Beer-battered, cheese-filled risotto croquettes

beer-risottoWe’re experiencing a bit of a lull, here at The Ordinary, characterized by a dearth of energy, a lack of purpose, and a general, fuzzy feeling of a vast network of spiderwebs taking over our brains. Oh yes, the post-holiday doldrums. Not a bad thing, in many ways, the mind needs to lie fallow, sometimes. But it’s a feeling that’s hard to shake!! I feel like I’ve got nothing to say but I can’t stop talking! I feel like I’m treading water. Pleasant, warm, sleepifying water, granted, but I’m not getting very far in it! Well! Last night, after dinner, I was feeling very drowsy, warm in our toy-strewn living room, when Malcolm said, “Mom, do you want to take Clio for a walk with me?” DO I?!?!? Of course I do. He even got me my coat and hat! It had been a day of creeping damp cold, and we’d gone on a walk earlier, but it just wasn’t pleasant. Now, in the dark, it was even colder…but it felt good! We decided to head for the bridge across the river, to see if Clio was scared of it the way Steenbeck used to be. Of course it was even colder there, but the sky was so dark and clear, the moon was almost full, everything was black and silvery, and the wind blowing icily across the bridge was helping to clear out the cobwebs. Then Malcolm showed me how to do his happy walk, which is a broad side to side skip. It is a walk that you do when you’re happy, but I’m here to tell you people, it’s a walk that makes you happy, as well. Flying across the bridge, dark icy water flowing fast far below, coats flapping behind, Clio pulling us ahead quicker than a human can walk, I felt nearly ecstatic, and we tumbled home cold, and breathlessly laughing.

I made risotto the other night, with roasted red peppers, black olives, white beans, and artichoke hearts. It was almost exactly like this one, except that I added artichoke hearts with the red peppers and olives, and I used can tomatoes, (hunts’ fire raosted diced) this being winter, and I used tons of rosemary, plus a pinch of cumin and a pinch of smoked paprika. I had a lot over the next day, and I decided to try something new with it, so I made a small ball, stuffed some mozzarella inside, and then I dipped the whole ball into a light beer batter flavored with smoked paprika and cayenne. I fried them in olive oil till crispy, and I made a dipping sauce of red wine and balsamic. Delicious! And very fun to make and eat. Secret melty cheese! Layers of crispiness and layers of comforting softness! The boys even liked them, and they don’t really like risotto! You could probably use any flavor of risotto that you have leftover, as long as it doesn’t have large chunks of anything in it. And you could adjust the seasonings of the batter to suit. In my experience, even a very brothy risotto is sufficiently dried the next day to form into croquettes. If your risotto is still too brothy you could a) drain it in a sieve b) cook it in a saucepan till it dries out, or c) add a couple slices of bread, ground into crumbs.

Beer-battered risotto croquettes

Beer-battered risotto croquettes

Here’s Tread Water by De La Soul. Infectious!!

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Beet risotto croquettes

Risotto croquettes

What do you do with all of your leftover risotto? Turn it into croquettes, of course! You could make these with any risotto, I think, but I had beet lime risotto left, so that’s what I used. They’re very very simple to make, and they make a nice meal with a big salad. I couldn’t decide if I should fry them or bake them, they’d be crispier fried, but they’d fall apart and smoke up the kitchen, so I decided to bake them. If I had a deep fryer, I probably would have used that. But I don’t! (As we discussed this conundrum, my husband and I came up with the idea of slow cooker deep frying. For maximum oil absorption! Yum!) Baking them also gives the special surprise cheese in the center a chance to melt. What’s better than melted surprise cheese? We had these with a sauce made of pesto, balsamic, and a little of the broth that I used to make the risotto itself, but you could vary the sauce to suit your mood or the risotto that you used. My son dipped them in barbeque sauce!

Here’s A Tribe Called Quest’s wonderful Ham and Eggs. That’s right, they say “nice red beets”!

Asparagus tips look yummy, yummy, yummy
Candied yams inside my tummy
A collage of good eats, some snacks or nice treats
Apple sauce and some nice red beets
This is what we snack on when we’re Questin’
(both: No second guessin)

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