The launch party for my new cookbook, 300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes, was a smashing success! Over 150 guests enjoyed my friend Bill Tocantin’s delicious Elixir G Ginger Margaritas and appetizers featured in the book such as Thai Shrimp Cakes with Coconut Mango Sauce, Wild Mushroom Arancini (risotto balls), Shrimp Shu Mei, Lentil Dal, Wild Rice Pancakes with Smoked Salmon & Crème Fraiche, and Korean Beef Lettuce Cups. Special thanks to Corey Scholibo from Repurpose Compostables for supplying the drinking cups made from 100% renewable resources. Republic of Tea graciously provided their elegant Tea of Inquiry for guests to sip throughout the evening.
Guests were marveling all night that you can actually make risotto in a rice cooker (and only stir it three times!) and turn it into super yummy risotto balls which we served on a stick and called Risotto Ball Lollipops.
I signed all of the books using a City of Hope Pink Sharpie in support of their “Ink it Pink” to fight breast cancer campaign.
Whatitdo.com was on hand to cover the event and interview guests. Check it out:
The Risotto Balls were such a big hit that night that I decided to share so you can make them at home. This recipe is slightly adapted from my book, “300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes.”
Wild Mushroom Arancini (Risotto Balls)
Makes 24 balls
Medium or large rice cooker; fuzzy logic or on/off
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 tsp butter, divided
1 onion, ﬁnely chopped
½ cup chopped wild mushrooms
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup white wine
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs, divided
½ cup packed shredded fontina cheese
¾ cup ﬁnely chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp ﬁnely chopped fresh chives
1 large egg yolk
24 1⁄4-inch cubes fontina cheese
2 large eggs 2
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup ﬁnely chopped Spanish onion
2 tsp ﬁnely chopped fresh basil
½ tsp hot pepper ﬂakes
1 can (14 oz) whole tomatoes, with juice
Pinch granulated sugar
1. Risotto Balls: Set the rice cooker for the Quick Cook or Regular cycle. When the bottom of the bowl gets hot, add olive oil and 1 tbsp butter and let butter melt. Sauté onion and mushrooms for about 3 minutes or until softened and translucent.
2. Add rice, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes or until rice is mostly translucent and only a dot of white remains. Stir in wine and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until wine is evaporated. Stir in broth. Close the lid and reset for the
Porridge or Regular cycle. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Stir two
or three times while the rice is cooking.
3. When the timer sounds, check to see if rice is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed. If necessary, continue cooking, checking for doneness every 5 minutes. When the proper consistency is achieved, fold in the remaining butter. Fold in Parmesan and salt. Spread risotto in a large pan and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. Sauce: In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic and onion for about 3 minutes or until onion is softened and translucent. Add basil and hot pepper ﬂakes; sauté for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with juice, breaking up tomatoes with the back of the spoon. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken. Stir in sugar and salt to taste. Cover and remove from heat.
5. Remove risotto from the refrigerator and stir in 1⁄2 cup of the panko, shredded fontina, parsley, chives and egg yolk. Form 1 rounded tablespoon risotto mixture into a 11⁄2-inch ball, then slightly ﬂatten it in your hand. Place a cube of fontina in the middle of the ﬂattened ball and reform into a tight round ball. Repeat with the remaining risotto mixture and fontina cubes.
6. In a shallow bowl, beat eggs until blended. Place the remaining panko in another shallow bowl. Dip risotto balls in egg, then in panko, coating evenly and shaking off excess. Discard any excess egg and panko.
7. In a large, deep skillet, heat 11⁄2 inches of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until a few crumbs of panko turn golden brown in 5 seconds. Working in batches, fry risotto balls for 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp and brown all over, adding oil and adjusting heat as needed between batches. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and let drain. Place lollipop sticks into each risotto ball. Serve warm with tomato sauce.