Mushroom truffle arancini balls

When discussing our Italian menu, we knew these had to feature. Creamy, flavoursome, deep fried balls of Italian heaven. A great alternative if you aren’t in the mood for pasta or pizza but still looking for la dolce vita… There’s a couple of steps to these; first the rice prep, then the filling, shaping and coating. PAY ATTENTION ALRIGHT?

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THE RICE

You can prep this up to two days in advance, traditionally arancini was made from leftover risotto rice, which helps it’s stickiness.

  1. Fry the onion and garlic in a dollop of oil for 5 minutes before adding the risotto rice and stirring through.
  2. Add the wine and most of the stock followed by the thyme and nooch. Keep stirring until the rice has puffed up, and is a thick risotto consistency; you will need to keep slowly adding the stock.P1010176
  3. Spoon out onto a large baking tray and flatten to an even level. Whack it in the fridge until you’re ready to prepare your balls..

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MUSHROOM FILLING

  1. Warm some oil on a large frying pan, pop in the mushrooms and onions and cook until they start smelling delicious.
  2. Add the cream and simmer for 5 mins.
  3. Stir in the cornflour until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Add the fresh thyme and your dash of truffle oil and remove from the heat and set aside.

ARANCINI ASSEMBLE!

  1. Take the risotto rice and divide into 24 equal portions.
  2. Take a single portion, removing a small piece (about 2cm²) and set it aside, using your hands mould the remaining into a cup shape with a little hole, perfect for filling with mushrooms.
  3. Take a teaspoon of the filling and pop into the hole in the cup. Careful not to overfill or it will all just ooze out. Using the piece you set aside close up the hole like a little lid and gently combine the two pieces with your fingers to ensure that the risotto rice is robust and it doesn’t allow any liquid to escape.P1010247
  4. Repeat with all of the portions.
  5. Before frying set up your crumbing station. One dish of cornflour, one bowl of unsweetened milk alternative and one dish with a mixture of the nutritional yeast and bread crumbs.
  6. Heat up a small saucepan half filled with vegetable oil.
  7. Dip the risotto balls into the corn flour, then into the milk before rolling them in the cheesy bread crumb mix.
  8. Once all balls are coated begin to fry them for approx 5/6 mins until they are a golden brown and pop them on a plate with kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.
  9. We did two at a time and placed them in a warm oven to  retain the heat until all were cooked and ready to plate up.

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TO SERVE

We used two sauces to serve these beauties; potato puree and rocket pesto.

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FOR THE PURÉE

  1. Blanch the peeled garlic cloves 5 times in boiling water, changing the water in between – this will remove a lot of the heat/ tang from the garlic so you are left with the garlic flavour without overpowering the dish
  2. Sauté the shallots and peeled potatoes in a pan until they begin to soften, before adding the white wine and cook for a while longer until the potatoes are cooked.
  3. Stir in the cream and garlic and leave it to simmer for 5 minutes
  4. Once ready pop it all in a blender and blend until a smooth consistency is formed and serve warm.

FOR THE PESTO

Chuck all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until you have reached the consistency you want, adding more oil to create a runnier pesto.

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TO PLATE

Take a spoon full of the puree and using the old drop and drag trick create a single line across the plate, then using a squeezy bottle add a line of rocket pesto. Place two balls on top of the potato puree and top with a little teaspoon of remaining mushroom mix and a rocket leaf on each, because yano – we fancy.

These went down a truffley treat and we even froze the leftovers for another time. (PS. They taste just as good the second and third time round!) A real crowd pleaser.

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