February 25, 2007

And Those Are Just the Leftovers!

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Rachel of Rachel’s Bite is hosting the second round of Leftover Tuesdays, which was started by David of Cooking Chat. For the first round I had wanted to figure out something to make with leftover risotto, because it’s really only good right after it’s made. The problem was, I ended up not having any leftovers and made quesadillas with leftover chicken instead. As a bonus though, I received many suggestions about what to do with risotto leftovers, should I ever have any in the future. A couple people suggested making arancini, (meaning little oranges) with my leftovers and that sounded like reason enough to make risotto. I had previously never heard of arancini, (I live such a sheltered life) but it sounded delicious. Here’s what you do: Take a chunk of your leftover risotto, make a patty, place a piece of buffalo mozzarella in the middle and then cover it up and roll your patty into a ball. Then take your ball and roll it in flour, dip it in egg, roll it in bread crumbs and deep fry it. Everything sounded so easy until I got to the deep frying part. Hot oil is just as scary to me as hot sugar. I don’t use it because I’m never very confident with it. I love what is produced when things are dropped in hot oil, (mmm deep fried…) but it scares me so I let other people do it. One day I’ll get over this, but it wasn’t going to be for making my arancini. Instead, I heated a little bit of oil in a pan and lightly pan fried my risotto balls with no scary splatter or crackling, popping hot oil sounds. Next time you make risotto, make sure you save some to make these little balls of goodness. The cheese in the middle gets warm and gooey and the bread crumbs on the outside makes a nice crispy crust, it’s wonderful. Leftovers should always be this good.


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On a completely unrelated topic, my meat grinder and sausage stuffer attachments for my Kitchenaid arrived this week. I had already bookmarked the sage and ginger sausage from Charcuterie and I decided to add cranberries to the mix too. Allow me to digress for a second- I had received a comment about my bacon post saying that I should be giving more credit to Brian Polcyn as he provides the recipes in Charcuterie. Credit is definitely due to Brian Polcyn as well but the reason I have been praising Michael Ruhlman is that I've read 4 of his other books before getting Charcuterie and if I hadn't, I probably never would have picked up a book like that. I really enjoy Ruhlman's writing style and it was his books that encouraged me to start making things like bacon, and now, sausage! As I started gathering ingredients, (at about 9pm, why start things early?) I realized I didn’t have any sage. Or did I?... There was sage planted in the garden this past summer and I was pretty sure it was still there, but the garden was covered in over three feet of snow, and it was dark out. That’s only a problem if you’re a wuss. I’d like to believe that I’m not, (please ignore the fact that I’m scared of hot oil and sugar). So I pulled on some snowpants and really big boots and armed myself with a flashlight and a shovel. Sausage waits for nothing! Off I trudged to the garden and then started digging in the spot that I thought the sage should be. It took a little searching, but I found it. The snow was up to my thighs and the wind was howling but I stayed out there until I gathered enough sage to flavour my sausage. It was worth it. There are no pictures to show for that one yet, but they’re coming. I enjoyed sausage on a bun with Mom’s relish for lunch today and I can definitely say it’s one of the best sausages I’ve ever eaten. Go buy Charcuterie, it’s amazing!


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20 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I love the risotto balls!!
I really wish you would quit going on about the Charcuterie because I'm getting so close to going over the edge and buying a copy.
I see nothing abnormal about the hunt for sage under 3 feet of snow for a food blogger! He,he!

Peabody said...

I've only every had risotto cakes but I'm sure these are similar. They were tasty.

Rachel said...

I love them! I always have to make the risotto just for these, we never seem to have any leftover!

Marce said...

Those sound totally delicious, starting from the fact that Italian buffalo cheese is good with pretty much anything (I´m especially thinking of you, Capresse salad). But a risotto ball breaded and with this amazing cheese in the middle... oh winter, hurry on up!

Helene said...

I hope nobody was looking...I just licked the screen...that second picture...carbs and cheese together...I am a happy girl...and a cheap date but let's not tell Ivonne that!

Lydia said...

I love arancini. One thing that works best for me is to have the leftover risotto cold when I form it into balls and fry it.

joey said...

Your risotto balls look great! I had these when I went to Bologna some years ago and loved them :)

I love your hunt for sage adventure! You go girl! :)

Now you've got me curious for Charcuterie...I have read Reach of a Chef and really enjoyed it :)

lee lin said...

O my god. You don't only cook but you take great pictures too. I'm so totally ashamed of what I made and baked in the last 10 years :( Excuse me while I go hide in a box.

Freya said...

Ohh, these looks so good with their crisp outer and creamy inner! Absolute heaven!

Annie said...

Those look fabulous! I love creating new dishes with leftovers!

Great photography!

Kate said...

I am glad to see something like this turn out from saute-ing, not deep frying because I vowed to never make anything deep fried at home. Ever.

The smell, the mess, the calories (oh, but the taste.....mmmm) and many items that I have tried to either oven-fry or saute have just been....well....wrong.

Those look amazing.

K & S said...

mmm, we have these in Japan and they are called "rice croquette", topped with tomato sauce and cheese, yum!

Homesick Texan said...

Ha! I guess I've also lead a sheltered life since I've never heard the term "arancini." But whatever you call these risotto balls, they look delish!

Gattina said...

You really amasing, home-made sausages!!!
Your risotto balls (pretty!) look exactly the same as the ones I ate at a food take-out in Rome, except mine was tomato-y arancini, probably the chef ate tomato risotto the day before...

Jerry said...

I requested that my local library add "Charcuterie" to its collection and believe it or not it was ordered soon after my recommendation!! I am first on the hold list so I will get a chance to "preview" before deciding to buy it...

veron said...

Thos risotto balls look delicious!
Brilynn , I just got over my fear of hot oil...and am working on my fear of hot sugar.
I love charcuterie, I've made the confit from them. I'm thinking of making sausage too.

Kristen said...

You are so awesome! Looks great.

teb said...

Ooooh! That's brilliant. I've been wanting to make them but terrified of the deep fryer too. Now that I know it works... *evil laughter*

rachel said...

Risotto . . . with melted cheese inside . . . and fried? YUM!!!! Those look so good. I've never head of Arancini before.

By the way, the Leftover Tuesdays Roundup is now posted. Thanks for participating!

tigerfish said...

Hi, found you in Leftover Tuesdays. Have not tried risotto balls before. But this sure looks delish! Soft and creamy inside with a light crust outside.