Cheesy Sweet Corn Arancini Is What Appetizer Dreams Are Made Of
Is there anything better than crispy, cheesy fried rice balls? Well, crispy, cheesy fried rice balls that get a sweet hit of fresh summer corn, and are turned up to an 11 with the addition of sharp, buttery Grana Padano cheese—an Italian hard cheese made of partially skimmed cows’ milk that dates back almost a thousand years, when it was created by Benedictine monks in Italy. Aged for a minimum of nine months, Gran Padano is equally great whether set out in chunk-form for people to nibble on during app hour, or melted into this crispy, we-dare-you-to-eat-just-one app. Once you’ve had it, you’ll never go back.
Have you made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 2 hours 50 mins
Olive oil, for greasing baking sheet
- 3 c.
low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp.
medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 c.
arborio or carnaroli rice
- 1/2 c.
dry white wine
Kernels from one ear corn
- 2 c.
finely grated Grana Padano PDO cheese, lightly packed, plus additional for serving
heaping tablespoon lightly chopped thyme leaves
- 3 tbsp.
- 2 tsp.
lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving
large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 c.
- 1 1/2 c.
Vegetable oil, for frying
Flaky sea salt, for serving
- Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
- Make risotto: Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat and keep warm. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. When foaming subsides, add onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté, stirring, until translucent, 5 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary. Add rice and toast, stirring occasionally, until the edges of the grains become translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine, scraping the bottom of pot to deglaze, and simmer until nearly evaporated, 1 minute.
- Add 1 ladle of stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring continuously, until liquid is absorbed, about 4 to 5 minutes. Adjust heat to maintain a brisk simmer and continue adding stock by the ladleful, letting rice absorb all liquid before adding more, until rice is just tender, about 18 to 20 minutes longer. Pot should be nearly dry when a wooden spoon drags along the bottom.
- Add corn, fold to combine, and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese, thyme, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to prepared pan, smoothing into an even layer. Place in refrigerator and let chill until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days in advance. When cool, cover lightly with plastic wrap until ready to fry.
- Make risotto balls: Remove risotto from refrigerator and form into 12 balls, approximately ¼ cup each. Place flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in 3 shallow dishes. Season flour and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. Roll risotto balls in flour, then in egg, and finally in breadcrumbs, being sure to coat thoroughly in each. (This step can be done up to one day in advance.) Keep covered in refrigerator until ready to fry.
- In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, add about 2” of oil. Heat to 325°. Gently lower risotto balls into oil and fry, in batches, until crust is deeply golden and rice is heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and serve, with flaky sea salt, freshly grated cheese, and lemon wedges.