It’s the holidays ya’ll.
And apparently I now have a southern accent. I went to Vegas this past weekend and literally saw hundreds and hundreds of cowboys. Like real live cowboys with giant cowboy hats, cowboy boots, jeans, tucked in shirts, big belts, handlebar mustaches, and just basically being the coolest ever. It’s one thing to dress up like a cowboy for Halloween. It’s another to actually BE a cowboy. Totally awesome.
Turns out the rodeo was in town for the weekend. Either way, I now, not so secretly want to be a cowlgirl and will most likely start saying “ya’ll” as a part of my daily vocabulary.
I was in Vegas for a long overdue girls trip with a couple of my best college girlfriends. Let me tell you, Vegas in your 30’s is A LOT different than Vegas in your 20’s. At least it is for this girl. Our weekend consisted of eating ridiculously amazing food, shopping, hot tubs, sleeping, room service, uncontrollable laughing and memories that will last a lifetime. We stayed up late talking about stories we’ve told a million times, cracked up looking at pictures from our freshman year soccer initiation, and sang Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston songs WAY too loud while we changed our outfits a thousand times before finally making it out the door. Some things never change. I love these girls so much, and it was a much needed 48-hour get away to clear my head and escape the hustle and bustle of real life.
BUT, here we are, back to life. Back to reality. Which I also love! And like I said, it’s the holidays ya’ll!
Holidays + Holiday parites = Holiday appetizers.
I looooooooooove me some appetizers. It’s hard to choose my favorite because I’m all for an awesome dip, a fabulous cheese board, or anything on toast. But I wanted to make the “wait by the kitchen door and attack the waiter as he comes out” appetizer. THOSE are the best.
So, I made these baked brown rice mushroom risotto balls. So much yes.
They’re really easy, super decedent, and you can make risotto for dinner one night, and use the leftovers to make these apps. Do it.
You can use any leftover risotto recipe to make these, so if you have a favorite, by all means use it. I used this recipe, (and added spinach), which was awesome, AND it uses brown rice instead of white, therefore it’s super healthy and guilt free! (kind of sort of)
Another bonus, these balls are baked not fried, so there’s no hovering over a hot stove, and their healthier! You can also assemble these ahead of time and pop them in the oven just before your guests arrive. You definitely want to eat these fresh out the oven.
Hot and crispy on the outside, with a rich and creamy center. SO. GOOD.
Baked Brown Rice Mushroom Risotto Balls
- 1/2 of leftover mushroom risotto recipe or any leftover risotto
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Olive oil spray
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, thyme, and parsley and set aside.
- In a separate bowl mix the eggs and milk. Set aside.
- Take 1 heaping tablespoon of risotto and roll it into a ball and set aside. Continue rolling the rest of the risotto into uniform balls.
- Taking one ball at a time, dip it first in the egg mixture, making sure to coat the entire ball and allowing the excess to drip off. Then roll the ball in the breadcrumb mixture and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Continue with the remaining balls.
- Lightly spray the balls with olive oil and bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle. Serve right away!
* You can assemble these and put them in the fridge overnight before baking.