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                                                                  Stuffed with smoked mozzarella cheese and then coated with crisp bread crumbs, these pleasingly rich, creamy textured rice cakes make a big flavor impact with little effort. Inside each crisp, golden brown cake is a smoky, oozy surprise for your guests.

                                                                  Ingredients
                                                                  • Yes No 1/4 lb smoked mozzarella cheese
                                                                  • Yes No 2 1/2 basic risotto, 2 1/2 cups
                                                                  • Yes No canola oil
                                                                  • Yes No 1/2 all purpose flour, 1/2 cup
                                                                  • Yes No 1 large egg
                                                                  • Yes No 1 panko bread crumbs, 1 cup
                                                                  • Cut the cheese into 10 thin, 2-inch-square pieces. Scoop up 1/4 cup of the cold risotto and shape it into ball between your palms. Make an indentation in the ball with a fingertip and press a piece of the cheese into the cavity. Bring the rice over the cheese to cover it completely, and then flatten the rice into a cake 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining risotto and cheese to make 10 cakes.
                                                                  • Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack on top. Pour the oil into a large, heavy frying pan to a depth of 1/2 inch and warm over high heat until very hot.
                                                                  • While the oil is heating, place the flour, egg, and bread crumbs in 3 separate bowls; lightly beat the egg. One at a time, dip the risotto cakes in the flour, coating both sides and shaking off the excess. Next, coat both sides of the cakes with the egg, allowing the excess to drip off. Finally, coat the cakes with the bread crumbs, again shaking off the excess. Set the coated cakes aside on a plate as you work.
                                                                  • Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, fry the coated cakes in the hot oil until golden brown and crisp on the first sides, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, turn the cakes over and fry on the second sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the cakes to the rack to drain and keep warm in the oven. Cook the remaining cakes in the same way, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
                                                                  • Arrange the cakes on a warmed platter and serve right away.
                                                                  Cuisine:YesNoitalian
                                                                  Yields: 10cakes; 4–5 servings
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                                                                    cover
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                                                                    bake
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                                                                    bread
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                                                                    dip
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                                                                    coat
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                                                                    drain
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                                                                    paper

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