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Truffled Arancini

with a Salad of Sautéed Mushrooms, Fennel and Radicchio and Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette

Makes approximately 20 arancini

Arancini

1L (4 cups) good quality vegetable stock
1 tbsp truffle oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
330g (1½ cups) arborio rice
40g (½ cup) grated reggiano parmigiano
2 eggs
180g (2 cups) dried (packaged) breadcrumbs
150g (1 cup) plain flour
Vegetable oil, to deep-fry
Salt and cracked black pepper

Method

1. In a medium saucepan bring vegetable stock to a gentle simmer, then hold at a warm temperature, being cautious not to reduce the liquid.

2. In a large saucepan over a medium heat add truffle oil and warm slightly, then add onion and garlic and cook until soft, stirring occasionally.

3. Add rice to the saucepan with the sautéed onion and garlic and stir gently over a moderate heat, allowing the rice grains to toast slightly and be coated with the truffle oil.

4. Add a small ladle (approximately ½ cup) of the warm vegetable stock to the rice mixture and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed completely.

5. Continue to add the stock, one ladle at a time while stirring continuously, until all stock is used, then remove from heat.

6. While still warm stir in the grated reggiano parmigiano cheese and season to taste. This effectively makes a simple risotto-style rice component for the arancini.

7. Allow the rice mixture to cool slightly, and roll into balls of approximately 2-3cm diameter. Place on a lined baking tray and refrigerate until firm.

8. Set up a crumbing station: place bread crumbs in a large baking tray, place the flour in a medium bowl, crack eggs into a separate bowl and whisk slightly.

9. In batches crumb the rice balls: toss in flour, shake off any excess, then dip in the wet egg mix and finish by rolling in bread crumbs until completely coated.

10. Add enough vegetable oil to a large saucepan to give a depth of 5cm.

11. Heat the oil to about 190C over medium to high heat. A cube of bread can be used to test when the oil is ready: it should turn golden within 10 seconds.

12. Cook arancini in batches of 5-6 balls, turning occasionally. The arancini will be ready once golden in colour. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the arancini to a plate lined with paper towel. Allow to drain well.

Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Method

1. In a medium bowl add the molasses, vinegar and honey; whisk together.

2. While continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the olive oil. Continue until emulsified. Season to taste.

To Serve

Arrange arancini atop a bed of washed and well-drained radicchio leaves, shaved fennel, mushrooms sautéed in butter, salt and pepper. Garnish with continental parsley and drizzle with pomegranate molasses vinaigrette.