Even if you are a super healthy little bear, everyone is allowed a treat now and then. I’m a big believer in “everything in moderation, including moderation”.
Oscar Wilde knew a thing or two and he was spot on with this one. With the cold rainy weather we’ve been having recently I’ve been needing a bit of comfort from the inside out. My comforter of choice – melting mozzarella mushroom risotto bites. Don’t you just feel comforted by hearing the name alone? My name is ever so slightly less sophisticated than the Italian name of “Arancini”…story of my life.
These take a little bit of loving to make, but they really are worth it and make an amazing starter for a dinner party as well an ideal weekday supper! I once made 200 of these for a canapé party…if that isn’t a labour of love then I don’t know what is! It’s probably not something I would do again in a hurry, but don’t worry – this recipe only makes 12 delicious bites!
- 400g cooked mushroom risotto - for now I will point you towards Jamie's standard mushroom risotto recipe, but you will only need to use 200g of risotto rice, so half the recipe.
- about ½ x 150g pack mini mozzarella balls
- 100g plain flour
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 130g bread, blitzed in the food processor until they become breadcrumbs, or you can buy them already made
- Vegetable oil
- Chill the risotto in the fridge until it is completely cooled, if the risotto is still even luke warm you will find him a nightmare to hande. A nightmare I tell you!
- Chop any large pieces of mushroom in the risotto.
- Drain the mozzarella balls.
- Roll up your sleeves and wash your hands. Obviously it always important to wash your hands, but here you will also want wet hands as they will help you mould the balls more easily. Scoop a about 1 tablespoon (golf ball size) of risotto with your hand and smoosh it against your palm. Then, press 1 ball of mozzarella into shape it so that the cheese is completely hidden.
- Repeat to make 12 risotto balls.
- Put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs onto 3 separate large plates.
- Roll the risotto balls in the flour, then the eggs and finally in the breadcrumbs.
- You may want to use one hand to do this...it gets a little messy and you can pretty much guarantee you will need to scratch your nose!
- Put on a plate and chill for 30 minutes or overnight. This means they are ideal to serve for guests or for a party as all the prep can be done way in advance.
- When you are ready to eat, fill a medium pan with about 5cm deep of oil, then heat until a breadcrumb you put in there sizzles sexily. Fry the balls for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper.
- Serve hot with my red pepper and goats cheese dip.
- Whip up the dip in seconds, by popping half a jar of roasted red peppers and a handful of basil into a food processor and whizz until completely smooth. Add about 100g goats cheese and give it another whizz. Season with salt and pepper and possibly a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and adjust so that its just right! Pop into a bowl and dunk the risotto balls into it.