MAKES 30 PREP AND COOK TIME 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES (+ REFRIGERATION TIME)
20g dried porcini mushrooms 1½ cups (375ml) boiling water 3 cups (750ml) chicken stock 25g butter 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 medium (250g) onion, chopped finely 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely 200g button mushrooms, sliced thinly 1½ cups (300g) arborio rice ½ cup (125ml) white wine 1 cup (80g) freshly grated parmesan 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves 2 cups (150g) panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs vegetable oil, to deep-fry lemon wedges, fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve 1 Place the porcini mushrooms in a medium heatproof bowl; cover with the boiling water. Stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place the stock in a medium saucepan over high heat; bring just to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer gently. Strain mushrooms over a jug. Carefully pour 1 cup of the mushroom liquid into the pan with stock, being careful not to pour in any grit or sediment at the bottom of the jug. Rinse mushrooms to remove any last traces of grit, and chop coarsely. 2 Heat butter and oil in a large, deep non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the button mushrooms and porcini mushrooms; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until the grains of rice are becoming transparent. Pour in the wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed into the rice. 3 Add stock mixture, a ladleful at a time, waiting for liquid to be absorbed after each addition. This will happen quite quickly initially, but will slow down as the rice becomes more saturated. Don’t rush this process, it’s important for the final result. Stir gently to make sure that the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan, but don’t break up the grains of rice. When all the liquid is absorbed, taste a few of the grains to make sure they are cooked. They should have some substance, but not have any hint of hardness in the centre. Add a little extra water if the rice is not cooked and stock mixture is used. The mixture needs to be thick to roll into balls. 4 Stir in parmesan and basil; taste and add salt and pepper if desired. (It will not need much salt as parmesan is quite salty.) Spread the rice mixture onto a large heatproof tray. Refrigerate rice mixture, covered, until cold. 5 Using wet hands, break off golf ball-sized pieces of the rice mixture and roll into balls. Roll balls in breadcrumbs, carefully pressing the crumbs into the surface. 6 Half-fill a medium saucepan or deepfryer with vegetable oil and heat to 180°C. Deep-fry the balls, in batches, for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towel. 7 Serve arancini while hot with lemon wedges and herbs. Suitable to freeze at the end of Step 5. Not suitable to microwave.