Lobster risotto balls, basil and orange mayonnaise

Lobster risotto balls, basil and orange mayonnaise

By
From
Everyday Seafood
Serves
10 as a starter
Makes
20

This is my version of the Sicilian classic arancini. It’s a great recipe and a real crowd pleaser. At my first restaurant, I cooked a lobster risotto flavoured with orange, basil and spring onions, which became a signature dish. I’ve used the same combination here because it works so well.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 live lobsters, about 800 g each
1 litre see method for ingredients
250g carnaroli rice
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
100g parmesan, freshly grated
1 orange, zest finely grated
30 basil leaves, finely sliced
1 medium egg, beaten
150g plain flour
500g dried breadcrumbs
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the basil and orange mayonnaise

Quantity Ingredient
2 egg yolks
1 orange, zest finely grated
30ml white wine vinegar
450ml light olive oil
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
20 basil leaves, finely sliced

Method

  1. Put the lobsters in the freezer 30 minutes before cooking to sedate them.
  2. Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil. To kill the lobsters instantly, place them on a board and insert the tip of a strong, sharp knife firmly into the cross on the back of the head, then plunge the lobsters into the boiling water. Bring back to the boil and cook for 8 minutes.
  3. Remove the lobsters from the pan to a tray and leave until cool enough to handle. Twist and pull the claws, legs and head away from the tails. Put the heads into a pan with the vegetable stock. Crack the claws and extract the meat. Using scissors, cut open the tail shell along its length. Pull the shell apart and remove the tail meat in one piece. Cut this meat in half lengthways and remove the dark intestinal tract. Cut the tail and claw meat into small pieces, put into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  4. For the lobster balls, bring the stock (and lobster heads) to the boil. Add the rice with a pinch of salt and bring back to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the rice has absorbed all the stock. Take off the heat and discard the heads. Stir in the spring onions, parmesan, orange zest and some pepper. Spread the rice out on a tray and cool in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile, for the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks, orange zest and wine vinegar into a blender or small food processor and blend for 30 seconds then, with the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. If it gets too thick, add 1 tsp water, then continue. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the spring onions, basil and salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  6. Once the rice is cold, stir in the sliced basil and lobster meat. Break off pieces and roll into balls, roughly the size of a golf ball. In a bowl, mix the beaten egg and flour together with some salt and pepper until smoothly combined. Place the breadcrumbs on a tray. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or other suitable deep, heavy pan to 160°C.
  7. Pass the lobster balls through the egg mix and then into the breadcrumbs, turning to coat all over. Deep-fry in the hot oil, in batches if necessary, for about 2 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt. Serve hot or cold, with the mayonnaise on the side.
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