- 30g butter
- 200g assorted wild or chestnut mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 300g arborio rice
- 75ml white wine
- 800ml vegetable stock, hot
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 125g buffalo mozzarella ball, cut into 12 pieces
- 4 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- Heat 20g of the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, until foaming. Add the mushrooms and fry for 3-4 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid and set the mushrooms aside.
- Return the pan to the heat, add the onion, garlic and remaining butter and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until reduced to almost nothing. Add a ladleful of stock and simmer until nearly absorbed. Keep adding the stock in this way, until the rice is al dente – about 20 minutes. Fold in the thyme and mushrooms. Season, cool slightly, then chill until cold.
- Shape the risotto into 12 cakes. Make a hole in the centre of each and press in a piece of cheese. Cover by squeezing the sides together.
- Roll the risotto cakes in the flour. Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan and fry the cakes, in batches, for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm in a low oven while you fry the rest.
- Serve 2-3 risotto cakes each, with a little dressed watercress and a spoonful of your favourite chutney.
- Freeze it: at the end of step 3 for up to 3 months. Thoroughly defrost as many risotto cakes as you need and continue with the recipe.
- These cakes cry out for a glass of juicy, strawberryish Italian vino. Go for a decent Chianti Classico.