Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving/Michigan Week!

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!  Its a short work week with Thanksgiving (one of my FAVORITE holidays, could it be the abundance of mashed potatoes?  Probably!) then Saturday the Buckeyes play the "team up north" (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the rivalry that team is otherwise known as Michigan).  The traditions around this game make for quite a week of excitement!  The Tuesday night before the students go home for Thanksgiving they all jump into Mirror Lake.  Yes, they jump in a cold lake in the middle of November.  As much as I don't like the cold I pled temporary insanity last year and did the jump with my friends and brother.  I'm not sure anyone will be successful in convincing me this year, it was fun but its a one time deal for me.  Here are some pictures from our jump!

Our jump group!
Anyways, after the hoopla of Mirror Lake, the students go home for Thanksgiving and return for Saturdays BIG game!  Tickets for this game are hard to come by as its one of the biggest rivalries in college football!  "The 'Shoe" will be electric with energy and excitement!  Although I'm not going to the game, my friend Holly and I are going to go to campus for the festivities surrounding it, nothing like tailgating in Buckeye Nation!

So before the mashed potatoes and gravy, the turkey and pies and all that goodness I decided I wanted to make some Arancini (fried risotto balls) with my leftover risotto from last week.

(This recipe made about 16-18 arancini)
- leftover risotto (chilled in refrigerator, I had a little more than a cup left)
- 1 egg
- 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 c. finely ground bread crumbs
- vegetable oil (enough to fill pot to deep fry)

- Take leftover risotto out of the refrigerator, mix in egg, cheese, salt and parsley until well incorporated.  With the cheese you may or may not need the whole cup, add a little at a time and see how well its binding (sticking together).  If its too dry add more egg.  You want it to stick together enough to keep its shape.

- It is easier to form the arancini with damp hands so keep that in mind.  Form balls with a spoon and your hands (I used my cookie scoop), about 2 inches in diameter, with the asparagus in the risotto sometimes it would make it tricky to form perfectly shaped balls.

- Place arancini onto a plate that you'll put back in the fridge before frying, you want them to keep their shape as much as possible.
- Place breadcrumbs in a bowl or on a small plate to prepare to roll the risotto in it.
- Heat oil over the stove, if you have a cooking thermometer then heat it to 350 degrees, if you don't (like myself) put it over medium high heat and test it with a few small bits of risotto to see if it floats up and turns brown.  I used a small pot so I wouldn't have to use as much oil, this meant I could only fry three or so arancini at a time. 
- When the oil is ready, take the arancini out of the fridge and roll in the breadcrumbs then CAREFULLY drop a couple into the oil.

- Let fry until very golden brown (2 or so minutes).

- Take out of the oil and place on a plate with a paper towel, sprinkle with salt (I didn't do this, I forgot).
- Enjoy!  (carefully though, the veggies inside get very hot!)

Chris and I both really liked these, for a first try they turned out very well!  (I don't think the picture does it much justice but I suppose I was having an off foodie photo day.  I served it with a cucumber and tomato salad along with tortellini soup to balance out the rich nature of the arancini.  These are something you will want to serve immediately or as soon as you can, I let mine sit in an oven (on very low temp) to keep warm for a few minutes till I had the rest of dinner prepared and they dried out a little more than I thought they would.  You can serve these with warm marinara as a dipping sauce but I had forgotten about that and thought they were just as delicious without.

Up next is Apple Cider Sangria!  I'm in charge of making a Thanksgiving cocktail for our family this year, last year we made the caramel apple shots I featured previously.  With all the fall themed cocktails floating around on Pinterest I really wanted to give this one a try!

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving everyone!


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