Things are getting a little personal today, so if you’re just here for those delicious Oozy Risotto Balls, keep scrolling. I won’t be offended. This recipe is awesome.
I started out writing this post with the usual trite nonsense, then I deleted that because I was already bored with myself. Is the world bored with this whole blogging thing in general? Everyone seems to be getting their need met by 17 year-olds on YouTube or 25 year-olds on InstaGram. Is there even a point to having my 40 year-old voice here on this static page on your screen? This question sounds like self-pity, but that’s really not what I’m getting at. I promise
I’ve been embarking on something that’s had me thinking a lot about what I really want. Most of the time the answer to that question is just a cheeseburger, but I’ve been trying to take the question a little more seriously. In many ways, I’m content. I’m in a relationship that is beautifully imperfect, but I never doubt it. While we’re far from rich, I’m more financially stable than I’ve ever been, though sometimes my gut forgets and still tells me to panic.
My job is fine. I’m good at it. It’s pretty easy. It’s insanely stressful sometimes, but I’ve even gotten good at managing that. I guess there are a few benefits to being 40. But when I close my eyes and imagine my perfect life, I’m not daydreaming about sitting behind a desk. The kids I work with are amazing, and I’m glad I get to help them, but when I picture myself as truly happy, I’m baking cookies and cake and, well, whatever I want. People are drinking tea and coffee and reading books, some of which they’ve bought from the books I sell. Maybe we host events with local artists, and it’s a true community space. Everyone is smiling because you can’t be unhappy while you’re eating brownies. There’s a cat, and it’s cozy, and it’s filled with love. Maybe I want to bring my food into the real world. But that’s a dream. Can it be real?
While we’re thinking out loud about our heart’s desire, we should probably share some Oozy Risotto Balls. Remember that White Risotto that we made last week, and how I told you we’d transform it into something awesome? This is that. We turned leftover risotto into crispy croquettes stuffed with oozy fresh mozzarella. These are the perfect mixture of crunchy, chewy, and creamy. You can dip them in marinara if you want, but I think they’re great as they are, fresh from the fryer and just cooled down enough to avoid burning your fingers off.
These are actually relatively easy to make as well. It’s a bit of a sticky mess forming the actual balls, then we get messy again using a standard three-step breading technique with flour, egg, and seasoned breadcrumbs, but it’s all totally worth it. These fry up perfectly is seven minutes. Let them cool a big, then dig in while the cheese in the center is still gooey.
Things are stirring in our souls, friends, and we’re open to it. We’re asking questions and listening for answers. And of course, eating well along the way. It’s gonna be awesome.
Oozy Risotto Balls
1/2 White Risotto recipe
200 grams plain flour
200 grams breadcrumbs
Dash of nutmeg
125 grams fresh mozarella
50 grams grated Parmesan cheese
Neutral oil for frying
- Before you get yourself too sticky, set up your assembly line. Put your flour in one shallow dish, beat your eggs in another shallow dish, and add your breadcrumbs along with the nutmeg and any other seasonings you fancy in yet a third dish. Cut your ball of mozzarella into 12 pieces. Put your oil in the pot to start to heat up slowly while you work. We’ll need the oil heated to 160C.
- Now that everything’s all set up, get your leftover risotto out of the fridge, and start by stirring your Parmesan cheese through it. Wet your hands slightly to avoid them getting too sticky, and start making your balls. Scoop out about a golf ball size scoop of risotto, flatten it out a bit, and place a chunk of mozzarella in the center, then form the rice into a ball around it, making sure the cheese is completely sealed inside. Repeat this until you’ve used up all your risotto. You’ll hopefully have somewhere close to 12 pieces.
- Next we’ll get them coated in the breadcrumbs. To avoid a huge mess, try using one hand for the dry ingredients and another hand for the eggs. Roll the ball in the flour and shake off any excess, then coat it in the egg, again letting any excess drip away before finally giving it a good coating in the seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Finally we fry them up. Add about four or five balls to your pot, depending on the size. You don’t want to overcrowd your pan. Fry each batch for seven minutes, giving them a bit of a roll from time to time to make sure all sides are browned evenly. Remove the crispy balls to a rack over a baking try to let any excess oil drip away so you get maximum crispiness, and repeat this until you’ve got them all cooked. Keep an eye on your oil temperature all the while to make sure you’re staying as close to 160C as you can.
- Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce, a squeeze of lemon, or nothing at all. Enjoy. How could you not?
Recipe from Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver.