This week’s post pays homage to the ubiquitous leftover “Easter” ham sitting in many refrigerators around the country! I had quite a few people ask me what to do with all their leftovers. Since I’m not the big fan of split pea soup (which you can still make cause this recipe only calls for a cup of ham), I decided a big batch of risotto was in order and then I took it a step further and made one of my favorite things to eat! Arancini! I love these fried rice balls (I first ate them in Italy and thought I had died and went to heaven). These gems of deliciousness hit all the senses, especially with addition of ham and asparagus. Salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy… I added the Béchamel Sauce for a little extra somthin’, somthin’. It kinda seemed appropriate given the Béchamel Sauce is a great accompaniment to ham and asparagus! Not into ham and asparagus? Add what you want to the risotto and follow the same directions. Also, amazing with tomato sauce, Sunday Gravy or pretty much anything. Give Arancini a try. Totally worth it! I promise!
On another note! Make sure that you check out the photos below the recipes! Holy cow! After going to church with my parents and then an unbelievable brunch (complete with oysters that were flown in that morning, total treat in Colorado) we rolled our full bellies back to their home in Evergreen. Some of our best family friends stopped by for a visit, we heard some “rumblings” outside and low and behold a young elk buck stopped by for a snack. No big deal in Evergreen because elk are everywhere but the big deal they haven’t ventured into the immediate yard for years because of my parents beloved dog Truchas (he passed last summer) would bark them out of the yard! The yard has been quiet since July and now the elk are coming back. It’s not a “good” thing because they eat everything and are not afraid of destroying a garden. What’s worse is that the new puppy Perry (50 pounds, 5 months) was more curious than afraid of this enormous animal! He didn’t even bark. Perry is such a gentle loving dog that he may become best friends with the elk. We are hoping he finds his voice soon and start barking at these guys otherwise my Mom will have to give up gardening! We hope not!!! Her gardens are stunning! Enjoy the pics! You don’t ever see a sight like this!
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/2 cup shallots, chopped fine
- 3 -4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup ham, chopped fine
- 1 cup asparagus, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup Parmesan chesse
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- [br][b]For the Arancini[/b][br]
- 1 egg beaten with a little water
- bread crumbs
- oil for frying
- Heat up chicken broth and wine in a separate sauce pan.
- In a large pan heat up olive oil and butter over medium heat.
- Add onions, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper cook until translucent. About 3 minutes.
- Add arborio rice and cook until a “white” dot shows up in the middle of the rice (about 2 minutes).
- Add 1 cup of chicken broth mixture.
- When the liquid is absorbed add another cup.
- Keep doing this until all the liquid is absorbed. It should take about 25 minutes (at high altitude, maybe a little less at sea level).
- When you are down to your last cup add the ham, asparagus and Parmesan cheese.
- When all the liquid is absorbed, remove from the heat and stir in the mozzarella cheese. Transfer to a sheet pan and let cool completely.
- Pour enough oil in a heavy large saucepan to reach the depth of 3 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees.
- Once the risotto is cooled, form into balls (think golf ball to a little bigger) and roll a rice ball into the flour, shake off any excess, then dip into the egg, allowing any excess to drip off. Finish by coating completely in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining balls.
- Deep-fry the balls in batches for 2-3 minutes until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels and season with a little salt.
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs flour
- 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
- pinch of salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 Parmesan cheese
- In a medium size sauce pan melt the butter. Stir the flour in and cook for one minute.
- Add the salt and nutmeg.
- Whisk in the milk. Cook until the sauce becomes thick. Whisking constantly to remove any lumps.
- Add Parmesan cheese.
- Serve warm
Yeah….I need someone to make these at 11pm on a Friday night after a pub run. Not only does it meet the criteria for “buzzed food” (fried and delicious), the rice would help soak up the alcohol in our bellies to help avoid a sluggish Saturday morning. These look awesome!
Chris recently posted…Chimichurri Beef Ribs On The Grill
Did you say “buzzard food”? Ok, ok, that is one of the funniest things that I have ever heard!!! Thanks for making me laugh! The arancini would be perfect for that!
Love Arancini, but the real star of this post in Perry! Too precious (and smart…)!
Thanks Gladys! Perry is a hoot for sure!
These look delicious Heather and something I’ve never eaten. You might want to check the white wine amount in the recipe. Interesting visitors you have to your place.
Larry recently posted…Homemade Beef Stock & Blogger Party Update
Thanks Larry! You should try them! Delicious!