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Anchovy-stuffed arancini with creamy aioli

Discover a burst of Mediterranean flavours with anchovy-stuffed arancini paired with aioli and served with a glass of Spier Creative Block 2.

The Italians invented all kinds of clever ways to use up leftover bread and risotto. These beautiful golden nuggets are made from leftover saffron risotto (or use whatever flavour you have on hand), stuffed with salty anchovy fillets, crumbed and deep-fried, then dipped into creamy garlic mayonnaise. The prep might seem intensive, but the results far outweigh the effort. Excellent when paired with Spier Creative Block 2.

Ingredients

For the aioli

  • 2 XL egg yolks
  • 30 ml apple cider vinegar (or fresh lemon juice)
  • 10 ml Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 125 ml vegetable oil (canola/sunflower)

For the arancini

  • 3 cups leftover cooked risotto, cold (straight from the fridge)
  • A few anchovy fillets, sliced and rolled up into small nuggets for stuffing
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 3 cups day-old breadcrumbs (easily made in a food processor)
  • Vegetable oil, for shallow/deep frying

Method

  1. Prepare the aioli: Place the yolks, vinegar, mustard, garlic in a tall cup and season with salt & pepper. Using a stick blender, blend it well. With the blender running, add the oil in a thin stream, blending until the aioli is thick and pale. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. (Store in the refrigerator.)
  2. Prepare the arancini: using a teaspoon, scoop some risotto mixture and press a ball of anchovy into the middle. Use your hand to compress the risotto around the anchovy, shaping it into a ball and covering the anchovy completely. Set the stuffed balls aside, continuing until all the mixture is used. Place the flour in a wide bowl and season it with salt & pepper. Place the eggs and breadcrumbs also in separate wide bowls. Working quickly, roll each ball into the flour, then into the egg mixture, then into the crumbs, covering them on all sides. Place on a tray, ready for frying.
  3. Cook the arancini: in a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil (about 5 cm deep) to about 180 C. Test by dropping prepared arancini – it should bubble softly all over, but it should be smoking hot. Fry on all sides until golden, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve with a glass of Creative Block 2 and a side of hot aioli for dipping.

Spier wines can be tasted and purchased at the farm in Stellenbosch, and are widely available in stores and online at shop.spier.co.za.

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