Lately I have been a bit of an off-the-cuff type of cook, which means, I rarely cook at all, and if I do, it'll be the most random crap you could imagine. When I was a foodie -- I fully admit I am not so much one now, you can't be a foodie if you don't cook -- I would sometimes make arancini (mozzarella filled risotto balls) with leftover risotto. They would usually turn out ok, or better than ok, but they weren't exactly pretty, and the kitchen would be a complete mess because I wouldn't really think the whole thing through.
But, the other day, my sister was having a BBQ, and I had thought to make arancini for the event. So, for the first time, I actually made risotto for the sole purpose of making arancini.
I decided to make an intensely flavored risotto, so put in lots of mushrooms and some marsala wine. I added loads of parmesan at the end, to make the risotto more compact, for easier forming later on. You see, thinking ahead!!!
Once I had chilled the risotto for a couple of hours in the fridge, I added some shredded mozzarella to the batch, and then I formed mini 'cakes' using a round cookie cutter. I placed the cutter down on some parchment paper, and added the chilled risotto to the make-shift mold spoon by spoon, smushing it down to compact it even more. When I was happy with the amount, I moved on to the next one. Then, I put the cakes, still on the paper, in the freezer for about 20 minutes or so. I wanted to get them hard enough so that I could easily dunk them in egg and then breadcrumbs. The experiment worked! They were so easy to get ready for frying, I was so pleased I was so organized in my cooking for once!
After frying them on both sides in a generous amount of olive oil (the breadcrumbs, by the way, were a combination of italian seasoned crumbs and parmesan cheese -- and panko would be great too!), the risotto cakes were ready. And delicious they were too!