Mashed Potato Arancini
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We don’t need to tell you how heavenly fresh mashed potatoes taste. But the leftovers rarely reheat to their former glory. Next time you have spare spuds, give them a second life in the form of these mashed potato arancini from Molly Baz’s new cookbook, More Is More: Get Loose in the Kitchen.
“You might already be familiar with Italian arancini, the crispy, molten rice ball street snack that hails from Sicily,” Baz writes. “These little cuties are kinda like those, except that instead of being made with leftover risotto, they’re made with mashed potatoes.” Sounds divine to us.
Stuffed with briny olives and gooey mozzarella cheese, these bites are prime for washing down with beer or a dirty martini. You can also bulk up the filling with seasoned ground beef for a papa rellena-inspired twist—the arancini is your oyster.
More Is More Copyright © 2023 by Molly Baz. Photographs copyright © 2023 by PEDEN + MUNK. Illustrations Copyright © 2023 Claire McCracken. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1¼ pounds)
Extra-virgin olive oil
28 small pitted green olives
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces mozzarella or fontina cheese
Canola oil, for frying
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
1. Peel the potatoes and cut them in half. Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with two inches of cold water. Season with lots of salt—it should be saltier than the sea.
2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water boils, reduce the heat as needed to maintain a simmer and cook the potatoes until very tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
3. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a medium bowl, add a few glugs of olive oil and mash with a fork.
4. Finely chop 12 small pitted green olives and add them to the potato mixture, along with the Parmesan cheese, the zest of ½ lemon and the juice of the entire lemon. Season the mixture with salt and lots of black pepper and mash well to combine.
5. Dice the mozzarella cheese into sixteen ¾-inch cubes.
6. Working with two heaping tablespoons (about 1½ ounces) of the mixture at a time, roll the mixture into a ball and flatten it in your palm into a ¼-inch-thick pancake. Place one of the remaining olives and one mozzarella cube at the center of each.
7. Fold the edges up around the fillings and reroll into a ball, making sure no olive or cheese is poking out. Repeat until all the potato mixture is used up.
8. Fill a medium pot with enough canola oil to reach a depth of 1½ inches. (The amount will vary depending on the size of your pot.) Set over medium heat.
9. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. In another medium bowl, add the all-purpose flour. Season with salt and pepper. In a third medium bowl, add the breadcrumbs.
10. Working with one or two at a time, roll the balls in the flour, then dip them in the eggs and finally roll them in the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a large plate.
11. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
12. Once the oil reaches 375°F, working in batches, use a slotted spoon to gently lower five or six arancini balls at a time into the oil. Cook, flipping occasionally, until deep golden brown all over, about 3 to 4 minutes per batch.
13. Transfer the balls to the prepared baking sheet and season all over with salt. Repeat with the remaining arancini and serve immediately, so the cheese stays oozy.