Continuing with my party theme (what can I say, I love getting together!), these arancini (or little fried tiny rice balls) make take a little while longer to assemble, but I’m here to tell you that they are utterly fantastic.

A few cocktails, some tunes and these popped into your mouth make quite the party! Start this recipe the day before your party so you’ll have time.


Makes 18-20 servings



1. Place chicken stock in a saucepan over medium low heat. Lightly grease an 8×8 pan.

2. Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add shallots, garlic powder, ground thyme, butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook another 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine.

3. Lower heat to medium. Add a ladleful of stock and stir until absorbed. Continue stirring and adding stock, one ladle at a time, until rice becomes soft but retains a little bite (cooking time 15-20 minutes).

4. Remove from heat, gently stir in butter and 1/4 cup parmesan, and season with salt and pepper and pinch of crushed red pepper. Spread onto the prepared 8×8 baking pan and refrigerate 4-6 hours or over night.

5. Once risotto is chilled, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat vegetable oil to 350˚F.

6. Shape a small amount of risotto into a ball, place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat.

7. Place flour and eggs and panko in separate dishes. Lightly coat each ball in flour, shake off excess, then dip into egg and dredge in panko. Set aside, repeat until all balls are coated.

8. Fry in batches, 2-3 minutes until balls are deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels, season with salt and served on cocktail picks.

9. As an optional garnish, fry a handful of basil leaves and scatter on top.

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