2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Cabot Salted Butter
2 shallots, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 tablespoon salt
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup white wine
1½ cups minced ham
2 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, grated (about ½ cup)
18 (½-inch) cubes Cabot Sharp Cheddar
2 large eggs
¼ cup milk
1 cup seasoned flour
1 cup seasoned panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
1 quart canola oil
Scallion sour cream:
1 cup Cabot Sour Cream
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
To make risotto:
HEAT chicken stock in large saucepan until barely simmering.
HEAT oil and butter until butter is melted in 3-quart stainless or other nonreactive heavy pot over medium heat; add shallot and cook, stirring, until tender and translucent but not browned.
ADD rice and stir until heated through. Add salt, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Add white wine and cook until mixture is nearly dry.
ADD 2 cups of simmering chicken stock and stir with wooden spoon until nearly all has been absorbed. Continue to add stock ¼ to ½ cup at a time or until until rice is just tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, 18 to 22 minutes.
TURN off heat under pot and gently fold in ham and grated cheddar. Spread mixture out on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap to cool. When lukewarm, cover with more plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled.
To finish arancini:
PREHEAT oven to 250°F.
SHAPE cold rice into 18 balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Stuff cube of cheddar into center of each ball, making sure it is completely covered with rice.
WHISK together eggs and milk in small bowl. Place flour and breadcrumbs in 2 other small bowls.
DIP each ball first in flour, then in egg mixture and finally in breadcrumbs. In heavy pan, heat oil to 350°F. Fry arancini about three at a time until golden brown. Place in oven to keep warm while making remaining arancini.
COMBINE sour cream and scallions in small bowl, season with salt and pepper. Serve with hot arancini.
*Try pairing with Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay.
Courtesy of Mark at New England Culinary Institute.