What’s up with Chelsea? Several Pepper readers also shared their disappointment with Chelsea Market and Cafe after Mr. Delicious gave them the lowest review ratings ever seen on Pepper. Poor service and inventory-keeping aside, we wonder what keeps this posh resto thriving.
Perhaps, their only saving grace takes the form of these crunchy and fluffy risotto balls. We just love them so much that we hacked the recipe so you can enjoy these carbo-loaded treats at the comfort of your very own home. Yep, no need to troop all the way to this fancy schmancy resto. Plus, you get to save at least half the price.
We may just be biased (just as we are with bacon), but we think this hack is actually a major makeover of the original recipe. The risotto was cheesy and tasty enough on its own to be devoured even without the dip. They are definitely a far cry from the ones served at Chelsea. Wanna bet? Try them both and let us know whose recipe wins.
Risotto Balls (Arancini)
Total Time: 60 minutes / Yield: 24 risotto balls
Ingredients for the Risotto
- 2 cups cooked Japanese rice
- 3/4 cup Quickmelt cheese, grated
- 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup cream
Ingredients for the Risotto Breading
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- oil, for frying
Ingredients for the Jalapeño Dip
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp chopped jalapeño
- 1/4 tsp salt
Procedure for the Risotto
- Heat cream and melt cheeses in a non stick pan.
- When cheese has melted, add in cooked rice. Mix well, making sure the rice is well-coated with cheese. Adjust seasoning with salt.
- Pour in a deep container and chill. When rice mixture is firm, scoop into balls using an ice cream scooper.
- Set aside in the chiller again.
Procedure for frying the Risotto
- Arrange breading station: bowl 1 for flour, bowl 2 for egg, and bowl 3 for bread crumbs.
- Dust risotto ball with flour, dip in egg, then coat with bread crumbs. Repeat for remaining arancini.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil over medium flame. When oil starts to bubble lightly, fry the arancini in batches.
- Drain in paper towels and serve immediately.
Procedure for the Jalapeño Dip
- Melt butter over medium flame. Add in flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour milk in a steady stream while continuously whisking. Season with salt, and boil for 2 minutes.
- Add in jalapeño. Transfer to blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- Chilling the risotto balls before frying makes it easier to handle. Also, if you don’t want the sauce to get too spicy, remove some of the jalapeño seeds.