Recipe of the week: Chic mini arancini

Bring the flavours of Sicily to your next cocktail party by preparing its signature dish of cheese wrapped in fried panko breadcrumb risotto. Named after Arancina, the Italian word for the golden little oranges they resemble, these mini arancine can be assembled quickly and can be prepared ahead of time. These little cheese pops will look great in cosmo cups or rocks glasses. This recipe makes 24 mini arancine.

Chic mini arancini


2-1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1-1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 cup 35% cream
24 Pearl Bocconcini
Egg wash (eggs beaten with water) (for dipping arancini)
Flour (for dipping arancini)
Panko breadcrumbs (for breading arancini)
Oil (for deep frying)
Salt and pepper to taste

For plating

Tomato sauce
Fennel candy
Parmesan shavings
Aged balsamic


1. Sweat onions and garlic in oil for 3 minutes without colouring. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add rice and cook to coat all grains for a couple of minutes. They will go slightly opaque. Add white wine. When evaporated, add stock. Stir from time to time until rice is al dente, about 25-30 minutes. When rice becomes al dente, add cream and Parmesan cheese. Cook 5 more minutes to thicken cream somewhat. Remove from heat and let sit for 8 minutes. Add beaten egg and stir to combine well. Allow to cool. Refrigerate until needed.

2. Scoop into 2 Tbsp balls and lay out on a baking sheet.

3. Make a dimple in each rice ball and stuff with one Bocconcini pearl, forming the rice all around the cheese.

4. Follow a standard breading process using panko breadcrumbs: flour the arancini; dip in egg wash; and then dip in panko bread crumbs. At this point they may be frozen on the sheet pan and then transferred to a freezer bag to be fried later.

5. Fry the arancini at 350˚F-360˚F for about 3 minute. They are done when nicely golden brown. Remove from oil and drain.

Bonus recipes

Candied fennel:
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly lengthwise along the striation
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook fennel in butter over medium heat till just colouring. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add sugar & balsamic. Continue to cook until the balsamic is almost completely evaporated and sugar has caramelized. Allow to cool & refrigerate well wrapped. This is also a great condiment that will last for up to three weeks.

Classic tomato (pomodoro) sauce:
1 14oz can of San Marzano tomatoes
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Crush tomatoes by hand then add sugar, salt & pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat in a small sauce pan until thickened, about 1.5 hours. Add olive oil and cool.


Place 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce into small rocks or cosmo glasses.

Top with the mini arancini.

Place a tangle of fennel candy and a shaving of Parmesan on top.

Drizzle an aged balsamic, 20 year old preferably & serve.

Thank you to Jason Laurin, Chef & Owner at Essence Catering, Ottawa Canada, for the recipe.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with A Luxury Travel Blog‘s readers, please contact us.

Comments (3)

  1. Abbey says:

    These look delicious, and since I’ve been craving a visit back to Italy, guess they will do in a fix :)

  2. Mary Spicer says:

    Mmmmm… Jason has done it again. Am sitting in an airport on my way home from Abaco, and instead of being sad am inspired…This is going on my next cocktail menu, love the combination and the presentation.

  3. Kittsie says:

    Looks delectable. Arancini is definitely chic and classic party food. Please post a recipe for mushroom arancini or black truffle risotto arancini.

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