Crochette di Riso
My mother-in-law would be so proud, she is queen of the frittura. I used to bet my husband on our way to her house for the weekend that she would be frying something for dinner that night. He always owed me a pizza at the end of the weekend because I was more often than correct about my prediction. Neapolitans love fried finger foods, crochette di patate, pasta cresciuta, mozzarella in carrozzo, pizza fritte (potato croquettes, fried pizza dough, mozzarella fried between two pieces of bread and fried pizza), then there are all of the fish that they like to fry, which is usually what awaited us at his mother’s house. Fried anchovies, which are my favorite, and if those weren’t available fried triglie, which are a small red fish that are perfect for frying. Mmmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I have never been one to fry my food, it has always seemed like too much work and too much mess for me to deal with. My mother never fried anything, probably for the same reasons, as well as health reasons, which is the same for me.
I had a lot of risotto leftover from the night before and the best way to reuse it was making little croquettes and frying them. I have used leftover risotto to stuff vegetables before, but this sounded much more appetizing and was something new that I hadn’t made before. They were wonderful and such a great way of recycling a meal. These would be the perfect antipasto for a party, though you may not want your guests to know that they were eating your leftovers!
Crochette di Riso
- 1-2 cups of leftover risotto (any type of risotto will work for this recipe, though I would avoid using a fish-based risotto)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano
- 2 cups of breadcrumbs
- oil for frying, enough to fill the pan to at least an inch
- salt to taste
You want to make sure that the risotto is cold from the fridge, so remove from the fridge and put into the mixing bowl the moment you decide to make them, they will stay together much easier this way.
Mix in the egg, the parmigiano and 1/2 a cup of the breadcrumbs in the risotto until well combined. Spread the rest of the breadcrumbs on a plate. Scoop about 2 tbsp of the risotto mixture into your hand and form a small ball. Roll the rice ball in the breadcrumbs and place on a separate plate. Repeat until you have used all of the risotto mix.
Heat the oil in a frying pan until it sizzles when you drop a breadcrumb in the oil. This indicates that the oil is ready for frying. Place as many rice balls as will comfortably fit in the pan. You want to leave plenty of space between balls to allow them to cook evenly. Don’t crowd them, it will make them harder to turn and they may stick together. When they have evenly browned on all sides, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels, sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the rest of the balls.
Let them sit for a few minutes before serving.