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Starter: Arancini with Cornish Gouda and Bacon

Words by The Cornish chef | Images by Ali Green

The man behind the mastery; using Cornwall’s bountiful larder to create a rustic, hearty menu.

Makes: 6 starters


100g smoked bacon

20g butter

½ stick of celery

100g leeks

1 banana shallot

1 litre vegetable stock


250g risotto rice

175ml dry white wine

50g peas

50g mature Gouda

1 ball of mozzarella

1 litre rapeseed oil

200g fine bread crumbs

2 eggs, beaten

Serve with garlic aioli or pesto


To start, heat a wide pan over a low heat before dicing and frying off the bacon until the fat has rendered down and the meat browned. Remove the bacon from the pan and keep to one side. Add your butter to the pan followed by the diced celery, leek and shallot and very gently cook until soft which should take about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable stock and saffron in a separate pan and maintain at just below a simmering heat.

Once the vegetables are ready add the rice and fold through before adding the white wine. Increase the heat a little to medium-low and once the wine has begun to evaporate start to add the vegetable stock a ladle at a time, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next. Continue to do this until the rice is cooked and tender, this should take approximately 15-20 minutes.

Take the rice and add the peas, Gouda and bacon before folding through and seasoning to taste. Spread the risotto mix over a large, cool baking tray and place to one side to firm up and cool down.

Once cool enough to shape, tear the mozzarella into 18 pieces and shape a small handful of risotto around each lump of the cheese. They should end up no bigger than a golf ball.

Once done, heat the oil to a temperature of 175°C in either a small fryer or saucepan. To test the temperature drop a 1-inch cube of bread into the hot oil and time how long it takes to turn brown – if the bread toasts in 50 to 60 seconds the oil is ready.

Take each ball of risotto and roll in the beaten egg, shake off any excess and then coat in breadcrumbs. Fry the risotto balls in batches of two or three. Once they reach golden brown and begin to float in the oil, remove from the fryer and place on kitchen towel to drain off while the others are frying. Serve immediately with garlic aioli or pesto for dipping.


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