Sunday, March 9, 2014

Arancini with Sriracha Marinara

I had some mushroom and black truffle risotto leftover from dinner the other night and risotto loves nothing more than to be reinvented as arancini [the name comes from the Italian word for "little orange"]. Arancini has Sicilian roots dating back to the 10th century. In their simplest form they are deep-fried rice balls often stuffed with meat sauce or cheese.  Day-old, cold risotto makes the perfect base for arancini. 

Here's how to pull it off: use an mini ice cream scoop (or spoon) to portion equal size amounts of cold risotto (about 2 tablespoons per ball).  Place a little piece of mozzarella cheese in the center of each ball and form into a sphere with your hands. Place aside until all are complete. Next, crack an egg in one bowl and add a splash of water. Whisk together. In another bowl combine combine a 2:1 ratio of panko crumbs to Parmesan cheese with a pinch of kosher salt. Take each ball and dunk in egg wash and then roll in panko cheese mixture.  Once all are ready, fry in 350 degree oil for 2-3 minutes each. I used grape seed oil but you can use canola if you want.  Finish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs (basil or parsley or both) and some Parmesan Cheese. Serve with Sriracha Marinara sauce. Simply add sriracha to your favorite marinara sauce (keep adding until you reach desired level of heat). 

Serve as a bite-sized appetizer when entertaining company or with a Lemon and olive oil dressed arugula salad for a meal. These are very kid-friendly too - you can play with an array of dipping sauces including b├ęchamel, pesto,  meat sauce, etc. 

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