Monday, March 15, 2010

the ol' risotto ball n' chain

With a ton of leftover risotto, one could certainly microwave and have it as a side for days to come...


The leftover risotto was brie & mushroom from Valentine's Day.*  To the risotto, I added a healthy dosing of red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper before forming them into balls.  You want the seasonings to be on the bolder/heavier side, to really give them a kick.  Most recipes I've seen say to put a cube of soft, melting cheese, (like mozzarella or muenster,) in the middle.  Since I had already added about 35lbs of brie, I was reluctant to add more... not because I have anything against more cheese.  Quite the opposite; you can never have enough cheese!  But, rather, I didn't want to have a heart attack mid-chew.

...I have every intention of making a less-cheesy risotto JUST so I can make risotto balls with an ooey-gooey-cheesy center.**  And soon.

*No, I did NOT just make risotto balls a full month after making the risotto.  I may push the boundaries of fiid freshness, but a month would be a touch ridiculous!  These were made the weekend after Valentine's Day.  And I am just now posting them.  Feel free to judge me.
**Apparently, I just told the beau TWICE, in less than 24hrs of this intention.***  Apparently, that's repetitive?
***Sometimes, I forget if I merely think about saying something, or if I actually verbalize it.   

All balls were dipped into wisked-eggs and then into bread crumbs.

I decided that I wanted to baked the balls instead of frying; again, for health reasons.  However, apparently I am the only one with this concern?  There was, maybe, one recipe online for baked risotto balls!*  ...NOT ANYMORE!!!  Anyways, it's not that I didn't want to follow a recipe.  Honest!  There, just, were no recipes to follow!

*No, I did not look past the first page of search results.  Who would DO such a thing??!?

Not too shabby, if I don't say so m'self.  And?  OH MY GOD SO GOOD!  Nice and brown on the outside, and delicious on the inside.  My only change would be to play around with better quality breadcrumbs.


To go with, we had leftover steak and a salad, (I put my steak IN the salad!  That badass.)  I may start making risotto, weekly, just so I can have these balls.  And as for the baked vs. fried methods: definitely sticking with baked-balls at home.  The crust gets nice and browned, but stays light.  I'll leave the frying for when I order them at a restaurants.

Baked Risotto Balls
adapted from my head, which means measurements are to be taken lightly
yields 24 balls, serves 4 as a meal (or two, twice!)*

~2c leftover risotto
~1tsp red pepper flakes
~1/2tsp thyme
~1/2tsp rosemary
~1/4tsp garlic powder
2-3 eggs, beaten
~1 1/2c breadcrumbs
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Add red pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, salt & pepper to leftover risotto and mix.  Taste, and adjust accordingly.  Form risotto into golfball-sized balls and set aside.  In two shallow bowls, beat eggs in one and pour bread crumbs into another.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.**

Dunk balls in egg, then roll in breadcrumbs, then place on parchment.  Balls can be placed close together, maybe an inch apart?  They don't spread, and shouldn't roll, so you cool. 

Bake 10-15minutes until brown and crunchy on outside.  You shouldn't have any trouble getting the insides hot, but might as well taste one.  You know, just to be sure. 

Serve alone or with marinara sauce.

*For dinner, we each had 6, and then gobbled the rest up for lunch the next day.  So, I would say 24 serves 4 as a side for dinner, or 8ish as an appetizer.
**Parchment paper is from the gods.  Thank you, gods.

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