I like my arancini like I like my restaurants.
Simple and nondescript on the outside…
Exciting, delicious, and full of life once you venture inside.
Looking at a plate of arancini, there is no way to prepare yourself for the feeling that ensues once your taste buds get a chance to introduce themselves to the dish. To the untrained eye, each brown crusty creation may look like anything from fried meatballs to just a really giant fried mozzarella ball… but that untrained eye is oh so incorrect. You are actually staring at one of the most spectacular gifts that the Italian nonnas and mamas have ever put on this earth.
In a pictorial recipe I will introduce you to the amazing dish that is …
- Arancini can be composed of any combination of delicious meats, vegetables and cheeses: in this case sautéed onions and prosciutto.
chunks of mozzarella and porcini mushrooms ready to bury themselves within.
cook the arborio with chicken stock and white wine.
once rice, prosciutto, and onion are combined, the cooling process begins.
cooked to perfection, and cooling so that it can be rolled easily!
Layer 1 - homemade breadcrumbs. Layer 2 - riso with prosciutto and onion. with a dollop of mozzarella and porcini shoved in the center.
fry them in small batches to guarantee a uniform golden brown.
a perfect side to a simple garden salad!
See what I mean? A masterpiece. The ooey gooey cheesey center, enveloped in the deliciously combined risotto, covered in the crusty crunch of fresh bread crumbs! Colorful, flavorful, and texture laden!
Simple outside, spectacular inside. Just like I like it.
Tonight I will be at my first restaurant to begin my quest through Philadelphia Magazine’s “50 Best Places to Eat.”
In keeping with that theme, I also wanted to call attention to another one of Philadelphia Magazine’s great features, “The Best of Philly” series.
With a category titled, “Risotto Revamp”, the magazine brings another restaurant onto my radar:
What did they do to revamp risotto??
“Chef Clark Gilbert’s risotto is thick and buttery, layered with a good, stinky gorgonzola, rolled into orbs, fried to a crunch, and served like a trio of golden, crispy Christmas tree ornaments.”
I’m pretty sure that describes the deliciousness of arancini, no?
I anticipate a trip to Chef Gilbert’s dining room at Gemelli for a week night dinner one of these upcoming evenings. I can only imagine that with Philadelphia Magazine’s stamp on my favorite golden goodies, they will light up my eyes and find their way into my heart as all others have.
Stay tuned for my recipe for arancini, being posted on the “recipe” page this weekend.