If you’ve ever tried to re-heat already cooked risotto you’ll know that it never tastes as good as when you eat it fresh. An exception to this, however, is using leftover risotto to make croquettes! I serve them as a snack or appetizer with anything from marinara sauce to various different flavours of aiolis (one of my favourites is my lemon garlic aioli/dip). These croquettes are also amazing paired with any kind of meat – particularly braised meats.
Any time I make risotto I always make extra so I can use the leftovers to make croquettes a few days later. I LOVE these. They’re one of my most delicious appetizers/sides EVER.
I like to use mushroom risotto but of course any kind of leftover risotto would work! If you are making the risotto just to make the croquettes, ensure you have cooled the risotto completely (at least a few hours) before forming the croquettes or you’ll end up with a big mess.
I like to make the croquettes pretty big, but you could always cut the cheese into cubes instead of sticks and make risotto balls….
2 – 3 eggs (depending on whether they are large or small)
A block of mozzarella cheese (enough for 12 – 14 ‘sticks’)
Vegetable/canola oil for frying
Cut the mozzarella into batons/sticks (about 2 inches long and one inch across).
Put flour in one bowl, beaten eggs, seasoned with salt, into another and panko into a third bowl.
Form an oval with the risotto using your hands and then make a dent in the middle to put the mozzarella stick in.
Now carefully mould the risotto around the cheese so that the cheese is in the middle and none is showing.
Dip the croquettes into flour, then egg wash and lastly, the panko breadcrumbs.
Once they are completely coated in breadcrumbs, heat oil in a large pan until it is hot enough that the croquette ‘sizzles’ when it goes into the pan. NOTE: ensure the oil is hot enough before dropping the croquettes in and do NOT over-crowd the pan or the temperature will drop and the croquettes will become soggy and absorb the oil.
Fry croquettes a few at a time, watching carefully to ensure they don’t burn. Turn over when they are nicely browned. Repeat on all sides.
If the oil starts to smoke or the croquettes are becoming to dark too quickly, simply turn the heat down and wait a minute before adding the next batch.
Once they are browned on all sides, remove from pan and place on paper towel.
Salt them immediately.
Serve with your favourite dip or marinara sauce or alongside your favourite meat! HEAVEN!!
I love a good risotto. Lobster risotto, crab risotto, and my absolute favourite – mushroom risotto. I decided to make lamb loin chops for Father’s Day. It was cooler and raining out and it seemed like the perfect afternoon to make a delicious, creamy mushroom risotto to go with the lamb (I also LOVE risotto with any kind of braised meat, particularly braised lamb shank or beef short ribs!).
Great risotto is all about technique and quality of ingredients. You don’t want to rush it and you want to use the best stock and parmesan cheese you can afford.
I’ve had bad risotto MANY times and it’s so disappointing. If you don’t take the time to do it right and then take it off the heat at the just right time you either end up with slightly hard, chewy pieces of rice OR you end up eating something that tastes like a big pile of mush. The key to a perfect risotto is allowing the starches to be released slowly to ensure you get that amazing creaminess without overcooking it. You want to be able to tell you’re eating rice and not porridge. And of course, seasoning properly and using excellent ingredients is always incredibly important as well.
I like using a good-quality mushroom stock and grana padano for this risotto. When it’s a really special occasion, I use the best mushrooms I can find as well (chanterelle, morel, shiitake, Portobello, oyster, etc – or a combination of any/all). However, this risotto is also delicious using good old button mushrooms is you don’t have access to, or don’t want to pay for, the more expensive kinds.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
1.5 cups Arborio rice (can be found in any grocery store)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced leak (white part only) *use white onion if you don’t have leak
1/4 cup white/Spanish onion – diced
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup white wine
1 Tbsp garlic – minced
1.5 tsp fresh rosemary – minced
1/3 – 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp lemon zest
4 – 4.5 cups mushroom, vegetable or chicken stock
1.5 packed cups mushrooms (button or any kind you like!) – large dice
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup frozen or fresh cooked peas
Bring stock to a boil in a pot and set aside.
In a large pot, add butter, leak, garlic, onion and rosemary and sauté on medium-low heat until onion is translucent. A few minutes. Ensure there is no colour on the onion.
Add arborio rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes more or until rice starts to become translucent around the edges. Again, don’t brown the rice.
Add salt and pepper.
Turn the heat up to high and deglaze with white wine, if using.
Cook out for 1 – 2 minutes or until wine is almost completely absorbed.
Using a ladle, start adding boiling hot stock to arborio rice, ONE CUP AT A TIME.
Allow the rice to absorb the stock almost completely before adding another cup to it.
Ensure you are stirring the rice constantly over medium-high heat as it’s absorbing all the liquid.
When the last of the liquid is almost completely absorbed and risotto is still quite liquidy and creamy, turn heat off. (It will continue cooking and absorbing liquid so you want to turn heat off JUST before it’s ready!)
Add peas (if using), lemon zest and parmesan cheese.
Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top.
Enjoy on it’s own or with your favourite meat or seafood on top and serve with a nice, big glass of wine!