Friday, October 30, 2015

Arancini Patties

I'm learning this new thing called dinner for one. It's an interesting way of cooking. Sometimes it's worthwhile or necessary to make more than one portion of something, which is great when it reheats well and I want to eat it for lunch or dinner the next day.

But sometimes one portion is exactly enough.

I had a batch of risotto that I made (adapted from the book Le French Oven, which I highly recommend) and I didn't mind having leftovers ... but then I started thinking about arancini. They're fried balls of risotto, usually stuffed with cheese. A local restaurant stuffs them with chili.

I had the leftover risotto and started looking at arancini recipes and finally decided I didn't want to deal with the fuss of making balls and stuffing them. The risotto I made had a lot of cheese in it to begin with. And I didn't have anything else on hand that I thought would be good for stuffing.

AND! The risotto had slices of mushrooms in it. Trying to work around those to make balls didn't sound like it would be fun. Another good reason for not making traditional arancini was that I didn't want to make a big batch of them. I wanted just enough for one meal, and I figured that a flat patty would be easier to fry than a few round balls.

In the end, it was a good idea, and I'll probably do this again. If I really wanted to stuff an arancini, I'd make a round ball. But otherwise, I might just do patties.

Arancini Patties

That's a salad plate - it's not a giant patty!
Risotto, cooled, enough for 1 serving
Bread crumbs
Oil, for frying
Tomato sauce, for serving, if desired

Form the chilled risotto into a patty. Coat with bread crumbs. I used panko, but I'm sure that regular bread crumbs would be just fine.

Add enough oil to a small saute pan so it's about 1/8 inch deep covering the bottom of the pan.

A little more or less oil is fine, you just want to make sure you're frying the patties in a layer of oil and not in a dry pan.

And yes, a small pan is better if you're making one serving, because you won't need as much oil.

When the oil is hot, gently place the prepared patty in the pan. You should hear it sizzle and bubble. You can check the heat by dipping an edge of the patty in the oil, if you're not sure.

Cook until the patty is browned on one side, flip and cook on the second side until it is browned.

Remove the patty from the pan and let it drain for a few seconds on a paper towel to remove any excess grease.

Serve hot.