Fried Beer and Gouda Risotto Balls (Arancini)

The Super Bowl will be here in just over a week (go Niners!) and you're probably looking for some fun new appetizer to wow the crowd with, right? Well, look no further! The great thing about these risotto balls (called arancini) is that they not only make a great starter, but you can put them on a salad or have them as a side. Super versatile! And the fact that they are made with beer and cheese doesn't hurt either.

This recipe originally appeared on KQED's Bay Area Bites.

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 1 ¼ cups Arborio rice
 3 cups beer, Scotch Ale Style
 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
 1 cup parmesan, shredded
 ¼ cup sweet onion, minced
 3 garlic cloves, minced
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 2 teaspoons sea salt
 12 1/4-inch cubes Gouda cheese
 2 eggs
 ⅓ cup flour
 ½ cup bread crumbs
 Vegetable oil
 marinara sauce, for dipping
Yields1 Serving
Prep Time20 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time1 hr



In a very large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium-low heat until the oil's surface shimmers.


Add the 3 cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup of sweet onion. Cook until just aromatic, about a minute or two.


Add in 1 1/4 cup of Arborio rice and mix it well so that it is lightly covered in oil. Warm the rice for a couple of minutes. Do not allow it to brown.


Add 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth to the rice and about 1/2 cup of beer, and bring it to a boil.


Add in 2 teaspoons of salt, reduce to a low simmer, cooking the liquid down.


When the liquid has almost cooked down, add in another 1/2 or so of beer. Repeating until all of the liquid is used up and the rice is fully cooked.


Fold in 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.


Let the risotto cool then place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.


In one mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs and whisk in 1/3 cup of flour. In a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Also line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


Remove the risotto from the fridge and let's make some balls! Place a small spoonful in the palm of your hand and using your finger, make an indentation. Place 1 of the 12 cubes of gouda cheese in the pocket and roll the risotto into a ball, adding more if needed. You want to make sure the gouda is completely surrounded by risotto. Then place it on the parchment paper.


After all twelve are made, put the baking sheet in the fridge and let it chill for about an hour.


Remove the tray from the fridge and then one at a time, dip the balls in the egg and flour mixture, removing any excess. Then roll them in the bread crumbs, placing them back on the parchment paper and placing it back in the fridge when done.


Bring vegetable oil to 375 degrees F and carefully fry the balls until golden brown, placing them on a drying rack when done.


Serve with marinara sauce and enjoy!


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Jerry James Stone

Food pornographer, full-time vegetarian, pointy beard enthusiast, and I say ‘hella’ too much. Founder and creator of Cooking Stoned.



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