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This Arancini Recipe Is the Weekend Cooking Project You’ve Been Looking for

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One of the greatest things to arrive before your eyes, served on a roaming platter in a room of laughing, polite people, is a crispy, round orb of arancini. Those ping pong balls of fried risotto save you from pre-dinner hunger pangs, or more likely from open bar–empty stomach mistakes. See it, grab it, pop it. Arancini, I just wrote a commercial for you.

Rather than deprive yourself of this joy the 360 days of the year you’re not at a holiday party, why not make them at home and crack into the open bar under your TV? Great idea!

For this recipe, Molly Baz had a vision: Huge molten arancini that spilled out cheesy risotto onto the plate like lava cakes—a vision we shot down. “Arancini are party food, you can’t have that,” scolded Andy Baraghani, who we never thought would have so many arancini takes. “Andy can’t crush my dreams,” Molly told me, so she’ll save that recipe for another occasion. Still, these arancini are stuffed with sugar cube–sized pieces of mozzarella, so that even when you bite into one, there’s an oozy cheese pull to ooh and aahh over. As one does. The rest is about making risotto, chilling risotto, rolling risotto snowmen, and frying risotto. It’s a labor of love, but aren’t the best things in life? But
let’s briefly look at each step at a time so you can see how attainable this is outside of a catering kitchen.

Making risotto

The risotto part keeps it simple—no peas here—with onions, garlic, salty Parm, white wine, plenty of black pepper, lemon zest, and some heavy cream. Add stock, stir stir stir, the usual risotto bag of tricks. It’s done when it’s “toothsome,” which is one of Molly’s favorite words and which I never hear anyone else say, ever. But she means al dente, not mushy.

Chill the risotto

Then you spread the risotto out on a baking sheet to chill for an hour or four in the fridge. This will make it roll-able.

Roll the risotto snowmen

Things get messy! Using a ¼ cup measuring cup will help you make consistent balls. You can do this with your bare hands or wear gloves, but you shape each ball into a sort of disc first, add two squares of mozzarella, and then shape the rice around it, rolling it into a snowman head. Freeze ‘em for a few minutes so they can firm up.

Fry the risotto

Molly tested a few different crispy coating options. She ended with Panko and a traditional egg + flour dredge because other options (cornstarch slurry, regular breadcrumbs) didn’t fry as evenly, or with as good of a crunch. You need a good crunch to contrast with the gooey filling, so this was an important detail.

The biggest possible mistake you can make when frying the arancini is taking them out too early because you’re impatient and want to get this party started already. They’ll take 6-8 minutes and need to be DEEPLY golden brown. TEST one out of the oil by cutting into it to see that the mozz has melted. (This is your spider’s time to shine!) Then take the others out. Then go mingle with your laughing, polite dinner guests, who’ll be talking about those arancini for months to come.

Last thing

We have a great mini recipe for a chile oil dip to serve with these, with oil-packed Calabrian chilies, garlic, and more lemon juice—it really helps cut through the richness of the fat-on-fat-on-fat in the risotto.

This recipe makes a party’s worth of arancini, so please use this as an excuse to throw a party. Send paper invites. Buy tiny napkins. Make a bathtub of spritzes! Celebrate what blessings the fry gods have bestowed upon us.

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Santé Et Nutrition

Give a Bon Appétit Gift Box, Become a Holiday Hero

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Here’s a little unsolicited holiday advice from the Bon Appétit team to you: People care a lot about what you get them each holiday season. Sure, we all know that it’s the “thought that counts” and as long as your heart is “in the right place,” everything will work out fine. But really, that scratchy sweater your great aunt gave you? We didn’t think so. Instead, give Bon Appétit’s brand spankin’ new gift box and be the holiday hero your family and friends deserve.

People want gifts that keep on giving, and this one does—all the time. The box comes with a one-year subscription to Bon Appétit. We’re talking print AND digital, plus a bonus issue in the box, which means your cherished recipient never has to worry about missing out on the coolest new restaurants, the hottest trends, and the best new recipes BA has to offer.

The bundle also boasts a signature “Don’t Worry, Eat Happy” tote, a reusable Stasher silicone storage bag (popularized by a little ol’ tv show called Shark Tank!), and a stash of BA editors’ favorite cookie recipes. We’ve even gone the extra mile and included a cookie scoop and two Skor bars, aka the closest thing to a perfect pre-made English toffee you’ll find. This way, your recipient can get right to making our new Spiced Snickerdoodle Crunch Cookies and you can get right to eating them.

Who could say no to all of these goodies getting delivered to your door? Take our advice this holiday season and give the gifts people will truly want. And who knows, you might just end up with a few sweet treats for yourself.

What are you waiting for? Get gifting!



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Santé Et Nutrition

The Minimalist Brussels Sprouts Thanksgiving Side with Maximalist Results

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The quick-sautéed Brussels sprouts with walnuts that my family serves as a Thanksgiving side dish every year would surely not exist without support from the wonderful world of pro football. During the days leading up to the holiday, my dad, Frank Lalli, stations himself in front of the kitchen TV, paring knife in hand and pints of Brussels sprouts arranged around him, to begin what is known in my family as “The Brussels Prep.”

This painstaking process involves coring each tiny little cabbage and then separating the leaves so that they can be stir-fried over high heat in the minutes leading up to the Thanksgiving meal. Before that can happen, every leaf must be liberated from the rest, and it has to be done right. This drudgery is supposedly alleviated by a good college game, or at least that’s the theory. If Frank gets lazy or impatient and starts pulling the leaves off in clumps, or with pieces of the root attached, he will incur the loving wrath of one of the Lalli sisters (that would be me and my sister, Nina). We like our leaves fluffy. Because this laborious prep can be done days in advance, there’s at least some amount of balance to the whole affair. Yes, it’s a lot of vegetable butchery. But! It’s easy. And! You can do it on the Monday before T-Day. Plus! The dish itself takes minutes to prepare.

stir fried brussels sprouts

Photo by Michael Graydon

The more hands to help, the merrier.

I can’t remember when the Brussels first made an appearance on the menu. They’ve never not been there. Memories of all the years of making them have blurred together, a slo-mo flashback montage of Thanksgivings that took place in the kitchen of the house I grew up in, and the one my parents have lived in for the past 20 years, along with the cast-iron skillets that have been residents of both. The only thing that’s changed is the addition of some lemon zest and some lemon juice—a modern intervention on the classic presentation, and a move we might debate this year.

No matter how many pints Frank works his way through, there’s always just enough Brussels to go around the table once, bright green and crisp-tender, perfectly blistered and charred spots. Their preciousness—alongside an abundance of every other dish on the table—makes us covet them even more.

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Chile-Glazed Shallots Are an Ideal Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side

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For a reason I’m still not totally sure of, I decided to host 20 of my closest friends at my apartment for Friendsgiving.

And cook everything myself.

Being the oldest child, being a stubborn taurus, and working at a food magazine all probably had something to do with it. Not only did I have four dishes to cook, but three vegetarians to please, a VERY tiny oven to manage, and no dishwasher to speak of. So when I saw Molly Baz’s new recipe for glazed shallots with chile and thyme, I knew I had to make these sweet and saucy, extremely hands-off, and totally make-ahead-able flavor bombs.

The awesome thing about this recipe is that the shallots get all glazy and wonderful by spending A LOT of time in the oven. Which meant while they were doing their thing, I could chop celery and crush almonds for Josh McFadden’s celery salad, and wash all of the inevitable dishes piling up in my sink. (Again, no dishwasher.)

To begin, I peeled enough shallots for a sprint to the bathroom for a quick cry sesh. (It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without one, TBH.) Then, I added butter to a skillet* (*Dutch oven because I didn’t have a free skillet with everything else cluttered on the stove) and let the shallots bathe in butter until they browned a bit. I added a few sprigs of thyme, red wine vinegar, water, sugar, and pepper. My local grocery store didn’t have red chiles, so I frantically texted Molly Baz (the benefits of working at said food magazine above) about what to replace them with: fresh jalapeño or dried serrano (since that’s what I had in my house). “Fresh jal! Or use dried red pepper flake,” she quickly responded. TYSM Moll, TYSM. I ended up using 2 tbsp of red pepper flakes, which was way too much and made the dish REAL spicy. Word of advice: use more like…1 tablespoon! But again, the magic of being able to control this dish is also controlling the spice level.

Then you pop that warm shallot kiddie pool into the oven for about 45 minutes. After the liquid reduced to a sticky glaze and the shallots got all tender and soft, I took them out and transferred them to a glass baking dish. I did this because I needed my Dutch oven to cook in, and because I knew I could gently reheat the shallots in the oven in the baking dish, and then serve them right from there. I know, I’m literally a genius. I also may or may not have had a note on my phone that broke down my cooking times, as well as cooking vessels minute by minute. I looked like this:

ItsAlwaysThanksgiving

Anyways, these were a breeze to make, didn’t dirty an insane amount of dishes, and accommodated my veg pals. I plan on making them on days that aren’t just Thanksgiving, and will probably assign them to a friend to make next year, when we do Friendsgiving potluck style instead.

Get the Recipe:

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