Baked Arancini

Well, after a glut of sweet posts, this is finally a savoury post.   And one without any chillies!  I consider risotto to be a standby meal because it’s so easy to make and most of the ingredients can be found in the cupboard, freezer or fridge.   I tend to use fresh mushrooms if I have them but it’s great with dried mushrooms, possibly better because of the stronger flavour.   I always have frozen peas in the freezer; onions, garlic and rice in the cupboard and usually parmesan in the fridge.  I haven’t included the full recipe for the risotto as I never measure how much of what I’m using and for arancini, I’m sure any risotto would do.   This time I just made extra risotto for our dinner the night before so I could be sure of having leftovers to make these.  I planned to make them in the evening but being a little greedy, there wasn’t quite enough risotto left for two people and so I made the arancini for my lunch instead.  Usually arancini are deep-fried, but I decided it would be easier, a little healthier and less messy to bake them.   I could have coated them in flour and then egg before the breadcrumbs but as the rice balls are quite sticky I just used breadcrumbs and they easily stuck to the risotto balls.  The finished result was crispy on the outside and warm and creamy inside.

As these used up leftovers I am linking them to Frugal Food Fridays which this month is being hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.


Leftover risotto (made with arborio rice, onion, garlic, bacon, mushrooms, peas, chicken stock, rosemary, thyme, parmesan)


How to Make Baked Arancini

1. Use any leftover risotto.   Form into small balls using approximately 2 teaspoons of risotto for each ball.    Roll in the breadcrumbs.

2. Place the arancini on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at about 200C.

I just served them with salad but I think they would be lovely with a tomato salsa.

Leek and Bacon Soup

I had a slight online shopping disaster recently and ended up with 4 times as many leeks as I wanted.   Now, you may not think this is a disaster and indeed, if I was cooking just for myself, rather than for my reluctant leek eating husband as well, I would also not be too worried.   It would just give me an excuse to dig out a few more leek recipes.    After all, it is about a year since I last bought some so there should be plenty of things to make.   I considered disguising them as onions, after all, they’re all from the same family and said lovely husband loves onions, spring onions and garlic.   He just has something against leeks!  Unfortunately, after I danced around, laughing about my shopping mistake, showing off the two bags to him, he now knows exactly how many leeks I have hiding in the fridge and is wise to any tricks I might try to use to get him to eat them.  Therefore I resorted to serving them up for lunch when a couple of more leek-friendly visitors were coming around.   That way, three people were happy, and well, you can’t make everyone happy all the time, can you?

Having read the last paragraph, I’m sure you won’t be surprised that the main ingredient in this soup was leek, and if you like leeks, you will like it, although it’s so simple it hardly needs a recipe.   And if you like bacon, and a little salty fatty kick to your healthy vegetable packed soup, then the fried crispy bacon pieces really finish off the soup well.  I know bacon’s not really healthy, but you could tell yourself it’s just a garnish, and to add a bit of flavour, and you will be eating so many leeks in this that you don’t need to worry about it at all.  In fact, I would even say you need the bacon to create a balanced meal!

I am sending this to Deb at Kahakai kitchen for Souper Sundays.  I am also sending it to Helen at Fuss Free Flavours for Frugal Food Fridays as it uses leftovers.

Ingredients – Serves 4

3 leeks

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Black Pepper

1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder

4 rashers bacon

How to Make Leek and Bacon Soup

1. Put a little olive oil in a large saucepan. Roughly chop the leeks and add to the pan along with the garlic.  When the leeks are soft, add the potato.   Sprinkle on the bouillon powder.    Cover with boiling water from the kettle.   Bring back to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy.    When done, drain on some kitchen paper.

3. When the potato is cooked, take off the heat and blend with a stick blender (or you could put it into a blender in batches).   Taste and season if necessary.   I added lots of black pepper.

4. Serve the soup, topped with the bacon pieces, alongside warm bread or toast