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Delicious risotto balls

Remember our post on the amazing risotto balls (suppli al telefono, aka arancini) at 2AMYS? Well, 2AMYS is pretty far from me and I realized I needed to eat suppli more often. And so do you. Plus, I had heard from various Italians that making the balls was really very simple.

Arancini have been appearing regularly at my house ever since I got into a) making risotto and b) deep-frying. Now, now, don’t run away just because I said deep-frying. If you do it right, meaning you use the right oil at the right temperature, deep-frying is not all that bad for you. If you’re afraid of oil splattering everywhere, get a good deep-fryer like this one from De Longhi. Even if you don’t eat fried foods that often, wouldn’t you rather fry what you do eat yourself?

It turns out that these yummy, impress-your-guest treats are disturbingly easy to make. You can even throw in bits of stale bread or leftover plain rice (add some salt if you do this) to use up other leftovers.

You will need:

3 cups cold risotto (any kind without large chunks of vegetables)
1 cup bread crumbs, divided
1 egg, beaten
20-25 1/4″ cubes of cheddar, mozzarella, or any melting cheese
Marinara sauce for dipping

The cheese goes in

The cheese goes in. Smaller (like 1/4″) cubes work best.

Put 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs in a bowl and set aside. Line a baking sheet with wax paper so you have somewhere to put the balls as you form them. In a medium bowl, use your hands to mix the remaining breadcrumbs and beaten egg into the risotto.

Heat oil to 375 in a deep-fryer or on the stove with a candy thermometer.

Take a golf-ball-sized amount of risotto and put a cube of cheese in the middle. Roll to form a ball, then coat with reserved breadcrumbs. Repeat until you’ve used up all the risotto, placing coated balls on the wax-paper-lined baking sheet.

Arancini ready for frying

Deep-fry the balls, about five at a time, for five minutes per batch. Serve with hot marinara sauce for dipping. This recipe makes about 20 balls, serving 5-6 as an appetizer or 2-3 as a main dish.