These fried Sicilian rice balls are popular street food in Italy. Here we’ve spiced things up by using risotto, bacon, and mixed cheeses.
Downloads:Bacon and Roasted-Garlic Arancini
Vegetable oil, for frying
1½ cups panko bread crumbs, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups Bacon and Roasted-Garlic Risotto (see Download for recipe), cooled to room temperature and refrigerated until cold and firm, at least 4 hours
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup grated Gruyère cheese
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
• In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, add oil to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium heat until oil registers 350° on an instant-read thermometer.
• Place 1 cup panko in a medium bowl. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, combine eggs, Bacon and Roasted-Garlic Risotto, Parmesan cheese, Gruyère cheese, and remaining ½ cup panko, stirring well. Roll 2 tablespoons risotto mixture into a 1½-inch ball. Insert 1 cube mozzarella cheese into risotto ball, reshaping ball as needed to cover mozzarella. Repeat with remaining risotto mixture and mozzarella cubes. Roll balls in reserved panko, coating completely.
• Working in batches, add risotto balls to hot oil. Cook until brown, approximately 4 minutes, turning as necessary.
• Using a slotted spoon, transfer balls to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Cool for 2 minutes before serving. Serve hot.