I have been cooking with Giada’s Italy cookbook and today I tried the Crab Arancini.
Giada uses risotto mixed with crab, cheese and bread crumbs to make these delicious nuggets. As I go through Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita cooking I try to get creative and come up with my own version of each recipe. I remember as a kid learning from my grandmother, aunts and mom certain recipes where they did not have exact ingredients written down; they were just in their head and measuring was a handful or a pinch and then sometimes added as they went along. I learned to be creative in tasting as you cook so you know if you need to add anything to make the perfect dish. I originally thought I would try to make these somewhat healthy as it has been a long time since I have had any grains but then thought I will improvise as I go just as my family does. I had a box of Trader Joe’s Mushroom and Herb Risotto in my pantry so thought I would use that. There are items in the recipe that I did not have so improvised on those as well. Here is my take.
- 2 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- 1 box Trader Joe’s Mushroom and Herb Risotto, prepared
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Fiore de Sardegna Pecorino Cheese
- 2 TBSP. Green valley Organics, lactose free creme cheese
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 cups lump crab meat, fresh if in season
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup smashed (yes smashed) Cheez-it Crackers, Original, 48 oz Box ( I used the variety pack with original and barbeque flavor
- homemade sauce
Prepare boxed risotto, take off stovetop and cool completely. Add in lemon zest, cheese, cream cheese, crab meat and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
Prepare your breading station with beaten eggs, flour seasoned with salt and pepper and cheeze-its. Scoop out a tablespoon of risotto mixture and roll into a ball. Dip in flour, then egg, then cheez-it mixture until you have used up all the mixture. Cook in a frying pan with heated olive oil, turning to brown on all sides.
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 TBSP. Litehouse, Lite Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 5 splashes Tapatio Hot Sauce, Salsa Picante
- 1/4 cup pomegranate jelly
(this was an experiment but proved to be pretty good. You can increase the amounts to double this). Mix all together and warm in microwave to serve over crab arancini.
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