Recipe Of The Day: Saffron Arancini

We're digging the food by executive chef Victor LaPlaca at NYC trattoria and crudo bar Isola. Next up: arancini, the only Italian fried rice recipe you'll ever need.

Arancini are Italian rice balls made by breading and deep-frying portions of risotto. If an Italian restaurant is worth its salt, they'll have a thin, crisp shell on the outside and molten cheese-laden risotto within. These arancini are infused with saffron, for an earthy, aromatic note.

Recipe Of The Day: Saffron Arancini
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to 8
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 cup fontina
  • 1 tablespoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups herbed bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 quart canola oil
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil. Sauté onions with saffron until soft.
  2. Add rice and coat with oil. Deglaze with white wine.
  3. Stir in hot chicken stock one ladle at a time, letting the stock absorb before adding any more (check out our basic risotto technique for more on this). Once you have incorporated all the stock, finish with the two cheeses. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Cool the risotto. Make one-ounce balls, then roll the balls in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat canola oil to 300 F. Fry arancini for 3 minutes. Remove and pat dry with paper towels. Serve immediately.
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