Serves: Makes 20 balls
Preparation Time: 15 minutes (or prepare the rice a day ahead and refrigerate first step)
Cooking time: 5-8 minutes
1 cup of white wine (i use sweet white for mine)
1/4 of an onion chopped finely
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves chopped
1 large pinch of saffron threads
50g parmesan cheese finely grated
1 garlic clove crushed
3 cups of chicken stock
1 cup aborio rice or equivalent type
100g fontina diced into cube sizes to fit balls
1 cup breadcrumbs
olive oil for frying
Place the saffron into the white wine in a jug to soak. Melt butter in fry pan and add onion, garlic and soften but do not brown. Heat stock in another saucepan until simmering.
Place thyme and rice to the onion mix and cook for one minute to blend with the rice. Add wine and saffron and stir until wine is absorbed completely. This will take a little while to happen and heat will need to be slightly up while this is happening. Once the wine is leveled down and the rice absorbs you need to ladle some stock into rice so it keeps moist and this is to be repeated in this manner until the rice is ready (approx 15 minutes if aborio). Rice should appear creamy when done. Add more stock or water if rice is not ready and cook until done. Make sure all liquid at the end is all absorbed. Remove from heat and stir through the parmesan cheese. Spread this mix onto a tray which is covered in plastic wrap. Remove the garlic and dispose. Leave to cool and then place into the fridge to cool down. You can even prepare this part if you like a day before.
To prepare the arancini roll a walnut sized amount of rice into ball. Press a hole into the middle with your thumb and add a piece of the fontina squares to fit. Repeat this method until all done. Roll the balls at the end into some breadcrumbs pressing to coat well.
Heat oil in a small saucepan and fill with olive oil to cover the top of each ball. Heat a couple at a time so not to overcrowd. Test the oil with a small piece first and it should sizzle into the oil and turn golden brown. Cook each ball quickly approx 3-4 minutes until brown and dry on paper towels. Serve hot or room temperature.