Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Around the World on Wednesday- #2

So, things are slowly settling down here at home. I am ALMOST done with my projects and it seems like they really took over my life. All this week has left me feeling like I need to enjoy something rich and decadent. That's why I decided to cook something Italian inspired for this weeks Around the World Wednesday.

I must admit that I avoid Italian food a lot. I feel like it's over done and I am not a big fan of pasta. Anyone who knows me will vouch for me that I really never like to eat it. Even if I am forced to go out to an Italian restaurant I won't order pasta. At home, I rarely have pasta around and if I do it's because my husband put it in the cart at the grocery store. I am more of a rice girl. How lucky am I that the Italians have perfected the delicous creaminess of risotto? This recipe is so yummy... Even though it's fried, the rice inside stays moist and creamy.

I served these Risotto Balls for a baby shower I catered last year and they were a great hit. They are the perfect make ahead appetizer because you can serve them warm or at room temp. Also, a great way to use up that left over risotto.

Hope you guys eat this up!

Risotto Balls
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 oz fresh button mushrooms, chopped
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 cup uncooked arborio rice
- 28 oz reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

For the Risotto: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic once the butter is melted. Cook until they are tender and there is no liquid in the pan. Add the rice and cook for about 3 minutes until it begins to brown.

In a seperate saucepan, bring the broth to boil and let it simmer. Slowly add 1 cup of the broth to the browned rice and stir constantly. Continue stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Then add an additional 1/2 cup of broth to the rice, still stirring continuously. When the liquid is absorbed add another 1/2 cup of broth. Continue adding the rest of the broth 1/2 cup at a time, continually stirring and allowing the liquid to evaporate in between. This should take about 15 minutes. Once the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed add in the remaining butter, the cheese, parsley, and pepper.

Lighlty grease a sheet pan that can fit into your refrigerator. Pour the risotto onto the sheet pan and make a thin layer. Cover and chill for an hour in the refrigerator.

Once chilled, use a small ice cream/ cookie scoop to shape 1-inch balls out of the risotto. Place the balls on a baking sheet. When all the balls are formed, cover and chill for 2 hours so they will firm up.

Heat the 1 cup of oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Roll the balls in the egg, then bread crumbs to coat, and place in the oil. You should not add more than 5 or 6 balls into the oil at once or the temperature will drop and you will have a soggy mess. It should take only 2 or 3 minutes until they are golden brown and should be turned over. Using a slotted spoon, remove the risotto balls and drain on paper towels. You can place them on a baking sheet in a 200 degrees F oven to keep them warm while you continue cooking the rest of the balls.

These are awesome by themselves, but if your a dipper, then I suggest serving up a small bowl of your favorite marinara.

Here are a few Fun Facts about Italy:
From Life in Italy
-The colors of the Italian flag represent three virtues: hope (green), faith (white), and charity (red).

-The automobile is one of Italy's greatest products. In addition to the Fiat brand, Fiat owns the Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Chrysler brands.

-The ice cream cone is an Italian invention.



  1. Yummy!! These look delicious!!

  2. These risotto balls are phenomenal!

  3. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog...I love this idea of going around the fun! And I love risotto! Yum!

  4. Hi,
    These Risotto Balls look so good, I can almost taste them. They just look perfect! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon. Have a great week end!
    Miz Helen

  5. How fun! I LOVE risotto so I bet these are good! What a fun recipe!

  6. What a great recipe! I would love it if you would link up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: I hope to see you soon!
    ~Macy from Confessions of a SAHM

  7. This recipe looks so good. I would love it if you came over to my party "Cast Party Wednesday" tomorrow and shared some of your recipes with us.
    I hope to see you there!

  8. Being marries to Italian I cook a lot of risotto, but I never made these. I think I will surprise him with some Risotto Balls when he comes home in few weeks.

    Hope you can come and share it at Foodie Wednesday

  9. I love both rice and pasta, so my weight challenges continue to excalate as I read delicious, tempting recipes such as this....I've known of arancini (stuffed rice balls), so this is very similar. Keep up the great recipe posts! I enjoy following you so much! If you can, I'd love to have you stop over and share a recipe post tonight when Fresh Food Friday/Seasonal Saturday starts up again.


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