This recipe is created by Justine Schofield for our partnership with Everyday Gourmet.
Arancini are Sicilian rice balls that are stuffed with gooey mozzarella, crumbed and fried to golden brown perfection. There are different versions of arancini balls such as bolognaise, mushroom or with peas but Justine decides to keep it classic and simple with saffron and bocconcini. These tasty little morsels are great as a starter or as finger food for parties and generally quite easy to eat. Delicious paired with wine, too! Justine uses the Tefal Ingenio stainless steel cookware set with removable handle for this recipe. This stainless steel set is great for those who are a little tight on kitchen space as it is stackable thanks to its removable handle and for those who like to get more out of their cookware as it can go from the hob, to the oven, and to the fridge.
To make the risotto: 1. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Season with salt and pepper then add garlic and cook for a further minute until fragrant. 2. Add the rice and cook, coating with the mixture, for 1-2 minutes until toasted then add the saffron. 3. Heat the stock in a pot until boiling. Add half of the stock and once it is absorbed into the rice, add the rest of the stock. 4. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium and cover. Cooking Time: about 25mins, stirring often. Add a little water if needed. 5. Stir through the parmesan, lemon zest and season to taste. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
To make the arancini balls: 1. Using 1 tablespoon of cooled risotto mixture, form into a ball. Make a dent in the centre with your finger and place a bocconcini ball in the centre. 2. Use wet hands to enclose cheese with risotto mixture and place on the tray. 3. Repeat with remaining risotto and bocconcini. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up.
To deep fry the arancini balls: 1. Place the eggs, flour and panko into three separate bowls. Season each well. 2. Coat each arancini ball in flour then egg then panko and place on a tray. Repeat with remaining balls. 3. Half fill a saucepan with oil and heat to 180°C. In batches deep-fry the arancini for 3-4 minutes until golden then drain on a wire rack set above a tray (this will ensure they stay crisp). 4. Serve warm so that the cheese oozes from the centre. Note, you can keep the arancini warm in the oven set to 100°C, while you are batch cooking the other balls.
Tips: To cool the rice faster spread on to a large flat tray and cover with cling film. This step can be done the day before.