I wanted to make something completely different along side the more traditional risotto recipes so I chose to cook these deep fried risotto balls from Gino D’Acampos Fantastico Cookbook. I have made a lot of recipes out of this book and they’ve all been fantastic but I have to be honest I struggled to motivate myself to cook this one! I’ve had a super busy week (dinner parties and a big exam – which I passed yay!) and when it came around to cooking this recipe I was so tired that I tried to cheat and use a risotto I had cooked for a different recipe and just shape it into a ball! Well I can tell you now that that was a disaster and should not be attempted!! I’m also not a big fan of anything deep fried and this recipe wasn’t appealing to the healthy side of me, but I carried on trying to find time to make this recipe as that’s the whole point of this challenge – make things I’m not used too and trying new techniques!
When I did finally cook this recipe from scratch I could see why it works so well, it contains eggs and cheese and tomato paste and is a very sticky risotto which is perfect for shaping! (you can see the full recipe here and if you like the sound of it then please go buy the book here! It is a good one!)
I have to say that these risotto balls were so moreish and naughty I had to resist scoffing the lot in one go….before lunchtime!! Yes I squeezed this recipe in one morning! The risotto itself didn’t take too long to cook and once it was cooled I was surprised at how easy it was to work with when shaping. I used whole grain bread to make my breadcrumbs so the outside is covered in little poppy seeds but I quite liked this. I also couldn’t bring myself to deep fry them (Sorry Gino!) so I just fried them in about a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and they still came out with a nice crispy outside and a soft gooey inside!
I think the main things to remember with this recipe is to not over cook the rice – they’re really nice with a bit of bite and hold together nicely; to make sure you give them a sufficient amount of time in the fridge once rolled into balls as this helps them keep their shape when frying and also you don’t need to deep fry them!
This is certainly something very different and it’s a recipe I will 100% make again, especially if I’m having a party and want some interesting finger food! These would go down so well, better than some bland shop bought party snacks!
I have to admit that I didn’t make the tomato sauce, I just bought a salsa to go with them as I just didn’t have the time or the energy to sit and make yet another tomato sauce!
What I have learnt about Risotto:
Well I’ve learnt that it can be moulded into a ball and fried…also the addition of other flavours such as tomato really enhances the rice, especially in this recipe, and just brings another level to the dish! I love the idea of risotto being a party finger food, it’s so indulgent in every way and is a super impressive way of changing a classic risotto!
I feel like I’m ready to create my own risotto recipe now – want to do something slightly more traditional than this recipe but just enhance the flavours I know and hopefully come up with some thing lovely and fresh for spring 🙂