Following our trip to the Paralympics via The Arancini Brothers and an amazing meal at Canteen on Clifton Street we fell in love with a little-known Italian snack known as arancini. You may be thinking, like my housemate: WHO IS THIS AARON CHENEY GUY?! Well, firstly he’s not a guy. And if he was he definitely wouldn’t be called Aaron. Not exotic enough. To put you out of your misery, arancini is effectively deep-fried risotto balls, which probably isn’t the most appealing way of selling it. But trust us, it’s gurrrrrd.
This is our take on the Arancini Brothers wrap we shared in London. It also involves deep fried crispy onions so isn’t the healthiest snack around, but if you don’t make it your staple diet you’ll probably be ok! PS. You can follow the one of the Arancini Brothers on WordPress here.
Makes approx. 15 arancini
200g arborio risotto rice
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1l vegetable stock
glug of white wine
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp basil
pinch salt and pepper
bowl of flour/polenta
1 egg, beaten
1 medium onion in the colour of your choice
1 cup buttermilk (milk + 1 tsp lemon juice)
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp chilli powder
pinch salt and pepper
2-3 chopped chillis
10-15 baby tomatoes
1 apple, thinly sliced
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 clove garlic
few shredded fresh coriander leaves
Melt butter in frying pan, add the rice and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until the rice goes translucent around the edges. Add onions, a glug of wine, stir and let the rice soak up the wine (still on the heat). When it has soaked up all the liquid, add the vegetable stock a little at a time, stirring occasionally. Throw in the herbs, salt and pepper, continue until rice is cooked adding more liquid when necessary. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
While the risotto cools, chop the other onion, mix up the batter then add the chopped onion. Now is probably a good time to mix up your garlic mayo – finely chop the garlic, rip up the coriander and stir into the mayonnaise.
Put the flour and/or polenta in a bowl and beat the egg in a separate bowl. Clump the risotto into balls that fit neatly into your palms, dip them in the egg and roll them in flour so they are completely covered. Heat enough oil in a saucepan to cover the risotto balls and drop them in (use tongs to avoid getting burnt!) a few at a time. Once golden and crispy (approx. 5-7 minutes) remove and dab with kitchen roll to remove excess oil.
Once all the arancini have been fried up, fry the onions, again dabbing with kitchen roll. Stick a little bit of everything in a wrap, add a little chilli jam squash down the arancini to make it easier to fold and enjoy!