i’m kind of the queen of leftovers. i really can’t stand to let food go to waste, yet an interesting phenomenon happens when i cook for my husband and myself while most recipes are written to serve four. yes: leftovers!
but containers full of the previous night’s dinner rule on a few levels. less time is required to fill a week with meals, because many will get two nights or more in the spotlight, requiring only reheating (big batches of soup/chili/stew, whaaaat). it’s a money-saver. it’s lunch the next day: nothing easier than grabbing leftovers from the fridge on my way out the door! who didn’t have to buy bologna for that day?! THAT’S RIGHT.
i’m kidding, i don’t even like bologna.
do you think some dishes are more awesomer in their leftovers afterlife than they were in their original incarnation?
i’m not sure, but risotto cakes come pretty close.
i always make a huuuggge batch of risotto, because. my eyes are much bigger than my stomach. but also risotto is easy and CHEAP to make and so tasty, uses just about anything i might have on hand, and does well reheated in my office’s microwave the next day for lunch. but what if that delicious leftover risotto was breaded and fried?!
crisp risotto cakesadapted from history which has been making these smart little fritters for hundreds of years, most likely
- Leftover risotto (any kind will do! I had made pumpkin, leek and sausage risotto, which explains the orange-y color)
- Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) (normal ‘Merican breadcrumbs will do well too)
- Olive oil
- Either scoop up the risotto with a spoon and form into ball, then flatten into 1/2-inch thick patties.. Or, if you had some forethought (I never do), you’d have put your leftover risotto onto a piece of wax paper, rolled it up into a log, and stowed it in the fridge so when you were ready for Risotto Round 2, you only needed to slice rounds off of that for risotto cakes.
- Pour some panko breadcrumbs into a shallow plate or bowl.
- Take your breading as far as you like, but I don’t think these even need an egg dipping step. What you see here is only panko and I think it was solidly perfect — and I am all about fewer dirty dredging dishes. So gently press your patties or slices of cold risotto into the panko breadcrumbs and set aside on a large platter or piece of waxed paper.
- Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. When it shimmers and shimmies, fill the pan with the panko-crusted cakes, but don’t let them touch.
- Fry until golden brown and crispy, then flip. Repeat with remaining cakes, adding oil between batches if necessary. If you’re serving a crowd, keep warm in the oven.
- Serve alongside a glass of wine and a glorious salad like the one my mom made (recipe to follow) and congratulate yourself on making one awesome meal into TWO.
these were beautifully crisp on the outside, and creamy and melty from the leeks and parmesan on the inside. my favorite part about serving this at my parents’ house for Sunday lunch was my baby brother’s reaction (not such a baby anymore! 18 years old next month!): “sophie, what IS this?!” and not in a grossed-out way, but in a pretty-much-digging it way. it pleases me to please a picky eater.
i don’t know if i can say! rating the leftovers of leftovers?… getting kind of Inception-y isn’t it? but i wouldn’t put it past these babies to go into the fridge for the night and be reheated beautifully on a skillet the next day. hell, for breakfast. oh my gosh with an egg on top.