I’m taking a classic Italian recipe and making it spooky for Halloween! These Squid Ink Arancini are the perfect 2-bite size appetizers to serve at your next Halloween party.
Servings: 18 pieces
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 55 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours
Risotto & Filling:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon squid ink
- 1 ball mozzarella cheese (350 g), cubed
- 4 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup water
Begin by making the risotto. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter and let it melt completely. Once melted, add the onion and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock to a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to low and keep warm. You will add this to the rice while it’s cooking.
Next, add the arborio rice. Toss everything together in the pan, making sure to get the rice coated in the oil and butter. Let the rice toast in the pan for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, or until the edges of the rice grains are beginning to get translucent.
Get Ready to Stir
Once the rice has toasted, add the white wine to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything together. Once the wine has absorbed into the rice, reduce the heat to medium and begin adding the chicken stock, one ladle (approximately one cup) at a time. Stir the rice together with the chicken stock until the liquid is fully absorbed before adding additional chicken stock to the pan. Repeat this process until all the chicken stock has been added, or until the rice is fully cooked.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the parmesan cheese, lemon juice and squid ink. Mix everything to combine. Add additional squid ink if you would like a darker colour. Set the rice aside to cool for 30 minutes before rolling into balls.
Breading Station Prep
Prepare the breading station. Place the flour on a large plate and beat the eggs and water in a large bowl. Set aside.
To make the breadcrumbs, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the panko breadcrumbs and toss everything to coat. Remove from the pan and place on a large plate.
Forming the Arancini
Next, make the arancini balls. Use a large tablespoon to scoop up the risotto and use your hands to roll it into a ball. The balls should be the size of a golf ball, but you can make them larger if you would like. Take a cube of mozzarella and press it into the center of the arancini, then roll again to fully seal the cheese inside. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat for the remaining risotto.
Place the arancini in the freezer for 15 minutes to set. This will make the arancini easier to bread.
Once the arancini have chilled, move on to breading. Roll the arancini in flour, followed by egg, and the breadcrumbs. Once coated, double-bread the arancini by adding it back into the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs again. Return them to the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat for the remaining arancini.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the arancini for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking to ensure the arancini get evenly browned.
Once cooked, serve warm from the oven with a side of marinara sauce. Enjoy!
Note: You can freeze the arancini balls and cook them from frozen. Once the aranini are breaded, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Once frozen, add them to a freezer bag and cook them from frozen whenever you want them! Simply increase the cooking time to 30-35 minutes.