Sicily, (the little island at the bottom of the boot, in Italy) is the home of Arancini. There you can find Arancini commonly served in bars, as a sort of street-food sized meal, with different fillings. (See our traditional Arancini recipe.) At H&T kitchen today, we are serving them in snack size morsels.
Once you have mastered the original recipe, you can flavour arancini with anything you like, including various meats, peas, bechamel and spinach. They’re also a fabulous way to use up leftover risotto. Whatever you choose to fill them with they’re always crumbed, fried and best served HOT!!
What you will need:
1.5 cups of rice (short rice or arborio prefered)
1 liter of water
30 grams dried Porcini mushrooms
40 grams grated Parmesan cheese
1 brown onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbs thyme (fresh or dried)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
pepper to season
1 cup polenta
1 cup bread or panko crumbs
Oil to deep fry
Tips to know before you start:
- Do not rinse the rice.
- Prepare the rice a couple of hours in advance to allow to cool completely.
- You can use left over cooked rice for this recipe, 4 full cups of rice should equate to the same measurements.
- I prefer to fry the arancini in small batches, using a small saucepan. This makes it easier to keep an eye on each one, ensuring they brown evenly and do not overcook.
- At the crumbing stage, if there is left over egg, do not let it go to waste, re-roll the Arancini with a second coat of egg and breadcrumbs for extra crunch.
How to prepare:
Soak the Porcini mushrooms in water for at least one hour.
Remove the mushrooms from the water. Reserve the Porcini water and transfer into a saucepan. Add 1 tsp of salt and cook the rice in the water as per instructions on the pack. Set aside to cool.
Chop the Porcini mushrooms finely.
In a non stick pan, heat the oil and add the garlic, onions and Porcini mushrooms. Cook until the onion has become transparent. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked rice, eggs, Parmesan cheese, thyme and pepper.
Add the cooked Porcini and mix thoroughly.
On a flat dish combine the polenta and bread crumbs.
In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining two eggs and add 1/4 cup water.
Using your hands, gather a large spoonful of the rice mixture, squeeze gently to compact the rice, then roll into a ball shape. Coat the rice balls in the egg then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used up.
Once the oil it hot, slowly lower the Arancini into the oil one at a time using a spoon. Do not over-crowd the pot. Cook until golden brown on a medium heat. Use a large spoon to remove and place the arancini onto a plate lined with paper towel.