I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love Arancini. Arancini are balls of risotto, most often stuffed with cheese, rolled in crumbs and fried. They are a somewhat guilty pleasure and everyone adores them. I decided I needed to make Arancini that we could enjoy with a meat meal-without cheese. Here is my recipe for Arancini filled with minced mushrooms and shallots. Adding a little nutritional yeast to the mushroom filling brings a “parmesan” like flavor which I enjoy; but you can definitely make this recipe without it.
Making the risotto and the mushroom filling is easy. Figuring out the easiest way to form and stuff the balls is much more difficult. I worked on it awhile before watching several videos on the subject. I then went back to what was easiest for me. Basically, you have to use your hands one way or the other. You can remove a clump of risotto with your hands, form a ball and then make a hole with one finger in the center into which you spoon the mushroom filling. After that, you try to close the ball around the filling. If you need to add more rice, you can just take a bit more from the bowl and close the opening. Alternatively, you can use a mini scoop to remove the risotto from the bowl. While the risotto is in the scoop, make a hole with your finger and fill it with the mushroom mixture. After that, take a little more risotto from the bowl and press it over the top of the scoop. You can then release the ball from the scoop and roll it around a little to be sure the filling is enclosed. I found the scoop method to be the easiest.
You can make the rice balls a few days in advance and keep them covered with plastic wrap until you want to roll them in crumbs and fry them. You can also freeze them and then defrost before frying. What a treat!
Prep time: 90 minutes
By December 20, 2016Published:
- about 30 Arancini
- 5 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons minced shallots about 3 large shallots
- 3 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups Fresh/boxed vegetable broth
- 5 ounces Baby Bella/white Mushrooms trimmed, wiped and minced
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast optional
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
- 1 cup flour
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 2 cups fine bread crumbs
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- 6 cup saucepan a heavier pan cooks the risotto more quickly than a lighter pan
- small skillet or saucepan
- mini scoop optional
- 3 shallow bowls
- deep skillet for frying or electric fryer
- Risotto: Pour four tablespoons olive oil in 6 cup saucepan. Heat over medium flame. Add 1/2 cup minced shallots. Season with two teaspoons sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté shallots until they are translucent. Add rice and stir for two minutes. Add one cup of liquid and stir constantly over low flame until the liquid has cooked away . Repeat this process with remaining two cups of liquid. The rice should become creamy and there should be no liquid remaining in the pot. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Set aside to cool. If you want to speed up the cooling process, you can spread the rice out on a board.
- Filling: Pour remaining tablespoon of oil into smaller saucepan or skillet. Heat over medium flame. Add remaining two tablespoons of shallots and sauté a minute before you add the minced mushrooms. Raise the heat so the mushrooms cook quickly and don't release their juices. Stir in nutritional yeast. Taste. Add salt and pepper. Taste again until you're happy with the flavor. Let this mixture cool.
- Forming Arancini: With your hands or a mini scoop, remove enough rice so that you can make a hole in the center and fill it with about 1/4 teaspoon of the mushroom mixture. Cover the top of the hole with a little more rice. If using a scoop, release the scoop into your hands and squeeze the ball closed. Do the same thing. If you're just using your hands, top the hole with more rice and squeeze it closed with your fingers. When all the Arancini have been formed, you can cover them with plastic wrap and store them in the fridge or freezer until you're ready to fry them.
- To fry: Arrange three shallow bowls next to each other. Fill one with flour, one with beaten eggs and one with bread crumbs. Fill electric fryer with oil or skillet with four inches of oil. Heat oil to 375°F.
- While oil is heating, roll Arancini into flour, then egg, and lastly into bread crumbs. Don't overcrowd either the electric fryer or the skillet. Carefully, place three or four Arancini into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown. Drain and serve hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!