Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baked Mushroom and Goat Cheese Risotto Balls (Recipe)

I love risotto...I mean LOVE...and I try to order it when I go out as often as possible because it's so difficult to make. If you've ever watched an episode of Hell's Kitchen you would empathize with my fear of Gordon Ramsay jumping out of the pantry and throwing my pan of risotto across the kitchen. I recently stumbled upon an even more delicious way to have risotto...in the form of a risotto ball, filled with goat cheese and baked with panko bread crumbs. At this point I was determined to make them myself...no matter how many times I had to pull a Chef Ramsay. Thankfully I only had to throw out one batch. My advice is not to trust the risotto recipe on the Arborio rice box.

There's a few steps required in this recipe since you have to prepare the risotto and let it cool (preferably overnight), then assemble the risotto balls. It's a pretty demanding process as the rice requires constant stirring, but all in all, after finding the right recipe, I have to say that Chef Ramsay would have been pretty proud.

I made these for a potluck and decided to assemble them with the breadcrumbs before leaving the house, but I found they became a bit soggy by the time I was ready to put them in the oven. I would leave as little amount of time as possible between assembling and baking.

Now on to the recipe...

Mushroom Risotto 

(This is a basic risotto recipe. You can really add any extra ingredients at this point to make it a meal. Adding  seafood or mixed veggies is a delicious option) 


- 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
- 1 qt (4 cups) of chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup of white wine (rest of the bottle to drink while cooking)
- 1/2 small onion (1/2 cup) chopped
- 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of oil (vegetable or olive)
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and Pepper to taste


Heat the stock to a simmer (just a light bubble, but not boiling) in a medium saucepan. Lower the heat just so the stock remains hot.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan and sauté sliced mushrooms. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter then add chopped onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent, but not brown.

Slowly add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until the rice is covered with the butter and oil mixture. Sauté for another minute.

Add the 1/2 cup of wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed.

Add a ladle of hot stock and stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock one ladle a time. It is important to continue stirring throughout this whole process, which should take about 20-30 minutes. The rice will become creamy, tender, but still firm to bite. If you run out of stock and the rice is not cooked, you can continue adding hot water. Once you are down to your last ladle or two, add in the cooked mushrooms. Continue stirring.

Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.

You will know that you have made a successful batch of risotto if the rice creates a soft and creamy mound on your plate. It shouldn't be runny or too sticky.

The risotto will smell and look so delicious you will definitely want to help yourself to a serving immediately.

If you are continuing on to make the risotto balls, place the risotto in a container, let cool uncovered (out of the fridge) for about 30 minutes. Cover and place in fridge, preferably overnight.

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Risotto Balls


- Cooked leftover risotto
- 4 ounces of soft cheese, such as Boursin or goat
- Panko style bread crumbs (I found them at La Bottega) about 2-3 cups
- Handful of Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1-2 tablespoons of milk
- Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup of breadcrumbs and some Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.

Shape about 1-2 tablespoons of the risotto into a flat circle, add a piece of cheese in the middle and roll into a ball (should be about the size of a golf ball).

Lightly roll each risotto ball in the breadcrumb mixture, then into the egg mixture, then back again into the breadcrumb mixture (this makes them extra crispy).You may need to add more breadcrumbs to the mixture if it gets too sticky with the egg. Place them on the baking sheet.

Spray the risotto balls with cooking spray. Bake until golden and crispy, about 30 minutes.

They serve nicely with fresh basil and marinara sauce.

Verdict: Delicious, smooth and creamy. Two recipes in one. Rather monotonous process, but definitely worth impressing your friends...and your taste buds.

Prep Time: 10 minutes to prep the ingredients for the risotto, 20 minutes to assemble the risotto balls
Cook Time: 30 minutes to cook the risotto, 30 minutes to bake the risotto balls
Chill Time: 1-2 hours or preferably overnight (the risotto will be totally cooled and will stick together more easily)

Rating: 9/10

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