So at the start of June, I brought to you my first attempt at aranchinas made the “extremely lazy girl” way, using left-over rice risotto out of a box. While they tasted fine, they were definitely missing a little something something and so this girl decided to try her hand at homemade risotto. Watching some chef’s videos on the subject (I’m looking at you, Jamie Oliver!) made me feel a little faint – there seemed to be a lot of precise timing, multiple steps, measured ingredients and I’m more of a cook from the heart type person.
Armed with a couple of recipes, I decided to do this the Sweet Mama M way – and what do you know? It worked!
Sweet Mama M Risotto/Aranchini recipe
- Around 250 g arborio rice
- 750 ml salt-reduced Chicken Campbells Real Stock (or any other liquid chicken stock) plus water to preference.
- 2 heaped teaspoons minced garlic (I get mine out of a jar, works just fine)
- 5 biersticks, grated (by far, the most laborious part of the process, would have been perfectly alright finely diced)
- 200g parmesan cheese (or any other cheese, parmesan just being the most lacto-friendly cheese)
If making into aranchinis, you will also need:
- 2 eggs
- wholemeal bread crumbs
- Pop wok or large frying pan on your element and start to warm the pan
- Put a little bit of your preferred cooking oil in the pan and allow to warm for about a minute and then pop your rice in, stirring the rice until it has a glossy coating from the oil. Allow the rice to toast in the pan, turning about every thirty seconds for two minutes.
- Pop in your stock – I had two 375 ml boxes so I popped them both in. It wasn’t quite enough liquid for my liking and I didn’t want an overwhelming chicken flavor so I splashed in additional water until I was happy. Bring to the boil and then turn to a simmer. Give it a stir
- Pop in your two teaspoons of garlic – again, didn’t want an overwhelming garlic flavor but if you did, I imagine it would be good to add this closer to the end. Stir again so it’s evenly distributed.
- Relax for a while, stirring whenever you remember to (around every four minutes or so) and let the liquids reduce a little.
- Add in the biersticks that your husband has kindly grated for you – I love my sous chef! It will make the risotto look awesome for a wee while, like a little sunset! Mix it in!
- Repeat the relaxing for a wee while, stirring when you remember/feel like it until there is only a small proportion of water to rice in the pan.
- Dump in the cheese! It will seem like “Oh my gosh, that is a lot of cheese” but you’ll be amazed how quickly it dissipates as you fold it in.
- Once your risotto has reached that creamy consistency, it’s ready to eat!
At this point, I served up a plate (about a cup and a half of risotto) for us both, topped with some herbed chicken I had going in a frying pan on the side and it was delicious! Little bit of a naughtier option than we would usually have (so much cheese hidden in there) but oh so very tasty. The rest of the risotto cooled for a little while on the stove, then was popped into a bowl and into a fridge, there to “chill out” and wait for prep the following day. It’s that easy! If I’d known how easy it was, I would have started doing my own risotto YEARS ago.
To make your aranchinis:
- Remove your risotto from the fridge and allow to sit on the bench for 15 mins, just to warm up and become a little more pliable.
- While it’s warming, lightly beat a couple of eggs together and pour into a shallow dish. Pour some of your breadcrumbs into a separate dish.
- Get your oven tray ready! That’s where those little suckers are going to be landing! Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celsius.
- Grab some risotto (I’m just going to assume your hands are clean) and squish it together, rolling it in your hands like you used to do with play dough, until you have a nice little ball.
- Roll your ball in the eggy goo and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Place it on the tray. Rinse and repeat til you are done – I ended up with about 30 aranchinis.
- Spray liberally with oil – try and get all surfaces except the base – the base will get the dregs that roll off anyway.
- Tray in oven – cook for 25 mins or until golden brown
- Serve with basil pesto – amazing!
No pics in action this time – by the time I was done, my ladies were starting to arrive and no one wants to be that person, stopping people from chowing down so you can take photos… that I reserve strictly for Papa M because he has to love me anyway!