I think my new favorite reason to make risotto is leftovers! I seem to have an inability to cook just enough to feed the family- I always seem to make enough to feed a small country!
Rice balls are something I grew up eating. My Grandmother made them as did my Mother, her siblings and now my cousins. So as I was thinking about what to do with this divine left over risotto rice balls came to mind. Hmm... why not take the leftover risotto form it into balls and fry it? Now, these are nothing like the rice balls of my youth (hence the reason I put rice balls in quotes for the recipe title), but it seemed worth a try.
Honestly, I think these are nothing short of genius! Mr. Meat and Potatoes ate the risotto for dinner and liked it but said he liked it even better as a rice ball. This is well worth a try!
Mushroom Risotto "Rice Balls"
2 cups aborio rice
2 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used shitake, cremini and oyster)
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
1 tbsp plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cup dry white wine
7 cups mushroom stock
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup white corn meal
Place the seven cups of mushroom stock in a large pot and heat but do not let it boil. In a dutch oven or other largish pot heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic, mushrooms and thyme and saute until starting to soften. Add the aborio rice and allow to heat until the rice is somewhat translucent and starts to "pop" (it will sound a bit like Rice Krispies. Add 1 cup of white wine and stir until wine is fully absorbed by the rice. Ladle in the warmed mushroom stock one ladle at a time stirring until rice absorbs the liquid. Once all of the stock is used add the additional 1/4 cup wine and stir until it is absorbed by the rice. Remove from the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper.
You could stop here and have a lovely risotto!