I don’t remember having arancini as a kid. My mom tells me that she only ever made them once or twice. I do remember that the few times I did have them, usually as an hors d’oeuvres at an event, they were an absolutely rare and delicious treat. I’ve always wanted to try making them myself. For the longest time I’ve thought about making them with saffron. There is something about how the saffron infuses the risotto that seems just perfect for this dish. Recently, one of our Instagram favorites, The Heirloom Chronicle, posted a picture of her arancini. Weeks later she posted another photo of her arancini, having frozen a portion of the original batch so that she could easily make them again. This taught me two things: 1. I could no longer wait to try my hand at arancini and 2. they’re freezable! I hope you enjoy this recipe and also take the liberty to change around the seasonings and swap out the accent ingredients for ones that you love best.
Don’t forget to check out the post that introduced this recipe, Fall: for food, in love…
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 4 cups of stock (I used chicken)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon saffron (not packed tightly into the spoon)
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup white mushrooms finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup ham, diced small
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 cups vegetable oil (enough to mostly cover rice balls when frying)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup flour for dredging
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- In a large skillet heat olive oil and butter on medium heat. Once the butter and oil are combined and coat the pan, add saffron. Use a wooden spoon to incorporate the saffron into the oil and butter for around 30 seconds.
- Then add the mushrooms and scallions until they become tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Then stir in the rice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remember that the cheese and ham are salty so add additional salt accordingly.
- Cook for a bout a minute and then add the white wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice about a minute or so.
- Next add a ladle of stock and continue to stir the rice. As each ladle of stock gets absorbed, add another stirring constantly until all of the stock is absorbed by the rice. This should take 18 – 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the parmigiano reggiano cheese. Let cool then place in the refrigerator over night (or until completely cold).
- In a large mixing bowl combine the rice, one egg, ham, mozzarella cheese and parsley. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
- Beat two eggs in a shallow bowl. Then put the flour in a shallow bowl or dish and the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl or dish.
- Form a ball about the size of a meatball with the rice mixture then dredge it into the flour lightly (do not over flour or you will taste it once the arancini are done). Then dip the rice ball into the egg and last gently roll it in the bread crumbs until it is coated.
- Next heat the vegetable oil in a fairly deep pot. One by one place the arancini in the hot oil. Turning them so that all sides become golden brown (about a couple minutes). Do them in batches if they do not all fit in one pan. The trick is to be sure they all get enough time in the oil. I put them in a round pot and turn them and remove them in a clockwise manner starting at 12 o:clock so that none are over or under cooked. Remove from the oil and place them on a plate lines with paper towel to absorb excess oil. I also lightly pat the top of them with paper towel (very gently).
- Let them cool to your taste before eating. They are hot!
You might enjoy this food-filled post, Fall: for food, in love…