in our bellies and still not enough leftover rice.
Enter my Instant Pot. Since making my first batch of risotto in the pressure cooker, I have not looked back. I was the last person who wanted to believe that you could end up with a risotto that was indistinguishable from a lovingly stirred pan of soupy rice but, here I am, making risotto in the pressure cooker all the live long day. Now that I can make risotto in half the time without needing my constant attention, arancini are back on the menu.
I made these arancini at The Kingston Social House as our featured app and they have been a huge hit, easy as pie to make and even easier to reheat and serve after the fact.
Of course, you can also just eat the risotto and skip the whole rice ball business, so, you are really getting two great recipes in one. Oh, and feel free to make a larger number of smaller balls to serve as an appetizer, but I really like getting one, giant, crispy, oozy rice ball all to myself and I find one, large ball with some sauce is the perfect serving size as an entree.
Jumbo Mushroom Arancini
*cooked and cooled mushroom risotto (recipe to follow)
approx 60g or 2 oz fresh mozzarella (I used small balls that were about 1/2" or cut into 1/2" cubes)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1 cup panko
vegetable oil for deep frying
Remove the risotto from the fridge.
Put the panko in a mini processor and give one or two pulses to make it a bit finer.
Get two shallow bowls and put the panko in one and in the other, whisk the flour with 1/4 cup water until the lumps are gone and then whisk in another 1/4 cup of water.
Put your cheese balls or cubes in another small bowl, grab a 1/2 cup measure and make sure your hands are clean.
Take 1/2 cup of cold risotto, roll into a large ball, poke a hole with your finger and then shove a piece of cheese inside. Roll the ball again to enclose the cheese.
Roll the ball into the flour/water slurry and use your hands to make sure the ball is lightly covered before placing the rice ball into the bowl of panko. Roll it around until it is totally covered in panko and set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Repeat until you have used all the rice.
Heat at least 4" of vegetable oil in a pot to 350F
Deep fry the arancini just until nicely golden, around 4-5 minutes, turning them now and then to make sure they are evenly browned. Be sure to not crowd the pot as these are quite large - you might only be able to fry a couple at a time.
Remove to a cooling rack so that any residual oil can drain off and let them cool slightly before serving.
You can reheat leftovers in a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes.
|red pepper sauce before pureeing|
*Pressure Cooker Mushroom Risotto
1 tbls butter
1 tbls olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
1.5 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
**3 1/2 cups of mushroom stock (recipe to follow)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 tbls butter
Heat your pressure cooker on saute until it's hot. Add the butter and the oil and sauté the shallot until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring often, taking care not to let it burn. Add in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds before adding in the rice. Stirring constantly, sauté the rice for another couple of minutes, until the rice starts to look opaque and then pour in the wine. Stir until the wine is almost gone and then add in the the broth and the mushrooms, stir well.
Lock in the lid with the vent closed and program the pressure cooker for 6 minutes at high pressure.
When the time is up, do a quick release and take off the lid. At this point, the rice should still be a bit soupy and if it's not, add a bit more broth or water and stir. Let it cook for another few minutes with the lid off and then remove the pot from the machine and stir in the remaining 2 tbls butter and the parmesan with a wooden spoon.
Line a baking pan with parchment and pour out the risotto, spreading it out in a thin layer. Set aside until it's cooled to room temperature. Transfer the cooled risotto to a container and put it in the fridge to cool completely, at least on hour or even 24 hours.
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup dried mushrooms (if the mushrooms are in large chunks, crunch them up)
salt to taste if needed
Rinse the dried mushrooms under running water to remove any grit and then simmer the stock with the dried mushrooms for about 20 minutes and set aside