Finely Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish
Chopped Fresh Herbs: Basil, Thyme, Parsley or Chives
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Cubed Mozzarella, Cheddar, Muenster or Swiss Cheese (your choice)
Chopped Ham, Proscuitto, Pepperoni or Salami (your choice)
Vegetable Oil, for deep-frying
Dry Italian Bread Crumbs
Tomato Sauce, as accompaniment
To make the basic risotto for the arancini, bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan. In a heavy dutch oven or large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until transparent, about 4 minutes
Add rice to the onions and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is opaque and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed. While continually stirring, begin adding the stock in 1/2 cup increments, allowing the liquid to become completely absorbed between additions. Cook until rice is just tender and the risotto is creamy, about 20 minutes
Add the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, heavy cream, herbs and salt and pepper and stir to combine well. Transfer to a mixing bowl or baking dish and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
When ready to make the arancini, remove the chilled risotto from the refrigerator and stir in 1 of the eggs. Using a small scoop or large spoon, divide the risotto into approximately 3 tablespoon portions. Using your hands, form the portions into rough ball shapes.
Press a hole into the center of each risotto ball and stuff the center with some of the cheese and the chopped ham (or other preferred meat). Press the opening closed and roll the ball between your hands until smooth. Set aside and repeat. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil until a deep-fry thermometer reads 360 degrees F. Place the flour, remaining 2 eggs and bread crumbs in 3 separate bowls. Season each with Essence to taste. Using a fork, lightly beat the eggs. Dredge each risotto ball in the flour, beaten egg mixture and bread crumbs so each is completely coated. Fry the balls in batches, so that they are evenly browned - about 2 minutes. Serve immediately with parmesan and tomato sauce.