Oven-baked orzo with roasted tomatoes, goats cheese and hazelnuts served with a side of crispy sweet potato-kale fritters and a spiced yoghurt dip.
BASIC INGREDIENTS (4 PEOPLE)
400-500g fresh cherry or baby plum tomatoes (get the nicest ones you can afford)
1 red onion
5 spring onions
1 SMALL sweet potato
125g soft goats cheese or big ball of mozzarella
Plain, unsweetened yoghurt (enough for a dip)
Herbs & spices: Knorr stock pot/oxo cube, small bunch basil, small bunch parsley, smokey paprika, turmeric powder, dried oregano, 4 cloves garlic minced (or jarred), baking powder, fresh/dried chillies
LUXURY INGREDIENTS (OPTIONAL)
2 handfuls of hazelnuts
100ml cheap white wine
Small bunch asparagus
Selection of baked orzo and crispy sweet potato fritters this week
Oven on 180° · Boil kettle and make up 800ml stock + 100ml white wine (or just 900ml stock) · peel and grate your sweet potato · crush 4 cloves of garlic
Take an oven dish (approx. 30cm x 20cm) and put one sliced red onion in with a nice drizzle of olive oil. Pop into the oven to warm.
While this is heating, measure 400g of orzo and half your cherry tomatoes. If using fresh chillies, slice now.
Take out your onions and add in your garlic, stir, add your fresh chillies and dried chilli flakes, 3 tsp of smokey paprika and lots of black pepper. Stir everything.
Gently pour in your stock and mix, then lay your cherry tomatoes on top. Pop into the oven for 20 mins.
Sweet potato fritters prep
Into your mixing bowl add:
Your grated sweet potato
1-2 handfuls of thinly sliced spinach/kale
3 chopped spring onions
3tsp smokey paprika
1tsp baking powder
1tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Optional chilli flakes
Salt & pepper
Handful of fresh chopped parsley
Mix away happily, you should have a sloppy mixture. Add in 4tbsp of flour and mix. You may need more - you are looking for a mixture that sticks together and blobs off a spoon. You DON'T want it to be too stiff - if you end up adding too much flour, throw in a dash of milk to loosen mixture.
Set aside for flavours to develop.
Spiced yoghurt dip
Pour enough yoghurt for the people your serving into a nice dish. Top with:
1/2tsp smokey paprika
Small handful fresh parsley
1 sliced spring onion
Squeeze of lemon
Nice looking dip from Chef Andy
After 20 minutes, check the orzo and the liquid levels - it should still be wet. Gently move around the liquid, trying to keep the tomatoes on top so that they will roast.
Check again in 15 minutes - you're looking for a bite but of course you can cook it longer if you like it soft. Add in a couple of handfuls of hazelnuts and crumble the goats cheese/mozzarella and pop back in for a final 5 minutes.
In the mean time, get on with the sweet potato fritters...
In a high sided pan, add 2cm of vegetable/sunflower oil and heat until hot. Drop in a tsp of the fritter mixture and check how long it takes to cook to a nice brown - probably 60-90 seconds.
Amusing little gif from Chef Menze
Put a couple of sheets of towel roll onto a plate.
When the oil is the right temperature, take a nice tablespoon blob of the mixture and carefully drop into the hot oil - gently flatten a little then turn over after about 60 seconds.
Drain and lay on the plate to dry a little, then place on a wire wrack to keep crisp.
Photo courtesy of Chef Conor
Fry off some asparagus (optional) and top the orzo with freshly chopped parsley or basil.
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Cover photo courtesy of Chef Sam