Oooooh! A party! What a great excuse to make these lovely little morsels.
My sister celebrated her birthday with some friends, and I decided to make the Blue Cheese Eclairs again – delicious – as well as the Mushroom Risotto Balls.
I must admit, I was a little bit over mushroom risotto. Not that it’s not a great meal, and so easy in the Thermomix, but I fear I may have overdone it – I think it’s been on the menu at least once every three weeks since the day I got my Thermomix. Anyway, I relented and thought this would be a good nibble for the party, mostly because I knew there was a lot of non-Thermomix owners in the group that was invited, and my guess was that they wouldn’t be suffering Mushroom Risotto Fatigue.
This recipe is from Madalene Bonvini-Hamel, who runs The British Larder near Woodbridge,Suffolk. And to think I lived not that far from there many, many years ago. Luckily I didn’t know of her if she was there at that stage, I would have come home even fatter if these Risotto Balls are any indication of the food she loves to eat. Check out her website at britishlarder.co.uk
Oh, I’m so glad I tried this… This is a great mushroom risotto, with a really intense flavour – no doubt helped along by not only fresh mushrooms, but also a goodly portion of dried mushrooms. I bought a big container of them recently at Costco, and christened it for this recipe. The container I bought features Porcini, Shitake, Yellow Boletes and Oyster mushrooms. They tasted terrific. I can’t remember how much I paid for the container – quite a big one – 300 grams, but I’m sure it wasn’t over $20, which is pretty good value considering the price you pay for the small bags of dried porcini mushrooms.
The risotto that results from this recipe is quite sticky and verges on gluggy – but you need it like this and not soupy, or the balls won’t stay together. You make little balls and put a little square of mozzarella cheese in the middle, then roll them in panko breadcrumbs. I actually made the balls the day before the party, rolled them in the breadcrumbs, and then put them in the fridge in containers until the next day and they were fine. Make sure your mozzarella cubes are in the middle of the rice mixure, otherwise you’ll have some that ooze a little cheese – like that’s the worst thing in the world!!!
I oven baked the balls in the oven, but they didn’t go the lovely golden colour I would have liked. They did verge on a pale brown, but I cooked them in an unfamiliar oven so I didn’t want to risk burning them. Next time I’ll try pan frying or deep frying them and see if they look nicer. I liked the idea of being able to put them in the oven while people were there and serving them hot, rather than having to have hot oil around people who had been drinking lots – so there was method to my madness.
Apologies for the terrible photography – as you can probably tell, I was a few champagnes in by the time I started to heat them up, and very nearly forgot to take a photo at all!
So, yes, easy to make, and a great party nibble!