Book club was at my house in November, which means our lovely friends were once again guinea pigs as I tested a bunch of new recipes. Fortunately, they are very tolerant of my culinary experiments as there are usually as many wins as there are misses. These Fontina Chive Risotto Cakes made the cut this time, and I’m excited to share them with you. I love that they are a substantial warm appetizer, and they worked well for me as part of a buffet of snacks in lieu of a full sit down meal.
Risotto is notoriously putzy, and this recipe is no different. But before you shut the door on me completely, know you this is time well spent. For my fellow planners out here, you can keep the mostly-prepared risotto cakes frozen. Simply pull them out of the freezer, defrost them in the fridge and finish cooking the cakes whenever you need them. All they need is a quick dunk in an egg wash and a roll in some panko crumbs before they are ready for the oven.
Alternatively, you can fry these on the stovetop if you want to cook them more quickly than baking them. Since I detest frying anything (I hate cleaning up the greasy mess afterwards), I opted to give the cakes a generous spray of olive oil and bake them in a hot oven for 25-30 minutes. The cakes were still perfectly crunchy. I do recommend serving them with a dollop of sauce on top. I loved the flavor combination of the mild, creamy fontina with my Sweet and Tangy Tomato Jam, but any chunky marinara would be yummy, too.
How do you like to entertain? Are you a “sit down meal” or a “help yourself to the buffet” type of host?
Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan. Turn heat to low and keep warm.
Meanwhile, place olive oil in another saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Pour in rice, stir until coated and cook for about a minute. Add wine to saucepan and stir until it is absorbed. Start adding warm broth ⅓ cup at a time to the rice, stirring constantly until liquid is fully absorbed before adding more broth. After all of the broth is incorporated, remove pan from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan and allow risotto to completely cool.
Thoroughly whisk one egg and add to cooled risotto along with ½ cup Panko, Fontina, parsley and chives. Stir until completely mixed. Using your hands, form risotto into balls and then flatten into puck shapes. Depending on the size of your cakes, you’ll have anywhere from 24-32. (At this point, the cakes can be covered and refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for a month.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Generously spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Whisk remaining eggs in a shallow bowl and place Panko in another. Dip each cake in egg and then dredge in Panko. Place coated cakes on the baking sheet. Generously spray the tops of the cakes before baking for 25-30 minutes, turning once.