Recipe: Applewood Smoked Cheddar Arancini w/Apple Bacon Jam

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I have a catering gig on friday evening and I decided to share this recipe with everyone because it’s the first time I will have made it. I have been a fan of Arancini since the first time I tried it. It’s one of the dishes that comes to mind whenever the word comfort food is uttered. It’s a dish that doesn’t really change much, risotto, cheese, and peas fried into light crispy balls and then dipped in marinara. This recipe takes an italian technique and brings a little bit of an American take on the flavour profile. I hope you enjoy it. This recipe makes 25 Arancini.

The Arancini:

Ingredients:

1.5 cups Arborio Rice(cooked should give you about 3 cups)

White Wine

Salt

Pepper

Chicken Stock (heated)

1 cup grated applewood smoked cheddar cheese.

2 eggs

250 g Italian Bread Crumbs

25-1/2 inch cubes of Mozzarella Cheese

Veggie Oil (For Frying)

Directions:

First and foremost follow this link to my how-to on making Risotto. Use that recipe but substitute the parmigiano reggiano at the end for the applewood smoked cheddar.

Once you’ve made that risotto resist the urge to eat it because this stuff really is amazing. You want to refrigerate the risotto for a few hours to get it to a more pliable texture which will allow you to form it into uniform balls. When the risotto is cold you want to fold in your two eggs this will help bind the arancini. You then want to take your cubed mozzarella and begin to form the risotto/egg mixture around the mozzarella. If the risotto begins to stick to your hands or not stay together refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, wash your hands and keep going. Once the balls are formed you will want to roll them in the bread crumbs until they are well coated. Then put them back in the fridge for 20 minutes to set up again. During this time you want to bring 3-4 inches of oil to heat in a medium sized pot, I like using a taller deep pot to prevent splatter. Heat the vegetable oil at medium/high heat, you want the oil no hotter than 325 degree. When you are ready to fry you want to do one arancini at a time. Because the rice balls are cold they will drop the temperature of the oil and putting too many balls in will ruin the heating process. The balls will take 3 or 4 minutes to cook to a nice golden brown. What is great about these is you can eat them right away or they can be frozen by laying out on a trey in the freezer for a couple hours and then they can be transferred to an air tight container. They can be reheated in a 400 oven in 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

The Jam

Ingredients:

1/2 Onion (Diced)

1 Apple (diced)

2 strips bacon (Julienned)

Cinnamon

All Spice

Maple Syrup

White Wine

Directions:

In a sauce pan on medium heat with some grape seed oil render your bacon, then add your onions and sweat those. Then add your apple, cinnamon and all spice. Sauté all of those together and deglaze when needed with a little white wine. As everything begins to cook down add about a tablespoon of Maple Syrup this should thicken everything as well as add some sweetness. This should top the Arancini.