From Do-Ahead Dinners by James Ramsden
This is a twist on the Scotch egg, substituting risotto for the sausage meat to make a sort of vegetarian-friendly arancino-cum-Scotch egg. There are several steps, but none are particularly difficult and most of them can be done a day ahead. If you have leftover risotto you could also use this to make the Arancini Eggs, we think mushroom risotto would work well.
12 quail eggs
A knob of butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
200g arborio risotto rice
150ml dry white wine
750ml vegetable or chicken stock
50g parmesan, grated
Salt and black pepper
2 tbsp flour, seasoned
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50g fine dried breadcrumbs
1 litre vegetable oil
1 Fill a bowl with cold water and ice. Bring a pan of water to a boil and carefully drop in 6 of the quail eggs. Boil for 2 minutes, then transfer to the iced water. Repeat with the remaining eggs and set aside.
2 Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat and cook the shallot and garlic for about 10 minutes, until softened. Increase the heat and add the rice. Stir for a minute or two, then add the wine and simmer until almost entirely reduced. Add a ladle of hot stock and continue to simmer, stirring regularly and adding a ladle of stock whenever the rice looks dry. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the rice is soft. Stir in the parmesan, season with salt and pepper to taste and leave to cool.
3 Carefully peel the quail eggs and roll in a little flour to help the rice cling to the eggs. Take a handful of rice and pat it flat in your palm. Lay an egg in the middle and shape the rice around the outside, gently rolling it between your palms to firm. Repeat with the remaining eggs and chill for 30 minutes.
4 Line up three bowls, the first containing the flour, the second the beaten eggs, and the third the breadcrumbs. One at a time, coat the risotto balls in flour – shaking off any excess – then in egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Cover and chill until ready to cook.
5 Ten minutes before serving, in a large pan, heat the oil to about 170C/340F/gas mark 3-4, or until a cube of bread sizzles and turns golden in 30 seconds. Carefully drop in the risotto balls, 6 at a time, and fry for 4–5 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen roll and keep them warm while you cook the rest, then serve.