Arancini Balls

Servings: Makes: 12 Approx.

Ingredients

For the vegan cheese:

100g (⅔ cup)
cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for 2 hours
1½ tbsp
olive oil (plus extra for greasing)
1 tsp
Salt

For the risotto:

360g (2 cups)
120ml (½ cup)
1L + 80ml (4½ cup)
1 tbsp
Fresh Thyme, chopped
Salt And Pepper, to taste

For the filling:

1
leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
100g (½ cup)
Vegan Cheese

To coat arancini:

Oil, for shallow frying
100g (2 cups)
fresh whole-wheat bread fine crumbs

Method

1

Begin by making the cheese for your risotto balls: blend up your soaked and drained cashew nuts in a high-speed blender along with all the other ingredients. Blend until smooth.

2

Pour this mixture into a non-stick pan and heat the cheese blend through on a medium-high heat until it starts to thicken considerably and bubble. Once it is bubbling, stir continuously for a couple of minutes until the cheese has come together, then set aside to cool.

3

To make the risotto for your arancini balls, heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan and fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes.

4

Add the risotto rice and let cook for a minute before adding the white wine. Keep stirring until the wine has been absorbed.

5

Gradually pour in the stock and stir continuously, adding more when it has been absorbed. When all the stock has been absorbed, it should be creamy, thick and a tender soft texture.

6

Once the rice is soft and the liquid has been absorbed (this will take about 30 minutes), take off heat and stir in the nutritional yeast, thyme and season with salt and pepper.

7

Spread the risotto on a metal tray and let cool for about 30 minutes.

8

While the risotto is cooling, you can make the filling for your risotto balls: fry the leeks on a medium heat in a frying pan then add the garlic. Fry the garlic until aromatic then stir your cheese through the leek and garlic mixture and set aside.

9

To make the coating for your arancini balls, make a buttermilk by stirring the apple cider vinegar into your soya milk and pouring into a shallow dish. Next, tip your breadcrumbs into a shallow dish ready to coat your finished balls.

10

To form your balls, take a large golf ball-sized ball of risotto rice and flatten in onto the palm of your hand. Place a teaspoon full of the cheesy leek filling onto the rice and roll the rice around the filling. Do this until all the rice is used up; it should make about 12 balls.

11

Dip each ball into the buttermilk and coat with breadcrumbs. In a medium-sized frying pan, heat enough oil to shallow fry your balls. Fry each ball for 2-3 mins each side or until golden brown, turning as they fry. A slotted spoon is best for this.

12

Once all the balls are fried, serve on their own as a snack or starter, or serve with your favourite veg or a fresh salad.

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