Risotto Cakes with Italian Fontina and Black Truffles
Richard Erickson, chef Bistro-to-Go, Kingston, New York
The inspirations for this recipe are the savory rice balls of Sicily known as arancine, or “little oranges”, due to their golden crust. Traditionally they are filled with meat or cheese and eaten as snacks in bars and cafes. Our version omits the filling and we serve the cakes as an appetizer or on top of an array of roasted, steamed, and grilled seasonal vegetables. This version is especially festive for holiday entertaining – we’re making the small ones for our New Year’s Eve party.
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup each finely diced onion, celery and carrot
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 1/4 cup arborio rice
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup grated Fontina
1 cup grated Caciotta al Tartufo (black truffle cheese)
1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
Vegetable or light olive oil for frying
2. Add the rice, salt and pepper. Stir to coat completely, then begin ladling in the warm stock. Add 1/2 cup at a time stirring and making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. Rice varies so you may need more or less liquid. Unlike a traditional risotto, cook until the rice is soft and creamy all the way through, about 25-30 minutes.
4. Depending on whether you will be making an appetizer or an entree, you will choose a scoop that will give you either a small (2-3 bite morsel) or a dinner size portion. Form into a patty, roll in the bread crumbs and assemble on a cookie sheet, which can be kept refrigerated until ready to cook.