Risotto Cakes

July 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: As promised, here’s a post about something to do with leftover risotto (and, I think, a good reason to make sure you always have leftover risotto). My introduction to risotto cakes came years ago, sadly before I even knew what risotto was. My family used to get them from the deli/to-go section of Whole Foods Market, and all I knew was they were fried balls of rice, cheese and zucchini. And they were awesome. Especially, oddly enough, with teriyaki sauce—really, try it.

Despite making risotto many times, I’ve never attempted risotto cakes before. It is really easy, but let me walk you through and give some tips along the way.

fried risotto, how much better could it possibly be?

These came out well, and I experimented with a bunch of different things for breading:  using egg, not using egg, using panko, using crushed oats. What I discovered is that drier, sticker risotto will likely hold together better, and might not need much extra egg coating. But a real soft, creamy risotto will need to be dipped in egg just to form a coating that keeps it together while frying—my risotto was like this. The ones I didn’t dip in egg did maintain their integrity, but it was sometimes a close run thing. I found panko and crushed oats worked equally well, but of course the panko is lighter and fluffier while the oats are a bit more hardy. A bit more healthy too I should think, so bread to your personal preference.

The following ingredients were guided by this recipe, which starts with about 1 cup of raw rice to make the risotto. You may have to adjust these ingredients to the amount of leftovers you have, but I don’t think these cakes are particularly picky.

1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs or crushed oats (blended with a blender/food processor until small)
1/3 c. ricotta cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 lg. egg yolk
2 lg. eggs
other fillings (like herbs) of your choice
canola oil (to fry in)

Start by stirring in 1/2 cup of the panko/oats and some more cheese. Who doesn’t want more cheese? So add the ricotta and Parmesan and mix together. Then add the egg yolk, break it up and stir it in well. Add other herbs/seasonings of your choice at this point. I just added some extra black pepper.

add more cheese!

Then set up your breading station. Add the remaining 1 cup of the breading mixture to a bowl or dish (flatter might be easier). Crack two eggs and blend in a separate, shallow bowl. Now you are ready to make the cakes. Pour canola oil into a large skillet so the bottom is lightly covered, and heat on medium-high. Form the risotto in balls or discs or patties or whatever pleases you. I would suggest something flat if you intend to fry them in a pan. You could do balls if you have a nifty fryer, want to use lots of oil in a deep pot, or want to try baking them like meatballs. I tried to make mine into flat patties about 2 inches in diameter.

fry them until golden brown on both sides

Dip the patties into the egg, and then into the panko/oats and coat with breading. Fry them for a couple minutes each side, until crisp and golden brown. Set them on a paper towel to soak up some extra oil, and keep them warm in the oven if necessary.

serve with a salad to make up for that fried goodness

Serve plain or sprinkled with (moar!) cheese, on a green salad. Enjoy!

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