As featured on www.passthesalt.co.za
“The cheddar has a earthy, sweet, nutty flavour about it & with any good mature cheddar, a wonderfully crumbly & slightly crystalised texture to it (I deserve my own cheese column in a national paper with all the impressive cheese phrases I’m throwing around). I required a dish I knew would capture the height of cheese appeal & contrast in varying textures… Arancini. It had to be Arancini.”
Arancini With Healey’s Mature Cheddar
4 tbsp (60ml) olive oil
3 large spring onions, sliced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup of white wine
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
2L hot stock (of your choice)
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 large handfuls of grated Healey’s Mature Cheddar
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup of cake flour
4 eggs, beaten
2-3 cups of Panko bread crumbs
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the spring onions & fry for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the Arborio rice & coat well in the oil, followed by the wine. Stir until all of the wine has evaporated, then add the fresh thyme leaves to the pan. Lower the heat slightly & start to add a ladle of hot stock at ta time, stirring well for a few minutes between each ladle.
(The stirring is what helps the rice release its starch, resulting in a creamy & rather dreamy risotto).
Keep stirring until all of the stock has been used & the rice is plump, creamy & cooked through. (At this stage, the rice should be cooked but still retain a bite). Season the risotto with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper & add the Healey’s Mature Cheddar. Give a final stir, adjust the seasoning & set aside to cool. Once cooled, transfer the rice to a Tupperware container & place in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.
Once the risotto is cold, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Place the flour, eggs & Panko crumbs in separate bowls. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop portions of rice & use your hands to shape the rice into balls. Coat in flour, then egg & finally in the Panko crumbs. Fry in batches for 5-6 minutes, or until golden, crispy & super crunchy. Remove from the oil & drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. SERVE IMMEDIATELY (I’m shouting because I am quite a shouty person & also because they are just too delicious to sit around looking pretty. They really are very pretty & pretty darn delicious while piping hot).
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Published with permission from Leila Saffarian | Pass The Salt
A little bit about Leila Saffarian:
Professional food stylist, making plates of food look that extra bit special. I’m also the consulting Food Editor for Joburg Style Magazine. Former Food & Home Entertaining & Your Family Magazine Food Editor. Food & lifestyle Writer.