After making some Corn and Pancetta Risotto recently, I had some leftovers. I hated to waste that creamy risotto but the reality is that leftover risotto doesn’t taste the same the next day. After some thought, I decided to try Arancini…aka rice balls. Basically, you take your leftover risotto, bread it, and fry it. Sounds like a plan! I wanted to try something different though. I decided that the only thing that could make these fried balls of rice better would be stuffing them with cheese.
My adventure started with finding the perfect cheese. I wanted creamy but solid enough to hold some shape. I also didn’t want the cheese to overpower the risotto flavors. Fresh mozzarella , it is. Then I wanted to add some additional and interesting flavor. Marinating the mozzarella should work. So, that was the day that Marinated Mozzarella Bites were born. They are great as a fun appetizer but work wonderfully stuffed in the Arancini as well.
Make some risotto this week and save those leftovers. You won’t regret the first meal or the second one either!
Arancini stuffed with Marinated Mozzarella Bites
1 Per rice ball Marinated Mozzarella Bites (Click link for recipe)
1/2 Cup Flour (All Purpose)
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Fill one bowl with flour, another bowl with eggs, and a third bowl with bread crumbs. Season flour with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.
- Using clean hands, create a ball of risotto (size=slightly larger than a golf ball). Push in one marinated mozzarella bite and roll the risotto ball around mozzarella so the cheese is not visible.
- Roll risotto ball in flour and shake off excess flour.
- Roll risotto ball in egg.
- Roll risotto ball in bread crumbs, until evenly coated. Set risotto ball aside until all are completed.
- Fill a deep pan with 3 inches of vegetable oil. Heat until oil sizzles when you add a test piece of rice.
- Add risotto balls in batches of 3-4, not overcrowding pan. Flip the risotto balls after 2-3 minutes, or golden brown. Do not over brown as the risotto balls will continue cooking when you remove them from the oil. Remove after coking on both sides to a paper towel. Immediately season with a pinch salt and pepper.
- Serve hot.