leftover risotto, cooled overnight
2 or 3 eggs
smoked mozzarella cut into very small cubes
marinara sauce for dipping
Set up a breading station with separate bowls of flour, beaten egg (start with two) and panko.
Take about 2 teaspoons of the cold, cooked risotto into your palm, and press a cubed piece of cheese in the center. Form the rice into a ball, encasing the cheese completely so you can’t see it. (If it’s sticky, try wetting your hands.) Roll the ball first in the flour, then in the eggs (use a fork if you like), and finally in the panko. Place it on a large rimmed sheet pan, and continue with the remaining rice, cheese, and breading ingredients.
To fry: heat vegetable or olive oil to the depth of one inch in a deep frying pan. Affix a thermometer to the side, if you have one, so you can do your best to maintain a temperature of 350 degrees.
Carefully fry 6 to 8 arancini at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan, and turn for 3 or 4 minutes (or less, or more, depending on how big they are) until they’re nicely browned all over. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined platter to drain. Repeat.
Serve immediately, with warm marinara sauce for dipping.
Yield will vary, depending on how much risotto you begin with.