When you have 2 lb. of leftover risotto, you make arancini. If you're not familiar with arancini, it's risotto balls, stuffed with cheese, and then deep fried to perfection. Need I say more?
I usually pan fry my arancini, but I got a sweet air fryer so I put it to the test.
Full Culture Cravings video here:
Risotto (see recipe here)
6ish oz. fresh mozzarella (or other oozy cheese)
2ish cups (125 g) bread crumbs or panko
1/2ish cup (125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1-2ish tbsp dried Italian seasoning (or a blend of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and onion powder) - Optional
Salt + pepper to taste
2 large eggs
I say "ish" because you can cut down on the amount of bread crumb and egg mixture you have depending on the amount of risotto you have available. This is for a full batch of risotto, but I tend to only have half a batch left after I'm done stuffing my face with the fresh stuff. (You should never go through the process of making risotto and not eat it hot out the pot. That's a sin. )
If you are making fresh risotto specifically for arancini, make sure you completely cool the rice before you handle it. The fastest way to do this is to spread the risotto out in an even layer on a baking sheet and let it sit until it's cooled.
In order to get nice, crispy food in an air fryer, there needs to be some form of oil in the recipe. Which is why I've added olive oil to the otherwise dry bread crumb mixture. It works out perfectly.
1. Cut mozzarella (or other oozy cheese) into bite size pieces.
2. Grab a small ball of leftover risotto and flatten it into a pancake/latke with your hands. Take a cube of mozzarella and press it into the middle. Then use your hands to form the risotto into a ball around the cheese. Set aside. Repeat until you've reached your desired amount.
3. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs. In another shallow bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, olive oil, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Seasoning the bread crumbs is completely optional. You can always season the arancini when you take them out of the fryer. Or skip it altogether and serve them with a marinara or dipping sauce that's loaded in flavor.
4. Grab an arancino and coat it in the egg mixture. Then transfer it to the bread crumb bowl and cover it evenly. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining arancini.
5. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Most fryers only take a few minutes.
6. Working in batches, place the arancini in the air fryer in a single layer and cook until golden brown and crispy - about 10 minutes. Shake the basket halfway through to help evenly fry the arancini.
7. Put in belly.