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!
- 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.