Also called Arancini di Riso these fried rice balls made with Arborio, a short, fat grained Italian rice that is chewy and doesn't breakdown easily. It's available at most specialty stores and online. Arancini are delicious as a snack or appetizer. You can omit the cheese in the center if you prefer.
Unflavored Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
2 large eggs, whisked
2 cups Mushroom Risotto cooled
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cups good quality and fresh dried breadcrumbs
125 grams mozzarella, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
For Mushroom Risotto
8 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup dried exotic mushrooms like Porcini or mixed mushrooms in a heat proof bowl
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
100 grams white mushrooms, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped oregano leaves
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
Sprigs of parsley to garnish serving plate (optional)
Boil broth and oregano in a large saucepan. When broth reaches a boil remove one cup of broth and pour over the dried mushrooms. Keep the remaining broth on a very low flame.
When mushrooms soften chop them up and reserve along with any extra liquid.
Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium flame. Add olive oil and butter. Saute onions until tender, about 8-9 minutes. Add white mushrooms and garlic. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and dry, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the rice and saute for a few minutes. Add the wine. Cook 2 minutes and add dried chopped mushrooms and their liquid. Then add 1 cup of hot oregano broth, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Continue adding more broth using a ladle and stirring often, about 20 minutes until creamy. Switch off flame. Cool 20 minutes. Add parmesan and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cool and then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Remove risotto from the refrigerator, add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and mix well. Wet your palms, then roll risotto into small 1.25 balls. Set on a tray and keep covered.
Take each ball and place in the center of your palm. Flatten gently and place a piece of mozzarella in the center. Then close the ball again so the cheese is in the center and fully covered. Return balls to the tray and keep covered.
Pour 3 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy large saucepan and heat on medium flame.
Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a medium bowl and the beaten eggs in another. Roll the balls egg and then in breadcrumbs. Repeat twice so balls are fully coated.
Fry one ball first to ensure oil is hot enough. When golden brown drain and taste test to ensure proper seasoning.
Fry remaining rice balls 4-6 at a time until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rice balls to paper towels and allow them to drain. Let rest 2 minutes. Serve hot with parsley garnish.