MyMenu2

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Risotto & Mozzarella Croquettes

Consisting of starchy rice, earthy mushrooms and stringy mozzarella, these scrumptious and easy to make croquettes are just perfect for using up any excess risotto you may have.

Mushroom Risottoe & Mozzarella Croquettes

I came across risotto balls a number of years ago after watching a baking programme hosted by Rosemary Shrager.  Small amounts of chilled starchy risotto was balled and bread-crumbed before being fried off and served.  I recall making them for a small family buffet we hosted that Christmas;  they went down a storm.  Guests wanted to know how they were made and were pleasantly surprised to learn how easy it was.

Since that day it occurred to me that it would be fabulous to include some nice cheese in their centres.   Perhaps what better cheese to use than an easily sourced mozzarella with its beautifully stretchy and stringy nature as it heats!  Yum!   I decided to use mozzarella pearls in these croquettes as they were the perfect size, but should you struggle to source these you could try using mozzarella chunks cut from the usual balls or even compress a spoonful of the grated cheese to create a small ball.

Mushroom Risottoe & Mozzarella Croquettes

Any flavoured risotto would make a great structure for these croquettes.  We chose our favourite, a simple mixture with earthy mushrooms, no fancy ones this time unlike the pasta and mushroom dish which I cooked en papillotte and shared with you recently.  Thyme was used to add further depth of flavour.  You may consider adding some grated parmesan to the risotto mixture too, but we omitted this as we didn't have any vegetarian parmesan available, plus we also felt that there was arguably enough cheese in the croquettes once they had been prepared. 

These scrumptious croquettes are very straightforward to shape.  A generous amount of chilled risotto is flattened in the hand.  The mozzarella pearl is placed in the centre and the rice is them moulded around the cheese.  The balls are then rolled in flour, dipped in beaten egg before being rolled in breadcrumbs.  The prepared balls were then placed back into the fridge to firm up before being frying.     

Now, I had intended for these savoury bites to be ball shaped; and they were in fact ball shaped once they had been prepared.  However, as soon as I started cooking them (in the frying pan) our old friend serendipity took over and decided to turn them into croquettes!  As it happens this was probably a good thing as it made them easier to cook.  However, should you have a deep fat fryer, unlike Mr E & I,  you should be able to successfully retain the ball shape. 

Mushroom Risottoe & Mozzarella Croquettes

I'm sure many of you may be aware rice can potentially cause food poisoning when it is repeatedly cooked and cooled.  Although it is advisable to eat rice as soon as it has been cooked, risotto balls actually call for the rice to be fully cooled before it is shaped and fried.  The NHS's webpage clearly explains the best way to handle rice should it need to be cooled.  It states to:
  • cool the rice quickly and store it in the fridge, 
  • use it within 1 day, 
  • reheat the rice thoroughly until it is steaming hot,
  • reheat the rice only once.
Mushroom Risottoe & Mozzarella Croquettes

Now, the recipe I am sharing with you below outlines how to make the risotto from scratch, and as a result it yields around 7 or 8 risotto balls.  However, should you have a small amount of risotto left from an evening meal, it is easy to quickly rustle up a couple of these croquettes to enjoy the following lunchtime with a little salad,  and therefore eliminating any food waste.  

These easy mushroom and mozzarella risotto balls croquettes were incredibly flavoursome and delicious, with the starchy rice, earthy mushrooms and stringy mozzarella.   We served ours with a simple green salad one lunchtime and were impressed by how tasty they were.  They will certainly feature on our menu again very soon.



So let's get to it and bake!


Mushroom Risotto & Mozzarella Croquettes     Yum

Mushroom Risottoe & Mozzarella Croquettes
Yield: 7 or 8 Croquettes
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Easy
Freezable: Sorry, untested 
Time: hands on time about 55 - 60 minutes (including cooking the risotto); cooling and chilling time.

You will need:

Large Pan
Small Pan
Wooden Spoon
Medium Sized Bowl
3 Pudding Bowls
Frying Pan / Deep Fat Fryer

Ingredients

Vegetable / Sunflower Oil
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
150g Arborio Rice
2 Vegetable Oxo Cubes
c125 - 150g Chestnut Mushrooms, or your preferred choice, cleaned with a damp cloth and chopped
1 - 2 stems of Thyme, leaves removed
Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese (optional)
7 -8 Mozzarella Pearls
1tbsp (heaped) Plain Flour
1 large Egg, beaten (or 2 if double coating the croquette)
Breadcrumbs
knob of Butter

How to make them:

1. Prepare to make the risotto.  Set a large pan over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable / sunflower oil.  Add the chopped onion and gently fry for a few minutes until softened.   Crumble the oxo cubes into a small pan and add about 1.5 pint of boiling water.  Stir to dissolve the cubes.  Place the pan onto the hob over a very low heat.  Drizzle some vegetable / sunflower oil into a frying pan and heat over medium flame.  Add the prepared mushrooms and thyme leaves to the frying pan.  Cook the mushrooms for a few minutes until softened, moving them around frequently.  Set aside the mushroom and thyme mixture.

2.  Cook the risotto.    Add the risotto rice to the onions and stir with a wooden spoon, allowing the rice to be coated with any remaining oil.  Pour around a quarter of the warm vegetable stock over the rice and stir again.  Reduce the hob temperature to just under medium.  Frequently stir the rice to avoid it from sticking to the base of the pan and to help it become creamier.  As the rice starts to cook it will gradually absorb the stock already introduced to the rice.   When most of the stock has been absorbed add a further ladle full of the vegetable stock and continue stirring.   Continue adding further ladles of stock as the rice cooks.  By the time the risotto rice has fully cooked most of the vegetable stock will have been gradually added to the pan.  Avoid letting the rice become dry. 

3.  Add the flavourings.  After 20 minutes of cooking the risotto rice add the mushrooms and thyme.  Mix.  Continue to add more of the warm stock to the rice.  The rice will take around 25 minutes to cook.  Remove a grain from the pan with a clean spoon and bite it between your front teeth, if there is still a lot of hardness in the rice continue cooking the mixture and test again after a few further minutes of cooking.  If the rice has a very slight bite to it (al dente) it is ready.  The risotto will be creamy but with very little liquid remaining.  Should you feel that there is too much liquid in the pan allow it to evaporate a little more.  Stir in the parmesan if using.

4.   Cool.  Once the rice is ready decant it into a good sized shallow bowl (ie pasta bowl or plate) and set it aside to cool (the wide, shallow bowl will allow the rice to cool much quicker).   Once fully cold, cover and place into the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the risotto to firm up and be easier to shape.

5.  Prepare to shape the balls / croquettes.   Place the plain flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs into three separate pudding bowls.   Prepare the cheese as necessary (cubing a larger mozzarella ball if necessary).  Have a plate to hand for the shaped balls / croquettes.  Remove the cooked, chilled  risotto from the fridge and uncover.

6.  Shape the balls / croquettes.   Remove a dessert spoon quantity of risotto from the bowl and place it in your open hand.  Flatten out the risotto a little.  Place a mozzarella pearl (or similar) into the centre of the flattened risotto.   Mould the rice around the mozzarella, adding a little more risotto if necessary.  Firm the ball gently between both of your cupped hands.

7.  Flour & breadcrumb the balls / croquettes.  Place the shaped ball into the flour and roll it around so that the whole of the surface is covered in flour.  Gently knock off any excess flour.  Dip the floured ball into the beaten egg ensuring that it is fully coated.  Roll the ball in breadcrumbs, again ensuring that it is fully coated.  If you enjoy a crispier shell dip the ball in the egg again (you may need two eggs if preparing the croquettes this way) and then back into the breadcrumbs.  Set the prepared ball / croquette on the plate.

8.  Repeat.  Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all of the risotto mixture has been used.

9.  Chill.  Place the prepared risotto balls into the fridge to firm up for half an hour or so.

10.  Fry.  Add 1 tbsp. of sunflower / vegetable oil to a frying pan along with a generous knob of butter.  Set over a medium heat.  Once the butter has melted and become very warm add the croquettes to the frying pan to cook.  Allow them to become crisp and brown, turning them gently to cook each surface.    Ensure they are fully heated through before serving.  You may need to cook them in more than one batch depending upon the size of your frying pan; if so place the cooked croquettes into a warm oven until they are all cooked and you are ready to serve. 

Enjoy with your favourite salad!











This recipe has been shared with:


MeatFree Mondays hosted by Jaqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes

Cook Once eat Twice hosted by Corina over at Searching for Spice

No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth over at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary 

CookBlogShare Life Loving Linkie Link up your recipe of the week The Mummy Toolbox Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com







  
Share this Post Pin This Share on StumbleUpon Share on Tumblr Share on DigItShare on Redditt Share on Google PlusEmail This

22 comments:

  1. These sound delicious! I love risotto balls but have only made them a couple of times and didn't think to put any mozzarella in the centre. What an inspired idea! Thank you for joining in with #CookOnceEatTwice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) Thank you Corina. It's certainly worth trying especially if you enjoy risotto balls anyway; it's so easy to shape the rice around the mozzarella pearl.
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  2. Looks so delicious. Love risotto! Hungry now hehe! #CookBlogShare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll have to make a little extra risotto next time that's on your menu so you can try these the next day! :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Sarah,
      Angela x

      Delete
  3. I love risotto balls but it's not something I make at home. Yours look delicious. Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Risotto balls are gorgeous aren't they.
      Thanks for popping by Hayley, and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  4. Always wanted to make these and now I can! Yum! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh you definitely should Vicki, they're so yummy!
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  5. Oooh, these look so good! And what a great way to use up leftover risotto. Love the way you've put a little ball of mozzarella in the centre...perfect for maximal cheesy, stringy, gooey yumptiousness. And I think croquettes are way cooler that balls. ;-) Eb x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They certainly are way cooler, balls are so 2015 ;-)
      The mozzarella was fabulous in them and incredibly easy to incorporate.
      Thanks for you kind comments Eb,
      Angela x

      Delete
  6. Arancini's are one of my favourite ever things! I usually overload with tons of parmesan in the risotto though, so go for a ragu centre. Never even considered funking up the rice with things like mushroom, and can taste how great this would work with the mozzarella. I'll give it a try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, they have a name...I never realised or knew what it was! I shall aim to remember that! The ragu centre sounds fabulous, though I guess it would have to be frozen as a ball or mini cube first before being wrapped and then cooked.
      I hope you enjoy them as much as we did Martin,
      Thanks for popping by and enlightening me with their name,
      Angela x

      Delete
  7. These look amazing. I'm the only one that eats mushrooms in the house which is such a pain as I now want to make these! #cookblogshare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Louise :-) You could consider substituting the mushrooms for perhaps tomatoes or even peas.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Louise,
      Angela x

      Delete
  8. I love croquettes but have never made them before. My sister makes great ones. These look amazing and have made me very hungry. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh you have to change that Rebecca, they're so easy to make and taste so good. What does your sister include in her croquettes?
      Thank you for popping by and for your kind comments Rebecca x
      Angela x

      Delete
  9. Mmmm - these look good and I might have to make them with Camembert seeing as tat is our local cheese here in Normandy. #YumTum

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh yeah, Camembert sounds a delicious idea in place of the mozzarella! I'd love to hear how you get on with them,
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  10. This is a fantastic idea - I love that there is a mozzarella centre! the husband would definitely love these, and I hadn't considered using risotto and breadcrumbs! Thanks so much for linking up to #YumTum this week xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh sounds like you'll definitely have to make them for him at some point :-) Do let me know how you get on.
      Thanks for hosting Charlotte,
      Angela x

      Delete
  11. These look lush! Although there's never any left over risotto in our house. That always gets eaten, it's one of our favourites. I'd have to make these from scratch.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sally :-) You could perhaps make an extra portion when you next make risotto and then hold some back for the following day (though given that your household loves risotto so much you may need to be disciplined about saving some for the croquettes).
      Thanks for popping by to comment, and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete

Thank you for spending your time to read my recipe posts. Feel free to leave a comment, I enjoy receiving your feedback. However, due to spam I have activated comment moderation, which simply means that each comment will be read by myself before it is visable on Only Crumbs Remain. I shall publish and respond to your valuable comments as soon as I can. So please don't panic when your comment disappears when you hit the publish button :-)

Flick through our recipes!