In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat.
Add shallot, and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes or until just tender.
Add rice, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until rice begins to brown.
Add warm chicken broth, ¾ cup at a time, allowing liquid to be absorbed after each addition, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, and stir in crabmeat, cheese, lemon zest, and pepper.
Spread mixture to about ½ inch thickness on a rimmed baking sheet; cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
Form mixture into 1 inch balls.
Roll into bread crumbs to coat.
In a Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 3 inches.
Heat oil over medium heat to 350 degrees.
Fry risotto balls in batches for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels.
To freeze ahead, place fried risotto balls on a rimmed baking sheet; cover and freeze for up to 1 month.
Remove from freezer.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake risotto balls for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
Garnish with grated Parmesan, if desired.
Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese