Mike and I are back in Eastern Mass this weekend visiting some friends and family for a few days. Of course, reunions in our group typically involve copious amounts of vino. Sometimes you wake up after a night like that and just crave some comfort food to get you through… today was definitely one of those days.
So from a bit of a hangover Crispy Risotto Bites were born.
These are seasoned with Italian flavors, so I would suggest serving them with some marinara on the side. You could change the seasonings around a bit if you want to give it a different flavor spin. Next time I think I’ll try going with a Japanese-style and peanut sauce on the side. The base is really adaptable to suit whatever you might be in the mood for!
Disclaimer: Risotto takes some time to make. It can be a bit labor-intensive, because unlike regular rice you can’t just throw it on the stove and leave it to cook on it’s own. You pretty much have to be stirring it constantly. Other than that, the recipe really isn’t complicated. So turn up some music and get stirring! It will be worth it in the end…
Crispy Risotto Bites
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced small
- 1 cup of mushrooms, diced small
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 cups veggie broth
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of crackers, crumbled (you could probably use regular bread crumbs, too, but crackers make them a bit crispier)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Dash of salt and pepper
About 1/2 cup of vegetable oil for frying (enough to coat the pan by about 1/4 inch)
- In a small saucepan, heat the veggie stock over medium (do not bring it to a boil, you just want it hot). Keep it on the heat while you make the risotto in a separate pan.
- Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over low-medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Add the rice, cook about a minute, stirring.
- Add 1 cup of the hot veggie stock into the rice. Cook, stirring, until nearly all the liquid is absorbed.
- Add another 1 cup of veggie stock, and keep stirring until that liquid is absorbed.
- Add the final cup of veggie stock, and stir until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the parsley, salt, and pepper and stir.
- Put the risotto aside for about 30 minutes until it is cool enough to handle.
- Mix your breading ingredients in a shallow bowl.
- Prepare another shallow bowl with some water.
- Add the vegetable oil to a frying pan and heat over medium (make sure the oil is definitely hot before you begin).
- Wet your hands with a bit of the water so the rice doesn’t stick to your fingers.
- Ball up about 1/4 cup of the risotto and coat with the breading.
- Fry in the oil, turning every so often so that each side becomes golden brown. This should take about 5 minutes.
- When they’re done, lay the bites on a paper towel or paper bag to absorb the excess oil.
- Repeat until all the risotto is used.
- Serve with marinara sauce or sauce of your choice for dipping.
Time saving tip: Make the risotto a day ahead of time and keep it the fridge until ready to use- all you’ll need to do the day of is to fry ‘em up!
Makes about 12 bites.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!