Ah, the joys of leftovers. Risotto never really tastes good the next day; it's sticky, glutinous and wet and no longer retains that creamy consistency from the night before. But frying them in a batter of flour, eggs and bread crumbs creates a crisp shell that insulates and warms the rice, rendering it soft and creamy. It's great as an appetizer and accompanied with a dipping sauce.The burst of melted cheese only heightens the sticky-hand-mess experience. Kari, here's to the old days!
2-3 cups overnight Risotto (in this case, Mushroom and Pancetta)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably homemade, or use Panko
1 large egg, beaten
Manchego, Gruyere and/or Comte cheese, sliced into 12 rectangles an inch long
Oil, for frying
Spoon risotto into your hand and cup it so that it's the length of your index finger, about 1.5-2 inches. Stuff cheese into it and shape it into a oval ball.
Dip it in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and set aside. Repeat until you finish all the risotto, adding more flour, egg or breadcrumbs if necessary.
In a deep pan, fill oil up so that it reaches 1/2 inch up the side of the pan. Heat over medium-high heat till hot and ready to fry.
With a slotted spoon, slowly slide in risotto balls into hot oil and fry till golden brown and crispy, about 3-5 minutes per side. Adjust heat so that it does not burn the risotto balls. Do not crowd risotto balls; fry in batches.
Remove risotto balls from oil and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Serve on its own or with homemade aioli.