Serve up melting risotto balls filled with handcrafted cheddar as a starter or light bite that guests will remember. The garlic dressing is the ideal accompaniment.
1 banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Leaves from a few thyme sprigs
1 tbsp olive oil
400ml vegetable stock
125g risotto rice
70ml white wine or water
Small knob of butter
15g Parmesan, grated
70g–100g Quicke’s Vintage Cheddar, cut into 1cm cubes
30g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
50g panko or fresh breadcrumbs
1 litre vegetable oil
Red amaranth, red cabbage and/or endive, to serve
Confit garlic mayonnaise, to serve
1. For the arancini, sweat the shallot, garlic and thyme in olive oil for 5 minutes. In a separate pan, bring the stock to the boil, then simmer gently. Add the rice to the first pan, stir until slightly translucent, then add the wine. Once that has evaporated, add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the butter and Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Lightly oil a metal tray, spoon on the risotto and flatten with a spatula. Cover with oiled clingfilm, then cool to room temperature.
3. With oiled hands, form about 12 risotto balls, making an indent in each with your finger. Add a cube of Cheddar, then seal with the rice. Lightly coat each ball with flour, dip in egg, then coat with breadcrumbs.
4. In a saucepan, heat the oil to 180ºC/350ºF. Gently drop in 3–4 balls at a time and fry for about 5 minutes, until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.
5. Arrange arancini on a plate, garnish with leaves and serve with confit garlic mayonnaise.
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