Whether you are cooking for a crowd, or creating a meal for immediate family, here are a few ideas to whet your appetite, and start the Easter celebrations in style.
The Family Table
There is no table more important than the family one this Easter. Lamb is a natural choice, synonymous with Easter as it is. While it’s a little early for lamb this season, there are lots of wonderful deals on Irish lamb in the supermarkets, so buy it up and choose from recipes like slow-cooked Middle Eastern lamb shredded over flatbreads with roasted veg; or provencal lamb casserole with hassleback potatoes. Rozanne Stevens created a butterflied leg of lamb with salsa verde that screams sophistication, and if all else fails, lamb chops with harissa offers a quick solution to the Easter feast.
If lamb fails to appeal, then there is nothing more celebratory than a simple roast chicken with fresh seasonal veg. Beef features widely on many people’s Easter menus and we choose a rib over all other cuts when it comes to special occasions. Roast meat is a wonderfully easy way to feed lots of people, and will sit happily resting at room temperature while the inevitable chat holds up the dinner table.
Self Service Entertaining
Buffets offer the ultimate solution when feeding a crowd. We find cooking one large joint of meat a lifesaver – glazed ham always goes down well. Pair this with four or five salads; a leafy one, one with a carbohydrate, something unusual and a riff on a slaw. Warm pastry adds a luxury hit to any buffet, and with careful planning, can be prepared in advance. We like sausage rolls, or a cheesy tart for added appeal. Homemade bread is a wonderful addition, so if you have time to whip up some simple soda bread, then please do. Finally, offer lots of dips like hummus and pesto and be sure to have a heavily laden dessert table – more on this below.
There quite simply is no Easter, without Easter baking. Whether its a traditional simnel cake or something fun like Scotch Creme Eggs, there is always room for more chocolate. If you are entertaining, choose two or three desserts. One, to be chocolate-based, like Chocolate Mousse Cake or After Eight Chocolate Torte, one fruity, like Raspberry Meringue Pie, Cherry Eton Mess or Berry Trifle. Finally, choose a showstopper like Oreo Chocolate Cake, a Black Forest Pavlova or profiteroles. When it comes to leftover chocolate, there is no recipe that acts as an Easter Egg receptacle quite like our rocky road. Just don’t blame us when you can’t stop eating it…!!