Butternut squash, mozzarella and sage arancini with sriracha mayo

Try this delicious seasonal dish at home

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Recipe by: Jody Spencer

Starter
Ingredients

  • 30g butter
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 125g risotto rice
  • 200g butternut squash, diced
  • 50ml white wine
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 250ml vegetable or chicken stock, hot
  • 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Dollop of crème fraîche
  • 16 cubes of mozzarella cheese
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Method

  1. Heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan with a little glug of oil. Cook the diced shallot for about five minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.
  2. Add the rice and butternut squash, stir to coat the grains of rice in the oil. Pour in the wine and thyme sprigs and simmer to reduce down.
  3. Gradually add the hot stock, allowing it to soak into the rice, ladle by ladle. You may need to add a little more liquid if it’s becoming a bit dry (hot water from the kettle is fine).
  4. Once the rice is cooked (after 20 minutes or so), season well with salt and pepper. Crush the butternut squash gently with the back of a wooden spoon or fork. Stir through the sage leaves, parmesan cheese and crème fraîche. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down. This is best made ahead and kept in the fridge to firm up overnight.
  5. Remove the cold risotto from the fridge and scoop a tablespoon into your hand, make a well in the middle, and fill with the diced mozzarella, scoop up some more risotto and gently pat into a ball, encasing the mozzarella in the middle.
  6. Dust the arancini with plain flour, dip into the egg wash and coat in the Panko breadcrumbs.
  7. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan (test this first with a few pieces of bread to see if it sizzles and turns golden brown). Using a heat-proof slotted spoon, remove the arancini after a few minutes once they are golden brown. Place them on greaseproof paper in a bowl, while you cook some more.
  8. Mix the sriracha sauce into the mayonnaise to serve alongside the arancini for dipping.

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