100 grams Gorgonzola or another soft blue cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup flour
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups panko crumbs
vegetable oil for frying
Parmesan for grating
Follow the recipe for Mushroom Risotto but cook the rice a little longer than you would for a regular risotto. The finished rice needs to be drier to make the risotto sticky. Spread the rice onto a large tray to cool, then cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Cut the Gorgonzola or blue cheese into 30 small pieces.
Using wet hands, place a heaped tablespoon of risotto in the palm of one hand and flatten it out. Place a piece of cheese in the centre. Mould the risotto around to completely enclose and roll into a ball. You will need to gently squeeze the rice together to get a well compacted ball otherwise it will fall apart when cooking. Place on a tray and repeat with the remaining risotto and cheese.
Put the eggs, flour and panko crumbs in 3 separate bowls. Season the eggs and flour with salt and pepper. Roll the risotto balls in flour, then the egg, letting the excess drip back into the bowl then coat in breadcrumbs. Place on a tray, cover and chill if not cooking immediately.
Heat 4 cm of vegetable oil in a deep, medium-sized saucepan or wok to 170˚C or until a piece of bread turns golden in 30 seconds.
Cook the arancini in batches for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels. Grate over a little Parmesan and keep warm in a low oven until they are all cooked. Makes about 30 large walnut-sized arancini.
Never leave hot oil unattended on the stove. Allow the oil to return to the correct temperature before adding the next batch of arancini.
Panko crumbs: flakey Japanese dried bread crumbs, which create a deliciously crunchy crust. They are readily available from Asian stores and good supermarkets.