Thursday, November 20, 2008

Risotto Cakes - Tasty and More-ish

Today is the "super Thursday" of Barefoot Bloggers, when not one but two bonus recipes will be posted. The Barefoot crew are a group of food bloggers who regularly cook and post the same recipe from the collected wisdom of the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. Congratulations and thanks to Deb from Kahakai Kitchen who chose this recipe after she referred the most people to the Barefoot Blogger site last month. It comes from Ina's new book: "Barefoot Contessa:Back to Basics".

The risotto cakes were relatively simple to make, although you can't reduce the fridge chilling time. The first night I made these, I rushed it a little and they tended to fall apart a bit. To keep them together, I had to be very careful lowering them into the oil on a spatula and lifting them out gently on a spatula as well. After two messes in a normal frying pan with oil on medium-low heat (as specified), I changed to a non-stick pan and put the oil on medium-high heat and the result was much better. I used the leftover mixture the next night (after it had been chilling 24 hrs), with better results. The cakes all hung together much more. I would probably make these again, but bite-sized as an hors d'oeuvre for a party. And in case you were wondering, I served the risotto cakes as a side dish with roasted duck breasts and a rocket salad, as an indulgent dinner with my husband.
Here is what Ina Garten had to say about the recipe:
"I used to have to wait until I made risotto in order to make risotto cakes from the leftovers. So I decided to do a recipe for risotto cakes that I make from scratch. Most of this can be assembled early in the day and then sautéed just before dinner. The yogurt, chives, and Italian Fontina give these a delicious creamy interior, and the panko gives them a wonderful crunchy crust.”
Chive Risotto Cakes
from "Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics" by Ina Garten

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 extra-large eggs
3 tbls minced fresh chives
1 ½ cup cups grated Italian Fontina cheese (150g)
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Good olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add ½ tablespoon salt and the Arborio rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains of rice will be quite soft. Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, chives, Fontina, 1 ¼ tsps salt, and the pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, until firm.

Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tbls olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using a standard ice cream scoop or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties 3 inches in diameter and ¾ inch thick. Place 4-6 patties in the panko, turning once to coat. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side until the risotto cakes are crisp and nicely browned. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep warm in a 120C oven for up to 30 minutes. Continue cooking in batches, adding oil as necessary, until all the cakes are fried. Serve hot.

Note from Ina: “Panko, or Japanese bread flakes, have a crisper, lighter texture than regular bread crumbs."


Rebecca said...

These look so good with the duck. What a fab dinner! I wish we'd made ours into more of an event.

Debinhawaii said...

Great idea to make them mini for an appetizer! Yours turned out well. I agree, waiting overnight really helped them stay together. I want the duck too!

Meryl said...

Yum--I'm jealous of your whole meal there! These were so good!

Natashya said...

I love the appetizer idea, I will have to try that one day. They look great, especially on the plate with the duck breast and salad. What a great dinner.

Esi said...

I was one of the impatient ones! They look great just like the cake above!!

Summer said...

They look great. What a delicious meal you put together!