Melt the butter in a large sauté pan. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a separate pan.
Add the rice to the melted butter and cook it, stirring, for a minute or two to toast it. Then, ladle some chicken stock on top of the rice. Cook the rice, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with another ladleful of stock. Continue cooking the rice in a ladleful of stock at a time, until the rice is cooked through.
Add the cheese, prosciutto, and basil to the rice. Taste the rice. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
Then, spread the risotto out on a tray lined with wax paper and put it in the refrigerator to cool.
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a pan to 350 degrees, put the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl (for breading) and cut the cream cheese into small cubes (about ⅛-teaspoon each).
Take the risotto out of the fridge, add the egg and the chocolate, and mix in a bowl until combined.
Scoop out a small amount of the risotto mixture and flatten it with your hands. Put the cream cheese in the center of the disc and then roll the rice into a ball. Bread the ball with breadcrumbs and set it aside. This should make about 20 rice balls.
Put a few of the rice balls in the oil at a time and stir them consistently as they cook. When the rice balls are golden brown, remove them from the oil and sprinkle them with salt. Repeat with remaining rice balls.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 ½ cups boiling chicken stock
- ½ cup frozen green peas
- 2 ounces finely chopped ham
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 cup vegetable oil for deep frying
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring until onion is soft but not browned. Pour in the rice, and cook stirring for 2 minutes, then stir in the wine, and continue cooking and stirring until the liquid has evaporated. Add hot chicken stock to the rice 1/3 cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the liquid has evaporated before adding more.
When the chicken stock has all been added, and the liquid has evaporated, stir in the peas and ham. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the risotto to a bowl, and allow to cool slightly.
Stir the beaten egg into the risotto. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and milk with a fork. For each ball, roll 2 tablespoons of the risotto into a ball. Press a piece of the mozzarella cheese into the center, and roll to enclose. Coat lightly with flour, dip into the milk mixture, then roll in bread crumbs to coat.
Heat oil for frying in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry the balls in small batches until evenly golden, turning as needed. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a low oven while the rest are frying.
These freeze well before or after frying. Fry frozen uncooked rice balls as in step 4. For already fried, reheat in a preheated 350 degree (175 degrees C) oven for 25 to 20 minutes.
Classic Sicilian Arancini (Arancine di Riso)
Arancini, rice balls stuffed with sauce and peas, are one of the best-loved Sicilian snacks and street foods. They have become increasingly popular throughout Italy and worldwide.
The filling in this recipe is one of the most classic—a meat ragù, green peas, and melty mozzarella. The rice is scented with saffron and the rice balls are rolled in breadcrumbs before frying them into croquettes. Usually, they're made with caciocavallo cheese, but since that can be difficult to find outside of Southern Italy, Parmigiano-Reggiano is used in this recipe.
There is considerable debate among Sicilians as to whether this dish should properly be called arancini (masculine) or arancine (feminine). You may have seen this dish spelled both ways. In western Sicily, it's argued that these rice balls are usually called arancine because that word means "little oranges" the balls are round and like arancia, the word for orange in Italian.
In eastern Sicily, arancino is the term more commonly used and it's usually made in more pear-shaped form because, it's believed, the term comes from the name of the fruit in Sicilian dialect: arànciu. At this point, arancino has become the more widely diffused name, particularly in English-speaking countries.
Whether you call them aracini or arancine, these delectable rice balls can be eaten as an antipasto or snack, or even as a meal when coupled with a salad or soup. They're commonly served with marinara for dipping.
- For the risotto, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes without colouring. Add rice and cook for a further 2 minutes until rice is glossy. Add boiling stock gradually to the rice, occasionally stirring until absorbed. Continue to add remaining stock until rice is just tender or until all moisture has been absorbed. Then add prosciutto, peas and pecorino, season to taste with pepper. Remove from heat and place in a bowl to chill in the fridge overnight or chill until risotto is cold.
- Once chilled form small bite-size balls and lightly coat rice balls in flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in egg wash, then breadcrumbs, coating evenlyaround each ball and then place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, once oil is hot carefully add arancini into the oil and deep fry until golden, remove and drain on paper towel.
Arancini With Taleggio Cheese and Prosciutto
This recipe is a variation of the classic Sicilian Arancini (rice ball) that my Nonna makes. It is not difficult but has many steps and is time consuming. The taste of the Arancici when you are finished will make it all worth it.
1 lb Corrado’s Arborio Rice
½ Onion Diced
3 tbsp Corrado’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup White Wine
1 tbsp Butter
4 to 5 cups Chicken Stock
3 oz Taleggio Cheese
¼ Grated Cheese
¼ lb Prosciutto sliced thin and diced
2 cups Corrado’s Flavored Bread Crumb
2 Eggs beaten
Corrado’s Canola Oil for deep-frying
Start my making a risotto the best part is you can do this the day before. Just follow the instructions on the box, sauté the onion in some olive oil, add the rice and allow to toast for a few minutes, then begin to add chicken stock a little bit at a time. When your risotto is done put it on a cookie sheet and allow it to cool.
While it is cooling cut the taleggio cheese into small cubes about ½ inch,
Take the prosciutto roll it up and slice it finely creating fine little ribbons. Next prepare to bread and fry your rice balls. In a shallow dish put your breadcrumbs and in another dish beat your eggs.
Now you are ready to assemble the Arancini. You can use your hand, but I prefer to use and ice cream scoop so all of my Arancini are the same size. Scoop some of the cooled risotto then with your finger make a hole in the middle.
Into that hole pit a piece of Taleggio and a pinch of prosciutto.
Then move rice from the sides to cover the filling and roll the rice into a ball.
Repeat this until all of the rice is gone. Next, take the rice ball, roll it in the egg and then move it to the breadcrumb coating it lightly.
In a stockpot heat your oil to 375 degrees. When the oil is at temperature, using a slotted spoon carefully add a rice ball to the hot oil. Cook for two to four minutes or until it is golden brown.
Remove the rice-ball from the oil and allow the drain on a paper towel in order to soak up any excess oil. Repeat this for all the rice balls. As you become for comfortable you can fry five or six rice balls at the same time.
Arancini are best served warm and are eaten with your hands. Just pick one up and take a bite. Enjoy.
These Little Treats Are Absolutely Amazing! The Recipe Is Straight Out Of Sicily!
You’ll find arancini sold as street food throughout the Italian peninsula, but they truly belong to Sicily. These decadent balls of fried rice are known as little oranges thanks to their remarkable resemblance to one of the island’s other specialities. Arancini are savory treats that shine as elegant appetizers on the dining room table or as an afternoon snack fresh off a food cart. They’re just plain delicious.
If you want to make your own arancini from scratch, you’ve got to put yourself in a Sicilian mindset. In other words, slow down. Cooking up a batch of these goodies takes patience. This sort of recipe wasn’t made for rushing, you’ll want to dedicate a full afternoon to ensure the arancini meet Sicilian standards. In a way, making arancini is like making two recipes! The first step is to make a risotto. While risotto is a typical northern Italian dish, it’s the base for this southern staple.
Arancini come stuffed with all manner of yummy ingredients: cheese, meat sauce and cheese, ham and cheese, even chocolate! The scrumptious recipe we’re sharing with you today is a meat/cheese combination. You can choose your meat filling to suit your own tastes: we recommend prosciutto, salami, or chopped ham.
Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan until foamy. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and fry gently over a low heat for 15 mins, or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another min. Stir in the rice and cook for a further min, then pour in the wine. Bring to the boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Pour in half the stock and simmer, stirring continuously, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the remaining stock a ladleful at a time as the rice absorbs the liquid, stirring, until the rice is cooked through (this should take about 20-25 mins). Stir in the parmesan and lemon and season to taste. Spread the risotto out into a lipped tray and leave to cool to room temperature.
Scoop the cooled risotto into 18 equal portions – they should be slightly larger than a golf ball. Flatten a risotto ball in your hand and put a piece of the mozzarella in the centre, then enclose the cheese in the rice and roll it into a ball. Repeat with the remaining risotto balls.
Put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into three separate shallow bowls. Dip each prepared risotto ball into the flour, followed by the eggs and finally, the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a tray and set aside.
Half-fill a large, heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil and heat over medium-low until it reads 170C on a cooking thermometer or until a piece of bread turns golden brown in the oil within 45 seconds. Lower the risotto balls into the oil in batches and cook for 8-10 mins, or until golden brown and melted in the centre. Set aside on a tray lined with a clean kitchen towel.
Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich.
There’s no way around it: To make arancini, you have to make risotto, although you could also use any kind of leftover risotto, as long as the mixture isn’t loose from excess liquid. This recipe employs a simple base of Parmesan risotto that is chilled, rolled, breaded and fried, but the classic version starts with saffron risotto, which explains the Italian name arancine, or little oranges, named for their shape and hue. Simmering risotto and frying the arancini are simple tasks, but the step in between is crucial: Do not skimp on chilling your risotto. If it is not properly chilled, it will fall apart in the hot oil instead of forming crisp, glistening, orbs filled with molten cheese. Serve these arancini with warmed tomato sauce or even pesto, and crown them with a flurry of gremolata or plain lemon zest for brightness.
Arancini con Mozzarella e Prosciutto
When guests on our Italy bike tours are first introduced to the Italian foods of the Northeast regions, they are often surprised – pastas with red sauce, or, frankly, anything with a ‘red sauce’ are rare on the menus. The many pasta dishes are replaced with other starches predominately polenta, and numerous varieties of wonderful risottos.
Quality control - enjoy when warm!
Brought to the Veneto in the 14th century by the Venetian explorer Marco Polo, rice was a highly productive crop that grew well in the climate of the area. It quickly replaced some of the more traditional grains that were grown in the area – wheat, barley and rye – which had been susceptible to agricultural blights. Over the next 500 years, rice became a mainstay of the local agricultural system, and was incorporated into the regional diet. In the 16th and 17th centuries, much of the land in the Grumolo area, located between Padua and Vicenza, and reclaimed via a system of canals by the nuns of the Abbacy of San Pietro in Vicenza, was converted to rice patties to support the demand for rice.
Vialone Nano Rice for risotto
Today, only about 200 hectares are still devoted to the production of rice in the Grumolo area. The area is best known for it’s unique regional strain of risotto rice, Vialone Nano. I can occasionally find it here in the US, at Micucci’s market in Portland, ME. But always use it in our cooking classes in Italy.
Getting your hands dirty - forming arancini.
I’ve taught classes on risottos many time, both here in the US and in Italy. It’s a basic technique that people can easily learn, and then adapt to make their own. One ‘treat’ that I include in these classes is a great use for their leftover risotto, a tasty deep-fried rice ball called ‘arancini’.
Arancini are fried rice balls covered with breadcrumbs. Reputed to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century, I don’t see them often in the regions we visit, but they are tasty and fun to make. The name arancini comes from the food’s color and shape, which resemble little oranges, ‘arancina’. A common street food in Sicily, they typically are stuffed with a meat ragu (meat tomato sauce) and mozzarella, but you can find many specialty types, stuffed with mushrooms (con funghi), eggplant (con melanzane), and peas. In Rome, you will find a similar food called suppli, most typically stuffed with cheese. The melted cheese makes ‘strings’ as you pull it apart, ‘suppli al telefono’, or telephone wires. In Naples, they are known as Palle di Riso.
Here’s a recipe I’ve used in my classes to great success. These are stuffed with prosciutto or speck and mozzarella I use a wonderful local prosciutto from the Colli Berici in the Veneto, or a speck from Alto Adige. I’d add peas this time of year, they can be included in the stuffing or mixed in with the rice itself. I’ve also used goat cheese and mushrooms or whatever else you can come up with! Keep them warm in a low oven while you fry them all up, but they are best enjoyed warm.
Arancini con Mozzarella e Prosciutto
4 1/2 cups leftover risotto
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 cup freshly grated grana cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten, two at a time
4 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
4 ounces prosciutto, diced
bread crumbs or panko
vegetable oil for frying
Place the risotto in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Add the butter, parsley, grana, two of the beaten eggs and stir gently to combine.
Lightly beat the remaining two eggs and season with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl, the beaten eggs in another, and the bread crumbs in a third bowl.
Combine the prosciutto and mozzarella.
Take a small handful (about 2 tablespoons) of rice and begin to shape into a small ball. Press into the ball with your finger to make a small hole. Fill the hole with some of the mozzarella and prosciutto, and then close the hole with a little additional risotto. Roll between your palms a bit to form a small ball, about the size of a small clementine. If they are too large, the stuffing inside will not get warm enough as it cooks. Place on a sheet pan, and form the remaining balls, attempting to keep them uniform in size.
Roll each arancino first in the flour, then dredge it in the beaten egg, and roll it well in the breadcrumbs. Place on a sheet pan.
Fill a heavy sauce pan with the vegetable oil to a depth of 3 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat to a temperature of 350°. Carefully place a couple of arancino in the pan and fry until a deep golden brown, turning occasionally. You want to make sure you cook them long enough so the cheese in the middle melts. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and drain on a dish covered with a paper towel. Feel free to taste the first one, to check that the cheese has melted! Continue cooking until all are fried. Keep warm in a heated oven, and serve hot.
How about Wild Mushroom Risotto? This recipe uses the same quick risotto method and is delicious made with any type of mushroom. You could use any leftover cooled risotto like this to make the arancini.
Or how about Baked Halloumi Fries? These are really simple and delicious and use panko breadcrumbs for the coating. How about a sharing platter including the halloumi fries and arancini?