Thursday, February 28, 2013

Risotto Cakes with Poached Eggs


Wow, time flies. My blog is 4 years old today. She's no longer a toddler; she's well on her way to the big times... I hope! It's amazing to see how things have changed over the years, how my photographs have improved (and will hopefully continue to improve), how the layout has changed, and even how the recipes themselves have become more clear and easier to follow, perhaps. I'm really proud of my baby. She has come a long way. Thanks to all my readers for being a part of the Mission: Food family, whether it was for 4 years or 4 days. I really appreciate your existence in my world :) Now onto today's topic...


Risotto... it doesn't really reheat very well. It's definitely best the day it's made, which is why in a perfect world I would only make exactly as much risotto as I need for a meal. But my math doesn't always match my appetite. Sometimes I end up with leftover risotto, and I hate wasting food.


That's where these risotto cakes come into play! Similar to Italian arancini, but easier to make because they aren't stuffed or deep-fried, they simply require leftover risotto and some breadcrumbs to create the crust. They are then pan-fried to golden perfection. The risotto inside heats up and regains its gooey texture while protected by its crisp exterior.


In this case, I decided to top the risotto cakes with some pea greens and poached eggs. Between the rich, runny yolk and the decadent creaminess of the risotto, this dish didn't need any sauce, but could easily include one if you wanted. I used leftover mushroom risotto from my Le Cellier Mushroom Filet creation from Disney World's Epcot. You can use any leftover risotto you have, and play around with other fillings or sauces, even, that would compliment the type of risotto you are using.


Risotto Cakes with Poached Eggs
Serves 2

1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 cup leftover risotto, cold
1 T. olive oil
2 T. distilled white vinegar
4 eggs
Pea greens or other delicate, small greens such as arugula, baby spinach, or watercress

Place the breadcrumbs in a dish. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion out the risotto onto the dish of breadcrumbs, one at a time. The measuring cup with help give the risotto a round shape. Press the risotto into the breadcrumbs and flatten it to about 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick. Flip the risotto cake over, gently, and coat the other side generously with breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining risotto to form 4 cakes.

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cakes and cook for a few minutes per side until golden brown. Remove risotto cakes to serving plates or keep warm in a low oven until needed.

Meanwhile, poach the eggs. Fill a medium to large, shallow saucepan about halfway with water. Add the vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl. If you have several small bowls on hand and don't mind getting them dirty, it saves some time to crack an egg into each bowl and have them all ready in advance. If not, you can do one at a time, reusing the same bowl. When the water is simmering, but not boiling, gently lower 1 egg at a time into the water.

If you feel confident, add more eggs, one at a time, into the simmering water. Just remember the order in which you add the eggs so you can remove them in the same order. Each egg should take about 3 minutes. The whites should be cooked through but the yolks should remain runny. When you remove an egg with a slotted spoon, it should feel fairly firm right where the white meets the yolk, but it should still have some give when you move closer to the yolk.

Remove each egg with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel if you'd like to soak up a bit of the water.  Place a small handful of pea greens or other delicate greens on top of each risotto cake and then top with a poached eggs. Serve immediately.

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