The Cottage Smallholder

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Arancini rolled in crouton crumbs

arancinHaving made the mushroom risotto, I finally read Richard’s arancini recipe properly. I discovered that last time I had missed two vital ingredients: the beaten eggs and bread crumbs. I had merely rolled the balls in flour and attempted to fry them. No wonder they fell apart in the pan. Danny ate a strange mongrel cross that lurked somewhere between arancini, fried risotto and the bin.

Richard had been so enthusiastic about his arancini I just had to try them again. The discovery of beaten egg wasn’t a problem but bread crumbs would mean sacrificing tomorrow’s breakfast toast. So I had a poke about the fridge and discovered yet another airtight box of croutons. A few seconds with a wooden steak hammer and I had herby crouton crumbs. Croutons burn easily, so this evening’s arancini were cooked over a very gentle heat. I discovered that crushed croutons make a great crispy coating for arancini.

It was downhill in a skiddy sort of way from then on.

Our goat’s cheese had more than a flourish of mould. I searched for an alternative (fridge rather than Google) and discovered a fresh tub of Philadelphia cheese. This would do for a test run. Creamy and contained within the ball by the coating of beaten egg, it would melt into the arancini. The Phili cheese was a bit bland. Soft goat’s cheese would have been superb.

I am ashamed to admit that laziness stopped me chopping the bacon fine, and mixing it with the cheese. Unaware of this, Danny put down his fork and tactfully suggested.
“If you chopped the bacon fine and mixed it with the cheese it would be so much better. You would have an explosion of flavour with each mouthful. Some herbs would be good too.”

So next week, I’ll be trying Richard’s arancini again.

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  1. Fiona, I love these!!! I first tried them at Carluccio’s in London and have been hooked ever since. I usually don’t have much leftover rissoto to make them myself, but I did finally make some about a month ago. Really yummy!!! Our local restuarant has them on the menu and they serve theirs with tomato sauce. And a chunk of mozzarella in the center. YUM!!!! Hmmmm Think I just may have to have some rissoto tomorrow for the leftovers.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Amanda,
    I want to make fabulous food with the least effort. Luckily Danny eats everything, including my portion if I am being picky!

    Hi Richard
    Thanks for the tips. I will lookout for Japanese Panko breadcrumbs they sound like an essential larder ingredient.

    Hi Kate,
    These look so pretty and at their best are delicious.

  3. This sounds delicious … I will remember to cut the bacon finely … I love risotto. There’s something rather soothing about stirring.

  4. Richard

    Re the egg thing: I think the requirement for egg in the mix depends on the consistency of the risotto in the first place. By the time mine is cold, it has a nice goo to it, but an egg helps it to hold together better.
    Rolling in beaten egg before the breadcrumbs is essential if you’re going down the crumb route.
    And a tip on breadcrumbs: I try to keep a bag of Japanese Panko breadcrumbs in the cupboard at all times. These are great – dried crumbs that work really well for coating (fish, arancini etc…), every so slightly sweet and they last for ages even once opened. The trick is finding them – Japanese/Korean/Chinese shops often have them.

  5. Amanda

    Delicious, must try making arancini! You are a good. If I’ve been lazy and made something I know could have been better had I made the extra effort I get a litte touchy. Hubby knows there is no tactful way of saying anything. I must go to wife school!

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