I can think of few foods that aren't improved with frying - surely any child would eat asparagus if it always came tempura styled - and risotto is no exception. Arancini, meaning "little orange" in Italian, is a small ball of leftover risotto stuffed with mozzarella, coated with bread crumbs and fried. Just as delicious as they sound, they make a great snack, appetizer or lunch. If you are just learning to make risotto, this might be a good way to spruce up any less-than-perfect attempts. The best risotto for this recipe would be a simple white wine, chicken or vegetable stock and Parmesan variety; however, mushroom risotto was what was leftover here at Chez Widow, and so that was the option.
Arancini - makes 6
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups leftover risotto, cold
6 small fresh mozzarella balls, patted dry with paper towels
1 cup bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350. Heat the canola oil in a large saute pan over medium heat; allow it to heat for about 5-7 minutes, and then sprinkle a few crumbs into the oil; if they brown almost immediately, you are read for frying. Place the bread crumbs in a bowl. Spray a 1/3 cup measuring cup with cooking spray and pack with risotto. Press a small ball of mozzarella inside and cover with a little more risotto. Gently scoop the risotto into the bread crumbs and shake to cover; make sure the risotto is completely covered with crumbs so it doesn't fall apart in the oil. Carefully place in the hot oil and fry about 4 minutes on each side, or until each side is golden brown. Drain on paper towels and place on a baking sheet and put into the oven for about 5-7 minutes to be sure the cheese is melted.