Recipe by Ignacio Mattos, chef at Café Altro Paradiso in New York City
Start to Finish:
Calabrian Chile Sauce
3 tbsp. crushed Calabrian chiles in oil from a jar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
24 1/3-inch cubes of fontina (about 2 oz.)
3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 qt. canola oil
1. For the chile sauce, stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt.
2. For the arancini, in a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until soft, 5 minutes. Add the rice. Stir until coated, about 1 minute. Add the wine. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir until absorbed, 1 minute. Add 1 cup stock. Cook, stirring often, until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining stock, a 1/2 cup at a time. Cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Grana Padano, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out in an even layer. Let the risotto cool for about 20 minutes. Cover the risotto with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3. Form the risotto into 24 balls, each about 11/2 inches wide. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Working with 1 at a time, open each ball slightly and stuff a piece of fontina into the center. Press to seal, then reroll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining risotto and fontina.
4. In a shallow bowl, add the flour. In a second shallow bowl, beat the eggs. In a third shallow bowl, add the panko. Roll the risotto balls in the flour, then in the eggs until coated. Roll in the panko, pressing so the crumbs adhere. Transfer the risotto balls to a baking sheet.
5. In a large pot, heat the canola oil over medium until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325°. Working in batches of 8 to 10 (to avoid overcrowding), fry the risotto balls until golden brown and the cheese melts in the centers, about 5 minutes per batch. Return the oil to 325° between batches. Transfer the arancini to a paper towel–lined platter. Serve the arancini with the Calabrian chile sauce for dipping.