TINY BUDGET COOKING
Limahl Asmall, author of Tiny Budget Cooking, shares two delicious and easy-to-follow recipes with the same three main ingredients as their base
Three main ingredients, two delicious recipes – all for just 86p per person
Pangrattato pan-fried orzo cakes with buttery chicken, peas & spinach
Pangrattato is a blend of breadcrumbs, lemon zest and garlic that Italians sprinkle liberally over their spaghetti. Here, the pangrattato is used as a coating for the orzo cakes and creates a gorgeous golden crust. Serve the cakes with the buttery chicken and peas for a tasty weekend brunch.
Serves 2 Prep 15-20 mins Cook 30 mins 86p a portion 200g orzo 3 slices bread 1 garlic clove zest from ½ lemon, plus
a little extra to serve 2 chicken thighs 1 tbsp butter 50g cheddar, diced 1 egg 1 tbsp olive oil 2 handfuls frozen peas 2 handfuls spinach 1 tsp lemon juice
If you don’t have orzo,
use 200g rice If you don’t have chicken thighs, use 2 chicken breasts If you don’t have spinach,
use 1 handful kale
1 Boil a kettle of water. Put 200g orzo in a pot and cover
18 BBC Easy Cook with salted boiling water. Simmer on a medium heat for 15 mins.
2 Meanwhile make the pangrattato. Add the bread to a large bowl and blitz with a hand blender to fine breadcrumbs. Very finely mince the garlic and add to the breadcrumbs, along with a pinch of seasoning and the lemon zest. Mix well, then pour 2/ 3 onto a dining plate and leave 1/ 3 in the bowl.
3 Remove the skin and bones from the chicken thighs, and slice the meat into 2-3 cm pieces.
Melt the butter over a medium-low heat, add the chicken and a pinch of seasoning, and gently cook, stirring occasionally.
4 When the orzo is cooked, drain well and add to the pangrattato in the bowl. Stir, then add the cheese and egg. Season, then stir together until thick and sticky.
5 Take a handful of the mixture and compress into a ball with both hands. Carefully press each side of the cake into the pangrattato on the plate and flatten into a small, thick patty. Place on a chopping board, then rinse and dry your hands. Repeat this process to form 4- 6 orzo cakes.
6 Heat the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. Carefully add the patties and cook in batches for 4 mins each side over a medium heat until crisp and golden.
7 After turning the orzo cakes, add the peas and spinach to the pan with the chicken. Cook for 4 mins, then add the lemon juice and season. Serve with the crispy orzo cakes. Garnish with a tsp lemon zest if available.