In The Bender Kitchen: Traveling Epicurean Michel Vejar cooks up Arancini Reuben balls

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — With St. Patrick’s Day around corner, the Traveling Epicurean Michel Vejar has a recipe for your left over corned beef.

Risotto Ingredients – Total time for risotto approx. 30 minutes

  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tbsp. butter and a drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 4 cups hot chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Reggiano Parmesano

Risotto Directions:

  1. In small pot heat 4 cups chicken stock until simmering
  2. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a different medium size pot
  3. Add onion to the melted butter and sauté on low until soft and translucent 
  4.  Turn up heat to med. and add in 1 cup Arborio rice and sauté until the rice looks chalky while stirring all along
  5. Pour in 1/3 cup white wine, keep stirring and wine is absorbed begin to add in 4 cups of the simmering chicken stock-ONLY 1/2 cup at a time, 4 minutes for each addition
  6. ONLY add more chicken stock when previously addition is COMPLETELY absorbed while STIRRING all the time
  7. Stir in 1 tbsp. butter and 1/2 cup Reggiano Parmesano after the last of the chicken stock is absorbed, then let cool to make Arancini Reuben Balls

Arancini Ball Ingredients – Makes 20 – 1 1/2″:

  • 1 1/4 cup diced into 1/4″ pieces of corned beef
  • 2 cups cooked risotto (see below for recipe my recipe for risotto)
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated and packed Jarlsberg Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated and packed mozzarella cheese
  • 2 jalapeno’s finely diced and sautéed just until barely softened 2 minutes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Arancini Ball Directions:

  1. Put all of the above ingredients into a large bowl and stir with spatula until mixed
  2. Use cookie scoop and from balls, roll in hands after scooping to get nice and round
  3. Line up whisked eggs in one bowl,  bread crumbs in another so you can dip formed balls into the egg, then into crumbs
  4. Put breaded risotto Reuben balls in frig for 20-30 minutes
  5. When the Reuben balls are chilled heat 1/2″ vegetable oil in medium size pan and begin to heat on low for 5 minutes and then turn up to med/high to 350º
  6. Fry for about 2 minutes, then turn over for another 2 minutes til golden, make in 2 batches, don’t crowd the pan
  7. Place golden Reuben Balls on paper towel to drain, then serve with sauce below

Thousand Island Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (only use Hellman’s)
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 Heaping tbsp. finely chopped cornichons
  • 3 Heaping tbsp. of sweet relish
  • 1 Heaping tbsp. grated sweet onion
  • 1 Heaping tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp. creamy horseradish
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. “seasoned” rice wine vinegar
  • 3 dashes of Siracha


  1. Whisk all the items in list below in a medium bowl.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s