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Risotto Cakes with Butternut Squash and Sausage


Last month Rachel at Fresh Approach Cooking made New Orleans-style rice cakes with a tomatoey shrimp topping for the Paper Chef competition and I've been thinking ever since about making some sort of rice cakes with a nicely-paired sauce.

This was an easy side dish for an informal supper for four, since the risotto was already made. I formed the cakes and coated them several hours ahead of time and then sautéed them while the meat was resting after roasting (The cakes were served with Horseradish-Herb Encrusted Pork Loin with Apples and Onions and some Bok Choi Italiano, made with baby bok choi. The risotto cakes paired nicely with the wine-simmered apple/onion relish served with the pork. The whole menu had a nice autumn tone to it.)

Of course, any risotto variation could be used for these cakes, as long as the flavoring is complementary to whatever else is on the plate. I'm looking forward to making a seafood-based risotto, like my Shrimp Risotto, and then making cakes and serving them with a seafood stew, possibly like the Spanish Style Fish Stew. Lots of possibilities...!

Risotto Cakes

1/2 recipe Roasted Butternut Squash and Sausage Risotto or other risotto, chilled
    (see note below about moisture content of risotto to be used for this preparation)
2 eggs, beaten lightly with a fork
1 C flour
2 C panko flakes
canola or other oil, for frying

With wet hands, form the risotto into uniformly sized and shaped patties. (I use a kitchen scale to get them all about the same size - about 4 oz each. This time I made them in a sort of wedge shape, but other shapes are possible too.)

Place the flour, egg and panko in three flat soup plates. Roll the cakes first in the flour, then the egg, then the panko, to coat. Place them on a plate lined with waxed paper and allow them to rest at least 20 minutes or up to several hours (covered with another piece of waxed paper if you've made them ahead of time).

Sauté the cakes in about 1/4" of 375º oil in a heavy sauté pan, 3 - 5 minutes on a side, till starting to turn golden brown. Don't crowd them in the pan -- they should not be touching each other. If you have to make them in more than one batch, keep the earlier batches warm, on paper towel, while making subsequent batches.

Serve immediately.


Yield. The yield is determined by the amount of risotto you have. Divide the weight of your risotto stock in ounces by 4 to determine how many cakes you can make. If you are making more than about 6 - 8 you will probably need more flour, egg and panko.

Moisture content. In what has become a routine when I serve risotto and have some leftover, I cook the leftover portion a little longer than the portion to be served. This is because I normally serve the risotto slightly soupy, or at least with some broth oozing out onto the plate. However, if there is any leftover and it goes into the fridge in that soupy state, the rice absorbs the rest of the moisture and the next go at the risotto finds it soggy and disappointing, and not much use for anything appetizing. So, cooking the leftover portion a couple a little more to dry it out before putting it away for another time is a good investment of a few extra minutes.


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I'm so happy I inspired you! (blush)

Your cakes sound super fab...

Hee hee


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