Any time I cook risotto, I try to make enough extra that I can fry up a few risotto cakes the next day. I’m kind of a sucker for any sort of savory pancake, and these have that creamy risotto goodness that is easy to love.
You don’t need a precise recipe; all I do is add a beaten egg or two until they seem bound enough to hold together, along with any additional flavors I might want. Then I pan fry them and maybe make a quick sauce, or just serve with a bit of good yogurt or creme fraiche.
This time I made a sherry gastrique. A gastrique is just a reduction of a vinegar or wine with some type of sugar, and often a fruit. I omitted the fruit this time, I and just used a good sherry vinegar and white sugar. You cook it over a moderate flame so that the sugar caramelizes. The result should have an intensity of sweetness and acid so that it only takes a small amount to add an intense counterpoint to a dish.
Here’s a basic recipe for the whole dish to get you started, but be sure and improvise!
Risotto Cakes With Sherry Gastrique
Makes 4 cakes (a light lunch for two, or the basis of a larger meal)
Vegetarian, not vegan
- 1 c. sherry vinegar
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1.5 c. creamy leftover risotto, cool
- 1 or 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 t. kosher salt
- 1/2 t. cayenne pepper (or more to taste – make it fairly spicy to offset the sweetness of the gastrique)
- small amount of oil for frying cakes
- 4 small sage leaves
- Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt) salt or other finishing salt
- black pepper
- Combine the vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt in your smallest pot and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Reduce until it will coat a spoon and turn off heat.
- Meanwhile combine the leftover risotto, eggs, teaspoon of salt, and cayenne.
- Heat up a griddle or skillet like you would pancakes, and lightly grease.
- Put about 1/3 c. of batter on the griddle and quickly shape into a patty about 1/2" thick. Repeat with the remaining batter. If you want, you could press some panko or sesame seeds into the uper side before flipping.
- Fry until quite brown on the first side, cautiously flip, and cook until finished. They taste better the darker you can get them without burning.
- Throw the sage leaves in a bit of the oil off at the edge of the pan and crisp them up.
- Serve 2 cakes with a couple sage leaves, finishing salt, fresh ground pepper, and a tablespoon or so of the gastrique.