Fresh Mozzarella, Petit Pois and Toasted Pistachio Arancini
from Food and Wine December 2009
2 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
pinch saffron threads, crumbled
sea salt and black pepper to taste
3 cups vegetable stock, warmed
3 Tbs parmesan, grated
1/2 Tbs unbleached A.P. flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs milk
4 oz fresh mozzarella, finely diced
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs chopped, salted pistachios
2 Tbs petit pois or baby peas, removed from pods
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying
deep fryer or thermometer
- In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until well coated with butter. Add the white wine and saffron, season with sea salt and black pepper and cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the warm stock 1/2 cup at a time and, stirring constantly between additions, cook until it is absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente, around 25 minutes total. Stir in the grated cheese, transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- Melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan. Add the 1/2 tablespoon of flour and whisk constantly over moderate heat for 1 minute. Add the milk and cook, whisking, until thickened. Add nutmeg and set aside to cool completely. When cooled, add mozzarella, pistachios and peas.
- Line a sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper. Put the eggs, panko and flour for in 3 separate shallow bowls. Using lightly moistened hands, shape the rice mixture into 16 equal balls. Working with one ball at a time, make an indentation in the center with your finger and press the sides to make the hollow larger. Spoon a scant tablespoon of the pistachio filling into the hollow and press the risotto around the filling to enclose it. Transfer the ball to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining risotto and filling. Roll the risotto balls in the flour, tapping off the excess. Then roll them in the egg, and last roll them in the panko.
- Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer or pot to 350°. Fry the arancini, turning occasionally, until golden and heated through, about 6 minutes. Remove to paper towels to dry, then serve hot.