Arancini is the complicated type of dish which I wouldn’t usually attempt, but today I had a whole spare afternoon to myself and fancied a bit of a challenge.
I found quite a simple recipe online and changed a few ingredients, swapping pine nuts for mushrooms and mozzarella for Stilton – mainly because they were the things I had in the fridge but also because I once had blue cheese arancini in a restaurant in Rome and they were delightful, melty in the middle balls of flavour.
Mine turned out really tasty too – perhaps more through luck than technique!
This recipe makes about 8-10 arancini.
1 cup of risotto rice
1 pint of chicken stock
Half a cup of Parmesan, grated
A shop size block of Stilton
2 teaspoons of freshly chopped parsley
4 cups of breadcrumbs
2 big handfuls of chestnut mushrooms, diced
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rice and turn down the heat, letting it simmer for around 20 mins or until all the liquid has been soaked up and the rice is tender.
Next, spread the rice on a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper and leave to cool.
In a bowl, mix together the beaten eggs, Parmesan, a third of the breadcrumbs and the parsley, and set aside.
Heat a chunk of butter in a frying pan and add the mushrooms, frying off until small and soft. Also set aside. Dice the Stilton in to very small chunks and when the mushrooms have cooled, mix in the Stilton to create a gooey mushroomy filling.
Return to the rice and make sure it is fully cool. Then mix it into the egg and Parmesan mixture. Mould the arancini from this mixture, into mini-satsuma sized spheres. Next, dig out a small hole in each ball and fill with as much of the mushroom mixture as you can squish in, sealing over and moulding back into spheres.
Roll each arancini in the remaining breadcrumbs and then place them in the fridge for at a least an hour.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan (I used a wok as it spits less) and then drop the balls carefully into the hot oil, rotating until golden brown. Remove from the oil and leave to rest on kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil.
Serve with ribbons of courgette and spinach fried off in the remaining mushrooms and Stilton mixture.