Smoked haddock arancini can be made into smaller bite-sized pieces for canapés / Jason Lowe
Makes 15-20

Risotto is the base for these delicious deep-fried little rice croquettes; in fact, the dish probably originated from leftover risotto. Arancini can be made with all sorts of risottos, from a simple risotto alla Milanese to a creamy mushroom variation.

You can make these into smaller bite-sized pieces for canapés or larger versions for snacks, or as part of an antipasti display.

100g natural smoked haddock
500ml fish stock
A couple of knobs of butter
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
80g carnaroli risotto rice
40g freshly grated parmesan
1tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 80-100g flour for dusting
1 large egg, beaten
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying

Put the haddock in a saucepan with the fish stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes, then transfer the haddock on to a plate and strain the sauce through a sieve. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and gently cook the onion for 2-3 minutes on a low heat, stirring every so often.

Add the rice and stir on the heat for a minute, season, then gradually start adding the stock, a little at a time and stirring every so often, ensuring that each addition of stock has been absorbed before adding the next.

Continue adding the stock until the rice is tender, it should be fully cooked through and quite dry as it needs to stay together when moulded. Stir in the parmesan and parsley and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, remove all of the skin and bones from the haddock and flake the flesh into small pieces and stir into the hot rice once it has cooked; remove from the stove. Re-season the rice if necessary and transfer to a shallow dish to cool, stirring every so often as it is cooling, then transfer to the fridge for an hour or so.

Mould the rice into balls with a diameter of about the size of a 10p piece for canapés (or larger if you wish). Have three dishes ready, one with the flour, the second with the beaten egg and the third with the breadcrumbs. Pass the rice balls firstly through the flour, shaking off any excess, then through the egg and finally through the breadcrumbs.

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer and fry the arancini a few at a time for 2-3 minutes, turning them with a slotted spoon as they are cooking, until they are golden; then transfer on to some kitchen paper. Serve immediately.