Growing Chefs! Ontario Ham and Provolone Arancini

Ham and Provolone Arancini

Arancini are a popular Sicilian snack. The key lies in the risotto, ensuring it is cooked to just the right consistency before being formed into balls and filled with ham and provolone. Once fried to a golden crisp, these little pockets of goodness are a delightful treat.”
Serves 4-6
1/2 cup onion, finely diced1/4 cup olive oil1 litre vegetable stock2 1/2 cups arborio rice1/2 cup butter1 cup parmesan cheese, grated2 cups provolone cheese, cubed1 cup ham, cubed5 cups fine breadcrumbs2 cups flour2 eggs salt to taste black pepper to taste canola oil for frying
Cutting boardChef’s knifeMeasuring cupsLarge frying panWooden spoonMixing bowls, various sizesBaking sheetSpatulaGraterWhiskTasting spoonsTongsSlotted spoonLadleLarge potThermometerPaper towelDishtowel

Get Organized!

Gather your mis en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather your ingredients.

Get Prepped!

Finely dice the onion.

Measure the olive oil, vegetable stock, arborio rice and butter.

Grate the parmesan cheese.

Cut the provolone cheese into cubes about 0.5 centimetres. Cut the ham into the same size cubes.

Set up a breading station; crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together well. Put the flour into another bowl, and the breadcrumbs into a third bowl.

Get Cooking!

To make the risotto, add the litre of stock into a large pot with 1 litre of water, and bring it to a low simmer.

Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. When the oil is glistening, add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the arborio rice and let it toast in the pan about 2 minutes.

Begin to add the stock; start by adding about 1 cup of vegetable stock and then stir the risotto just once with a wooden spoon to make sure that all of the rice is under the liquid. Once the liquid is almost completely absorbed, add another couple of ladles of stock and stir the risotto. Only stir the risotto when you are adding liquid into the pan so it does not become starchy and overcooked.

Continue this process of stirring and adding liquid to the risotto for about 6 – 7 additions, until your rice is al dente, then add one more addition of liquid. When the liquid is almost completely absorbed, add the butter and the grated parmesan cheese and stir together well. Turn off the heat and season with pepper and salt to taste.

Spread the risotto onto a baking sheet to make it cool quickly. Once the risotto is cool, it should be sticky and thick enough to roll easily into balls.

When the risotto is complete cooled, in a large bowl mix together the risotto with the diced ham and provolone.

Start to shape the risotto into balls slightly larger than a golf ball. Bread the arancini by first dipping them in flour, followed by egg, and lastly breadcrumbs. Repeat with the other arancini.

To fry the arancini, set up a deep fryer or heat 4 – 6 inches of canola oil in a pan to 300°F. Fry the arancini 4 – 5 at a time for about 5 minutes, until they are golden brown. Let the arancini drain on some paper towel, and season with salt. Serve immediately.