Scallop-Bacon Arancini

Arancini are a Sicilian food, named for their likeness to oranges, and is traditionally eaten as a feast on December 13th to commemorate a grain-ship arriving to relieve a famine. To me, this is a decadent meal to be prepared at any time, but particularly useful to freeze in advance and whip up a last minute impressive meal for guests.

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Option!

Ingredients:

½ package May Wah scallops, or sliced king oyster mushrooms

⅓ batch Yuba bacon (see older posts or site for recipe)

½ batch vegan risotto: 2 cups arborio rice, 7-8 cups vegetable broth, 1 onion, peas, earth balance butter, Follow Your Heart Parmesan — caramelize onion in pot; add rice and then warmed vegetable broth ½ to 1 cup at a time until absorbed. Add peas, vegan butter, vegan parmesan at end.

½ cup aquafaba (liquid from cooked or canned chickpeas)

½ cup arrowroot (or other) starch

½ cup cornmeal

Arugula-Almond Pesto

1 box (or about 5 cups) arugula

1.5 cups raw almonds

⅓ cup olive oil

¼ + cup tamari (or less if soy sauce); to taste. Can sub coconut aminos for soy-free.

To make arancini:

Mold leftover risotto into balls (either in molds or by hand); may also stuff with prepared bacon, vegan cheese, etc.

I prefer freezing the arancini in molds, which also allows me to prep and make them at different times for convenience. You can also mold them in balls and freeze them on a sheet (before storing them in the freezer in an airtight container), or mold them at room temperature and fry right away after coating.

When you are ready to prepare and serve, roll the frozen balls in arrowroot starch to coat, then aquafaba, then cornmeal. Freeze again if not preparing right away. To prepare, heat high-heat cooking oil in a small pot. Add arancini to fry — I fry one at a time, and don’t fit a whole arancini in but keep rolling/rotating them occasionally. Note! If they are very frozen when you fry them, test with a toothpick to see if the center is cooked; you can fix this with a microwave if you use one, or heat very gently in a dry pan until they warm through.

To prepare pesto, wash arugula and blend / food process ingredients, adjusting to taste.

To prepare scallops, add May Wah scallops or king oyster mushroom slices to a shallow pan with some water and a touch of oil. Flip occasionally; when water evaporates let them brown slightly. To prepare yuba bacon, lightly fry a few marinated bacon strips. .

Serve arancini with scallops, bacon, and pesto arranged. Enjoy while warm!

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