Garlic Arancini with Black Currant Dipping Sauce

4 Tbsp. Garlic Olive Oil
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 c. arborio rice
1/2 c. white wine
3 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. parmesan cheese, grated
1 lemon, zested
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 c.  EVOO (for deep frying)
1 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
pinch of black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. panko bread crumbs

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 c. Black Currant Balsamic
1/2 c. currant jelly or jam
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. soy sauce
grated parmesan and fresh chopped basil for garnish

Preheat Garlic Olive Oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and crisp until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add onion, garlic and rice and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes more.

Deglaze the pan with white wine, and once the wine is almost completely evaporated begin adding in the broth, 1 cup at a time (repeating with another cup, once most of the broth has been absorbed, and stirring occasionally). Once all the broth has been added, sprinkle in the cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Once the rice is tender (the mixture might still be a little soupy, that’s ok) remove from the heat and set aside to cool (this step can also be done the day before and refrigerated overnight).

Meanwhile, preheat EVOO in a large dutch oven or deep fryer to 350°F.

Portion rice into medium sized balls (using a scoop or large spoon to help portion). Season flour with salt and pepper, then set up your breading station by placing the seasoned flour in one bowl, eggs in another, and bread crumbs in a third. Coat rice balls in the flour, then egg (letting any excess drip off) and lastly, the bread crumbs, repeat the breading process for all.

Carefully add a few breaded rice balls, working in batches, to the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on a wire rack or paper towels.

While the arancini are frying, combine balsamic, jam, ketchup and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine the dipping sauce. To serve, sprinkle arancini with parmesan and basil. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.

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