Recipe: Risotto Cakes With Sherry Gastrique – Vegetarian

Risotto Cakes With Sherry Gastrique
Risotto Cakes With Sherry Gastrique

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
  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile combine the leftover risotto, eggs, teaspoon of salt, and cayenne.
  3. Heat up a griddle or skillet like you would pancakes, and lightly grease.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Throw the sage leaves in a bit of the oil off at the edge of the pan and crisp them up.
  7. Serve 2 cakes with a couple sage leaves, finishing salt, fresh ground pepper, and a tablespoon or so of the gastrique.

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, March 17th, 2008 in Main Courses, Recipes.

6 Responses to “Recipe: Risotto Cakes With Sherry Gastrique – Vegetarian”

  1. Reply
    March 18, 2008 at 8:06 am #

    I make risotto cakes too! Now I have to try it with the sherry! Thanks!

  2. Reply
    March 18, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    Risotto cakes are a wonderful idea for serving at a party!

  3. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    March 19, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    LisaRene – for sure! I’d make the risotto a day in advance so it has time to set up and cool. Christine – let me know how you like the gastrique.

  4. Reply
    March 20, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    I just love it. My number one food in the world and risotto cakes… even better

  5. Reply
    March 22, 2008 at 7:36 am #

    Have you ever baked risotto? This is my new trick. You add the risotto with the stock or wine in a big covered pot in the oven. Then you bake it for 40 minutes until the stock has absorbed into the rice. Then you stir in the cheese, etc. The risotto comes out perfectly ever time.

  6. Reply
    March 22, 2008 at 7:45 pm #

    Your blog is great! I put up a link from the Tofu Hunter. I’ve been reading through your posts making myself good and hungry and I’m especially looking forward to visiting the Shanghai Garden after reading your review. A coordinated effort one of these days sounds like an interesting idea! We should do it.

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