One of my favorite dishes from Italy is risotto. It’s one of those fancy dishes that I crave something indulgent and rich. I have had trouble with indulgent and rich dishes with this pregnancy, but this is a dish that is on a level that my palate can appreciate. Maybe because it’s fried and has cheese, who can say no to cheesy carbs? This is a fantastic recipe to use if you want something a little fancy for a weeknight dinner. You can easily opt to use leftover risotto, if by chance there were any leftovers. It’s a versatile recipe that you can substitute other cheeses as well, but Italian Fontina is an excellent creamy cheese when melted. Make sure to use a cheese that melts well. I served the chive risotto cakes with a spinach salad topped with roasted beets, cheese and walnuts drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette for a simple Italian inspired meal at home.
Chive Risotto Cakes
Adapted from Back to the Basics
Ingredients: 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice 1/2 cup Greek yogurt 2 large eggs 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives 1 1/2 cups Italian Fontina cheese, grated 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup panko Olive Oil
Bring a large pot (4-quart) of water to a boil over medium-low heat and add 1/2 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 1/4 teaspoons of 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. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a shallow dish, add the panko crumbs. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Form balls of rice mixture using a standard ice-cream scoop (2 1/4-inch) or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties at least 3 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Roll the patties in the panko, turning over 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 the oven for up to 30 minutes. Continue cooking batches, adding oil as necessary, until all the cakes are fried. Arrange on a serving platter and serve immediately. Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Review: Simply delicious. If you are craving a little protein, serve it with grilled chicken or perhaps a poached egg on top for a little extra flair. This dish reminds me of my fried macaroni and cheese bites but a little fancier.