Don't be shy. Risotto is in fact one of the simplest dishes on the planet. Just give it some good old fashioned TLC, some very basic ingredients and you'll have one of the most amazing homemade risotto in front of you.
1-2 Shallots, finely diced
3 Garlic cloves, finely minced
4.5 cups chicken stock
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
Pinch saffron threads, lightly crushed
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup Grana Padano, grated
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
Fresh crack black pepper
Drizzle aged balsamic vinegar (optional)
Low moisture mozzarella, cubed
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
Marinara, or desired tomato sauce
Start by thinly dicing the shallots and mincing the garlic.
In a medium saucepot, add in the chicken stock. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiled, turn off the heat. Cover to keep hot.
In a large saucepan, heat up olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add in shallots and garlic. Season with salt. Stir and saute for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
Add in the Arborio rice and toast for about 30 seconds while stirring occasionally.
Add in white wine with the saffron threads. Turn heat up to medium-high and boil until 90% evaporated. Stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat back down to medium and begin constantly stirring while adding in ½ cup ladle full of chicken stock.
Constantly stir. Do not stop stirring.
Once the liquid is absorbed by the rice, add in another ½ cup ladle full of the chicken stock while constantly stirring.
Rinse and repeat until the rice is cooked to an al dente state and not crunchy.
When the rice is finished, turn off the heat and stir in the unsalted butter until fully melted.
Add in the grated Grana Padano and stir to combine.
Plate and top with fresh cracked black pepper and an optional drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Spread leftover risotto onto a silpat, or parchment on a baking sheet. Cover and fridge for 1 hour or overnight.
Shape chilled risotto into individual balls (2-inches thick) and flatten into a patty. Rinse and repeat.
Cut low-moisture mozzarella into ¾-inch cubes. Place cubes into the center of risotto patties.
Gently wrap the risotto edges around the cheese and crimp shut. Rinse and repeat.
Dredge the risotto in all-purpose flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs.
Once risotto balls are breaded, heat a heavy bottom pot filled with 2.5-inches of fry oil to 350F.
Fry 3-4 risotto balls for 6-8 minutes.
Drain on a wire rack set in a baking sheet.
Serve with a side of marinara or desired tomato sauce.