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Citrus Arancini

December 8, 2009

This past weekend I turned 30 and it was made a lot easier because all my friends came to celebrate with me.  It also helped that I got


carded on my actual birthday.  To celebrate, I had a cocktail party and made a bunch of new recipes for it, since that’s what I like to do best.  So, you’re going to see a few hors d’oeuvres in the next week, then some leftover Thanksgiving recipes I have yet to post.  Thanks to everyone who came from near and far to come to the party!

This recipe is for arancini, those wonderful little fried risotto balls.  This recipe in particular is adapted from one on from the Decatur, GA restaurant Cakes & Ale.  I modified it a bit because I couldn’t find the cheese they mentioned, but they were still delicious.  Makes about 30- and check out that gorgeous new platter I received as a gift!


2 T butter

2 T olive oil

1 1/2 c arborio rice

1/4 t salt

3/4 c dry white wine

4 1/2 – 5 c low sodium chicken broth

1/2 t ground fennel seeds

zest from 1 orange

zest from 1 lemon

1/2 c grated Parmesan

3 eggs

1/4 c whole milk

3 c Panko

6 c vegetable oil for deep frying


Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.   Add rice, sprinkle with salt, and stir until rice starts to become translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and cook until absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth and simmer, stirring often, until absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue to add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until risotto is creamy and rice is tender, stirring often and allowing broth to be absorbed each time before adding more, about 25 minutes total.

Remove risotto from heat. Mix in ground fennel, zest and grated Parmesan.  Season with pepper and more salt, if desired. Spread risotto out on large rimmed baking sheet and cool completely, about 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.

Beat eggs and milk in medium bowl.  Place panko in another medium bowl. Using wet hands, shape 1 heaping tablespoonful risotto into ball. Dip rice ball into egg mixture, then into crumbs to coat. Place on clean rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining risotto, cheese, and coating. Cover with plastic wrap and chill on sheet at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place large rimmed baking sheet in oven. Pour enough oil into heavy large saucepan to reach depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of pan. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 340°F to 350°F. Add no more than 8 at a time; fry until golden brown and crisp, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 5 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet in oven to keep warm.  Serve immediately.

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