These arancini balls make fantastic starters. They are pretty rich so team them up with a fresh salad with a sharp dressing or dipped into a fiery tomato salsa.
Key to cooking these is patience. The rice needs to be cold before you add the eggs and the arancini then need time to sit in the fridge to stiffen up. I’ve also tried frying them in a pan before but it is really hard to keep them in a spherical shape by doing it this way. They therefore need to be deep fried if you want to keep them circular.
Ingredients (makes about 10 arancini)
400g risotto rice
Glug of white wine
600mls (approx) vegetable stock
2 cloves of garlic
2 slices of seeded brown bread (or normal brown / wholemeal bread)
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons of flour
Oil (for deep frying)
Fry the garlic in a bit of butter before adding the risotto rice. Give it a stir before adding a splash of white wine. Once this has been absorbed, add the vegetable stock slowly and stir constantly until it is nice and sticky. Season well and set aside until it is completely cool – this could take a good hour. Once it is cool, add two whisked eggs and mix thoroughly.
Put a desert spoon full of rice into the palm of your hand and flatten. Place a knob of stilton in the centre. Add another spoon of rice on top and shape into a sphere making sure it feels secure. Pop onto a plate and repeat until all the rice has been used up. Put the balls into the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Whizz the bread and walnuts up in a food processer. Create a work station of three bowls, one containing flour, one containing the remaining whisked egg, and the final bowl containing the bread and walnut crumb.
Firstly, cover the balls in flour, then egg, then with the bread and walnut crumb. The best way to do this is to have cold hands – so run your hands under a cold tap and wash your hands each time to get rid of any sticky residue.
Heat a high sided pan with oil that is good to frying (vegetable or sunflower oil is perfect). When the oil is hot, plop in the arancini balls. Be really careful not to splash yourself with the hot oil. The arancini should take about 4 minutes to cook and go a lovely brown colour – but this depends on how hot the oil is. I cooked two each at a time, placing the cooked arancini on kitchen towel to soak up the oil.
Eat them hot and enjoy the lovely oozy stilton centre!