"Leftover risotto?" you ask, "why would I ever have that?"
For starters, risotto is an easy last minute dinner that is limitlessly flexible and requires little thought. It is the perfect solution to an overabundance of leeks, freezer space that needs to be reclaimed from bags of frozen shrimp, or a drawer full of green things preventing the fridge from closing.
All sorts of vegetables can be simply tossed into the pot as it cooks: asparagus, chard, spinach, squash. Seafood cooks up especially well with this way, too. Chicken and steak are also good companions, cooked separately and served on top.
And did I mention, risotto has the smell of fresh butterfly milk? Well, it does.
In addition, preparing a delicious risotto requires no timer and no exact amount of anything. All that aside, I now know that the extra risotto left after dinner can be fried up into little balls, with mozzarella in the middle. Just right for a fancy weekend snack accompanied by a small glass of dry white wine, like the Canal House ladies suggest. Or dinner for the kids: even mine like these croquettes enough to eat them with some sausage and an obligatory spoonful of greens on the side.
Delicious, fun to eat, and fun to make if you have a fry-Daddy husband or wife to help out. You'll need a frying or candying thermometer.
1 cup cold risotto (leftover, please. See the recipe for easy risotto below)
1/4 cup parmaigian-reggiano
10 or so 1/2 inch cubes of mozzarella
1/3 cup flour
1 cup panko or fine dried bread crumbs
This recipe doubles easily. Make it with one cup of risotto the first time, then adjust as needed in the future: there is nothing sadder than fried goods getting soggy in the fridge.
Mix together the risotto, 1 egg and parm in a bowl. Wet your hands with cold water, then put about 1 Tablespoon of the risotto mixture in your palm, flatten it and put a mozzarella cube in the middle. Form the rice into a ball around the cheese, and set it on a tray.
Put the flour, remaining egg, and panko in separate bowls. Beat the eggs with a little water. Roll each ball in flour, then in egg, then in panko. Arrange them on the tray again. Now you can refrigerate them until you are ready to fry.
Fill a heavy, large skillet with 2 inches of oil (yes, I mean 2 inches deep). Heat over medium-high heat to a temperature of 350˚. Be careful, because as my Mother says, "You could burn the house down". Fry the Supplì in the oil, until golden brown all the way around. Let them cool on a wire rack, salt and enjoy!
2-4 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion, or some leeks, or some shallots, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice (or double the recipe if you have a family of 4 and want leftovers)
4 or so cups of stock (I like chicken, you can water it down or sub in whatever)
1/2 cup or so parmesan-reggiano
Bring the stock to a gentle simmer in a small pot on the stove, reduce it to low and keep it hot.
Melt the butter in a second, slightly larger pan. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and soften on medium-low heat, for about 8 minutes. Add the rice, stir it until it is well coated with the butter, and then add a ladle full of the hot stock. Stir, then wait until the rice pot is close to dry, and add another ladle full.
Continue like this until the rice is as soft as you like - usually twenty minutes or so. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon onto a plate, sprinkle with parmesan and top with meat, fish, or whatever your main course is, if there is one. Serve with a salad or sautéed greens on the side.