One recipe, two meals

I always feel inspired when watching elite sport, especially pinnacle world events. It’s motivating and helps me get my sorry butt off the couch if I’ve been a tad slack for a while.

The timing of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games isn’t the best for New Zealand, but I’m a late to bed sort of gal so find myself staying up far too late cheering on our athletes and then getting up early for the morning finals.

What I’m really loving about these games is that parasport events are integrated into the main event. This gives us viewers an opportunity to see phenomenally talented athletes we otherwise wouldn’t. For New Zealand, the gorgeous Sophie Pascoe blows them away in the pool. Her focus and determination is a lesson for us all. Who wouldn’t support Sophie when she calls for parasport athletes to be judged against their able-bodied counterparts when it comes to annual awards?

I can tell you that there will be no more moaning for me about disliking swimming after I’ve seen athletes swim butterfly with one arm. What have I got to grizzle about?

One of my highlights of the Games has been watching almost completely blind women run the 100m in times that would see me reach about 10m as they cross the finished line. Cliché I know, but I genuinely felt inspired after watching them.

Most of us won’t win a gold meal or even the local fun run. (The older I get, the more I realise that lawn bowls may be my last sporting option!) But what the Games are reminding me of is the importance of setting some goals, challenging  myself and doing everything to the best of my ability. (I am not trying to sound like  a self-help book here.)

Today’s recipe is designed to free up some time to spend doing something else, like going for a run or training for a new challenge, by using last night’s left overs. I’m turning the risotto from my last post into arancini (pronounced aran-chini) – or, risotto balls.

What you’ll need

1 quantity risotto (refrigerated for several hours or over night)

Mozzarella, cubed

Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

1-2 eggs (depending on quantity of risotto), beaten with a splash of milk

Breadcrumbs (dried or fresh – or, I used panko this time as that’s what I had at hand)

Oil – for shallow or deep-frying, or spray oil for oven baked

To make them

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Roll risotto into walnut-sized balls, with cube of mozzarella in the centre (I ran out of mozzarella, so had to use bog standard cheese for this batch). If you happen to have big chunks of meat in your risotto, it can pay to chop them a little smaller to make it easier to mould the balls.

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Roll in flour, then in egg, then breadcrumbs.

Pop balls into the fridge for half an hour or longer (if you have time).

If frying: Heat oil and fry so crisp on all sides or

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If baking: Ensure oven is heated to 190-200C. Cover oven tray with baking paper. Spray baking paper with oil and place arancini on the tray. Spray with oil.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once, until crisp, hot and golden.

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Serve hot with relish for almost any meal. Great for a tapas style dinner as they can easily be made well ahead of time and cooked at the last minute. Note, that this batch isn’t quite as brown as I like them (my oven wasn’t hot enough) and the photo is not so good – but take my word for it, they are as tasty as the deep-fried option and better for you. And a great carb meal for all that training you’re about to do!

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