Risotto experts


(Nick Ord) #1

I set out tonight to make risotto for one. Ended up with enough risotto for tonight and the next three weeks of very special curry fried rice. :-\


(Brian Milne) #2

My OH rolls a ball a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball, pokes her thumb in it, fills it with a mix of chopped ham and Padano, sometimes a bit of spinach, then pinches it closed then rolls it back into a ball. She mixes breadcrumbs with garlic salt, a little salt, some dried parsley and a bit of black pepper. Rather than a batter she beats an egg as one does when coating fish, makes the balls floury, rolls in the egg then in the crumb mixture.

I think there are lots of ways of doing it. She knocks them out at a rate of knots with her method. I guess four a minute, certainly we have four each, thus 16, inside five minutes. In that time I have managed to make two occasionally, managed three once I think.

They are perfect for a slow oven, so in the stove they go then when they are finished heating up, in a wok with the lid on so that they can be whirled around in order to get the crustiness even.


(Teresa Ewart) #3

we always make arancini from leftover risotto... a bit of ham, mozzarella, salami or herbs or nothing.

breadcrumbed and deep fried as Suzanne f explains

then we freeze them in batches of 7 (?!) we make them tiny - like golf balls. so that's 3 for me and 4 for tony

and we just microwave straight from the freezer - brilliant little starter, apero, evening nibble... (i've tried lots of ways to reheat and honest, the micro is best...)

yum. x t


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #4

I always cook surplus rice so that I can make chinese egg fried rice the next day, that's how I was taught by a friend's father.

Nico I would have made arancini using mozzarella and whatever else you have in the fridge (bits of bacon, leftover sausage, parma ham, spinach etc) Stir the mozzarella into the cold risotto rice and check the seasoning. Roll a tablespoonful between wet palms to make a good size ball. Poke a hole in the middle and spoon your filling in, then plug the hole with extra rice. Repeat until all the rice is used up.

Beat together the egg, flour and enough water to make a thick batter (about 175ml), and season. Put the breadcrumbs on to a plate.

Heat the oil in a deep pan, no more than a third full until a breadcrumb sizzles on contact. As it is heating, dip each rice ball into the batter to coat, then into the breadcrumbs, heaping them on top until it is well covered.

Cook in batches until golden brown, making sure the oil comes back up to temperature between batches, and drain on kitchen towel.

Antonio carluccio said these are the sicilian equivalent of a sandwich - so you could take them to lunch too! By now though you have probably had enough rice for a month!


(Brian Milne) #5

Yes, exactly why I freeze it immediately and then put it into the pot to thaw whilst cooking. It is a bit fanatical the way toxins are made so scary, it can happen but not very often. The vast pots that are encrusted with many times cooked rice that are either hot or cold depending on whether it is being reheated or not and then the pot has never been emptied or cleaned in India does not appear to cause many problems. That is sitting around in a climate made for toxins, diseases and all else to thrive. If anything, people end up constipated by eating too much rice and not much else. along with other complaints that come with malnutrition.

As John said, think about China too. When I worked in Viet Nam, in some of the villages they brought out pots of rice that had been buried to ferment a while (couple of months I think) to make their version of fried rice to give us a special meal with water beetles from the polluted Mekong river. Mind you, I never had any problems (apart from the fact I glow in the dark ;-) )

Arancini, of course, mind you if you had my OH, there can be too much of a good thing and the amount of Italian cooking that is made with leftovers and food kept aside would astound some people. So much for what restaurants outside of Italy serve as authentic!


(Wendy Wise) #6

Oooh yes, arancini. You can avoid rice-related lurgies by cooling quickly, don't leave sitting around.


(John Sellers) #7

Make arancini, it's what Italians do, they are superb. As for rice creating toxins and being dangerous, I think half of China and the rest of the world would be ill, just look up how to make Chinese fried rice.


(Wendy Wise) #8

Good for stuffed peppers!


(Andrew Hearne) #9

I cook enough for the family plus a few lunchtime helpings, (about the only dish that's worth the half an hour plus constant stirring and liquid adding imho) - put it in the fridge then microwave as needed. Not what's advised, as others have highlighted, due to the toxins but I've never been ill. Interesting idea of freezing it, I'll try that next time. It always seems better the next day - even stickier, provided you used the right rice, that is! buon appetitio ;-)


(Brian Milne) #10

Frozen Jane, then put in the pot without thawing. Cereulide toxins survive well in normal fridge temperatures and reheating after 24 hours can be nasty, yet in places in S and SE they cook rice, let it cool and keep it in the pot for days and have no problems.I was always reluctant about that but never got ill.


(Jane Williamson) #11

I hope you are careful because rice contains a toxin which can be very harmful if it is left in the fridge for more than a day.


(Brian Milne) #12

We eat at least one risotto a week. I think my OH could not live without. Anyway, we make too much most times, deliberately, so that we can keep some. We find the flavour improves and the saffron really comes into its own if it is left overnight, then we freeze it. When we make more, we add the one from before when the new batch of rice is softening. That is apparently quite normal in Risottoland, at least so I have been told.


(Marie-Claire Gauthier) #13

You can use some of it in a soup, bake a spicy rice cake (just add eggs), add mushrooms to it, add it to a vegetable stew…. the possibilities are (almost) endless!!


(Barbara Deane) #14

I presume that you did not keep the rice for three weeks.

So it went into the freezer in portions?