While attending Cook Street School of Fine Cooking I learned classical French and Italian cuisine before finishing my education in Paris, France and Asti, Italy. After gaining extensive experience in the restaurant industry, I shifted my focus to the non-profit industry, working at Common Threads, managing an after-school program that teaches inner city kids how to cook healthy food from around the world. At this stage in my life I am a stay at home mom to two wild little boys, who I cook for daily! I also volunteer at a women’s shelter, teaching the women and children how to cook healthy, accessible food. I am deeply passionate about teaching people about nutrition and cooking and believe that if you know better, you do better.
This week we asked Courtney to share a seasonal ‘stir’ with us, inspired by romance and upcoming Valentine’s Day! See her culinary creation below…
This arancini de riso, or fried risotto balls recipe is guaranteed to woo that special someone, or your Valentine’s party guests! (especially with its bloody mary accompaniment!) As a classically French and Italian trained chef, to me there is nothing better than a perfectly cooked risotto; rich and creamy, sharp in flavor, so versatile. Better yet, impress a special someone with a sophisticated risotto dish with wild mushrooms and make sure to have plenty of left overs! The next day, the risotto in your fridge will be begging for a new application as a crowd-stopper: arancini. All your friends will wonder when you became such a gourmet cook! This appetizer is the perfect tasty treat, and served with a spicy bloody-mary shooter, it is sure to start any party off right! Enjoy!
Cheesy Arancini with a Bloody Mary Shooter
Arancini Di Riso
1 ½ cups Della® Arborio rice
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, brunoise or finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 oz dry white wine
Kosher salt to taste
3 oz Parmesan, grated
Tasteless oil with a high smoke point such as peanut or canola
½ pint mini Mozzarella balls
¾ cups flour
¾ cups bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat stock in a saucepan over medium high heat until it comes to a simmer. Lower heat and reserve for risotto.
- In a saucier or saucepan over medium heat add garlic and onion and cook for about 2 minutes or until translucent.
- Add Della® rice and toast until the outer shell becomes translucent and the inside is creamy white. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
- Add white wine and cook until it evaporates completely so you aren’t left with a strong wine flavor; 2-3 more minutes.
- Start incorporating the stock slowly, ladle by ladle and increase heat slightly to medium high heat. Add a ladle of stock, and continuously stir into risotto until it is absorbed. This process will release the starch from the Della® Arborio Rice, creating a creamy sauce. Repeat until rice is al dente, or until it has a bite left to it, but not raw in taste. This should take about 25 minutes.
- Stir in salt and Parmesan and let cool, about 30 minutes.
- In a large saucepan heat 3 inches of oil over medium heat to 350°.
- Make the balls into the size of a Ping-Pong ball, or about 1 tablespoon each. Insert a mini mozzarella ball into the middle of each one.
- Set up three shallow bowls; the first with flour, the second with whisked eggs, and the third with breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Place the balls in flour and tap off any excess. Then put in the egg bowl and lastly roll ball in the breadcrumb mixture until fully covered. Place on a sheet tray and repeat until all balls are ready.
- Working in batches, drop rice balls in oil for about 2 minutes, turning as needed, or until golden brown.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the finished arancini to a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let rest for 2 minutes and serve with the bloody mary shooter and enjoy
Bloody Mary Shooter
2 ¾ cups tomato juice
6 oz Vodka
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, such as Cholula
2 tablespoons pickle juice
salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients together, shake over ice and strain liquid into shot glasses.
- Put an arancini on a toothpick and serve on top of shooter. Eat. Shoot. Enjoy!