Baked Mushroom Arancini

baked mushroom arancini

On the rare occasion that I eat out at an Italian restaurant, I never can resist ordering arancini, a delightfully cheesy fried rice ball. Recently, I was menu planning, and a craving hit. After the craving, the idea of making baked mushroom arancini. I do confess to having a bit of a weakness for fried savories, for arancini are commonly fried. However, I don't enjoy the mess of frying and baking the balls are a healthier alternative. Inspired by the success of my baked brown rice balls, I made up a pot of mushroom risotto and turned that into arancini.

baked mushroom arancini

The mushrooms add an addictive earthiness to the creamy balls oozing with cheese. There was a fair amount of prep involved, but the result was more than worth it and you can be sure these won't last long, despite the substantial nature of these savory balls of bliss. Because I wanted to serve them as a side instead of an appetizer for the occasion, I served them up with rich tomato braised gigantes bean dish to serve as a portion of the sauce, instead of simply the traditional marinara sauce. I'll be sharing that recipe soon, but in the meantime, you might want to consider serving them with Gigantes simmered in a garlicky tomato sauce. The meal was a smashing success.


Baked Mushroom AranciniBaked Mushroom Arancini
Recipe by
Cuisine: Italian
Published on March 10, 2014

Delicious, creamy and cheesey savory mushroom risotto baked into appetizer-size arancini balls

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Risotto:
  • 1/2 cup dried mushrooms (porcini, shiitake or portobellos)
  • 8 oz (225 g) button mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp cloth and finely chopped
  • juice from 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or salted water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Arancini:
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 4 oz (115 g) mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (about 1/8")
Coating:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • fresh ground black pepper
Instructions:
  • Begin by making the risotto. Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups of hot water for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and reserve the soaking liquid.

  • Toss the fresh mushrooms with the lemon juice.

  • Add the vegetable stock or salted water and reserved mushroom soaking water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.

  • In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms begin to release their juices and brown. Stir in the parsley and transfer the mixture to a small bowl.

  • In the same pan that the mushrooms were cooked in, heat the olive oil and another 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and stir for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion has softened and begins to brown. Add the rice and stir for another few minutes to coat the grains with oil.

  • Now add the soaked dried mushrooms and cooked fresh mushrooms to the pan and stir well to combine. Pour in the white wine, raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid evaporates.

  • Add a ladleful of the simmering stock and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the grains from sticking to the pan, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock and mushroom liquid a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until the liquid is absorbed between each addition. Continue until the rice is al dente — this should take 20 to 30 minutes. Most of the stock and mushroom liquid will be used (add hot water to the stock and mushroom liquid if necessary).

  • Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter along with the Parmesan, season with salt and pepper, and remove from the stove. Let cool to room temperature.

  • Once the rice has cooled, the risotto can be turned into arancini. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the cooled rice to the bowl, along with the Parmesan, parsley, salt, and cayenne if using. Stir well to combine.

  • Preheat an oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with olive oil.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and olive oil for the coating. In another small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and plenty of black pepper.

  • Dampen your hands and shape the mixture into roughly 2-inch balls. Insert a mozzarella cube into the center of the rice ball. Dip each of the balls into the egg and olive oil mixture and then into the bread crumbs to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Turn them over and continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or both sides are golden brown.

  • Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Makes about 18 2-inch arancini

baked mushroom arancini

Other baked savory dishes you may enjoy:
Baked Chickpea and Brown Rice Patties
Spicy Chickpea Kofta
Chickpea Paneer Kofta in a Creamy Cashew Tomato Sauce
Baked Paneer and Chickpea Cutlets

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Audio Accompaniment: Marsen Jules

3 comments:

Deena Kakaya said...

Who can resist a moist and oozing arancini ball, love that yours are baked. X

Joanne said...

A lot of the time, arancini are stuffed with meat so I can't eat them, which is always so sad! I love that these are shroom stuffed instead!

Koby Laffer said...

Great. I love to cook and I have to try this one. Thanks!