Saturday, June 6, 2009

Molten Cheese Risotto Patties

I like cutting out recipes from magazines or newspapers. Especially if the photo looks really enticing and mouthwatering! I have a lenten special recipe cut out from The Inquirer last year and I said to myself that I am really gonna make it very soon.

How soon was soon? Let's say, after 365 days or so! And just in time for the Holy Week, on a Maundy Thursday here in my cooking kingdom.

This is a "project" that I proposed to Rica a couple of days before the Holy Week.
Shyempre, game si sister! So let's go!

I learned from the OB boys, especially from Chef Richmond (hubby's friend) that cooking Risotto is no joke at all.

So there we were stirring like crazy for about 3 hours... It took us about 5 hours for the preparation and cooking time. Whew!!! But hey, it was really worth it! Thank you to AG and my house angels for helping us! As sung by The Wonderpets on Nick Jr., "What's gonna work? Teamwork!"

The original recipe is called Molten Cheese Risotto Balls. So why oh why did we make it into patties?

Let me tell you a story: We really did make balls at first. Please see photos below:

Yup! My hands!

See!?? BALLS!!!

But the ending was:

Not so-BALL looking balls aren't they? :(

Why did we not achieve perfect deep fried balls?

Maybe the balls would have to sit for a couple of hours or overnight in the freezer to make the balls firm enough so they won't melt during deep frying! Wekwekwekwek!

But we enjoyed it that night, anyway! ;-)

So the following day, after some moments in the thinking chair, with a little enhancement on this "full of effort" meal - I decided to transform the balls to patties and coat them with more bread crumbs - a mix of the ordinary ones and the Japanese. After doing so, I kept them all in the freezer overnight and fried a few patties the next day and have seen great results!

Since the risotto patties were already full of cheese, I intended to make a non-cheesy dip as opposed to the original recipe. So what could be best with this cheesy meal? Ting!! Another light bulb moment: why not a marinara sauce a la TGI Friday's fried mozarella!

For the home made marinara sauce, here's what I used:

a can of peeled tomatoes (I used Molinera)
** if this is not available, you can definitely use fresh tomatoes (about 4)! Just peel them and take out the seeds and chop

olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
about 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped, you can add some more if you want it more garlicky!
dried herbs: basil, oregano, marjoram and parsley
salt and pepper

The way:
in a pan, saute the onions and the garlic in olive oil, then add the peeled tomatoes with some of sauce from the can. Crush the tomatoes and then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for a few minutes!

Presto! Ready to serve!

I feel blessed that my pantry has a few cans of peeled tomatoes waiting for their own spotlight! How convenient was that? :) Thank you Lord! :)

When you try this, just remember to start early! Better yet, as learned from Rica (on her 2nd attempt!), the risotto rice can be well done faster when you use a shallow sauce pan! The long wait is over! Thanks, sis! :)

Hot, crispy, cheesy and golden brown! This is great with wine! Cheers!

P.S. All the photos were taken during night time! Waaah! Ok lang busog naman ako! Hehe!

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