By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food
As the Spring draws closer than ever and the shops are filled with chocolate treats in all shapes and sizes to celebrate Easter, we managed to get in touch with some of our favourite chefs to find out some of their favourite Easter recipes. Whether it’s a traditional fish dish for Good Friday or a tantalising roast Lamb dish for Sunday, here are the only recipes you need for this weekend’s feasting to be nothing short of spectacular.
Oeuf Poche a la Tzarine by Michel Roux Jr. – owner of Le Gavroche, London
cooked artichoke hearts 4
soft poached eggs 4
smoked salmon 60g pressed though a fine sieve
double cream 200ml
smoked salmon 4 slices
caviar 4 heaped teaspoons or more
Keta (salmon eggs) 4 teaspoons
Trim the artichoke hearts and remove the choke. Beat the smoked salmon puree over ice and gradually add the cream, check the seasoning. Put some smoked salmon mousse in each artichoke followed by the Keta then the poached egg.
Finally place the caviar and a slice of smoked salmon cut into a circle on top. Serve with a few salad leaves and toasted brioche.
Roast leg of lamb with peas and baby onions by Gennaro Contaldo
Photograph © Laura Edwards
For a special occasion or Sunday lunch, this dish is a must. The combination of baby onions, black olives, anchovies, garlic and peas marry well with the succulent lamb. If you can’t find Taggiasca olives, substitute Greek Kalamata olives, which give a distinct tangy taste. For 4 people, half a leg of lamb is sufficient.
half leg of lamb 1.2kg/2lb 10oz salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil a little
dry white wine 150ml/5fl oz/²/³ cup
baby onions or shallots, 300g/10½oz, peeled
Taggiasca olives 24, pitted
garlic cloves 2, left whole, crushed
anchovy fillets 4, roughly chopped
frozen peas 150g/5½oz/generous 1 cup
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Rub the lamb all over with salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Place in a roasting dish and roast for 20 minutes. Add half the wine and cook for a further 20 minutes. Add the remaining wine, onions, olives, garlic and anchovies, cover with foil and continue roasting for 1 hour 10 minutes. Stir in the peas and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Put the lamb on a board, carve and serve with the vegetables and juices.
Adapted from ‘Gennaro Contaldo’ s Slow Cook Italian’, Pavilion, 2015.
Warm Chocolate Cake by Rosemary Shrager, owner of Rosemary Shrager Cookery School, Kent
unsalted butter 100g
plain flour 15g
dark chocolate 70% 150g, cut into small pieces
rum 2 tbsp
large eggs 3, separated
First butter the ramekins and dust well with flour. Put the chocolate into bowl over simmering water (do not let the water touch the bowl). Add the rum and butter, melt over a low heat. Remove once melted and then allow to cool to room temperature, now add the egg yolks.
Now put the egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat the egg whites to a soft peek. Reduce the speed and add the sugar and flour. Mix until well incorporated. Now fold in the cooled chocolate. Add to the prepared ramekins ¾ full and cook in the oven at 200C for 10 minutes approximately or until firm to the touch. Turn out and eat while still warm.
Serve with caramel ice cream.
Baked Eggs by The Hairy Bikers
Photograph © Andrew Hayes-Watkins
155 calories per portion (with mushroom filling); 187 calories (with chorizo)
These make a really special breakfast or brunch with one of our fab fillings. We love chorizo and although it’s high in calories, lots of the calorific oil comes out when you fry it. It’s mega tasty too, so you don’t need a lot.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15–20 minutes
oil for spraying
large eggs 4
Cheddar, Gruyère or other hard cheese 4 tsp, finely grated
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil 1 tbsp
button mushrooms 4, wiped and finely sliced
garlic clove 1, finely chopped
frozen spinach 4 squares, defrosted and liquid squeezed out
nutmeg a grating of
chorizo 50g, finely chopped
red pepper ½, deseeded and finely chopped
onion ½, finely chopped
garlic clove 1, finely chopped
tomatoes 4, roughly chopped
basil leaves shredded
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5. Very lightly mist 4 ramekins with oil. Choose your filling and prepare as below, then divide the filling between the ramekins. Break an egg into each ramekin, on top of the filling, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a teaspoon of cheese over each egg and cover each ramekin with foi
Put the ramekins in a roasting or baking dish and pour in hot water to come about two-thirds up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the oven for up to 15 minutes, checking them after 10 minutes. You can cook the eggs to your liking, but after about 10 minutes the whites should be set and the yolks should still be runny.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the mushrooms and cook them until soft. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper, then cook for another minute. Make sure the spinach is as dry as possible before adding it to the mushrooms in the pan. Grate over a little nutmeg and stir well to combine.
Put the chorizo in a frying pan and fry until brown – you don’t need to add any extra oil, as the chorizo will immediately start giving out its own. Remove the chorizo and place it on some kitchen paper to drain, making sure there’s only a very small amount of oil left in the frying pan. Add the red pepper and onion, then sauté until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another minute, then add the tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes have reduced down slightly, then tip the chorizo back into the pan and stir in the basil.
Adapted from ‘THE HAIRY DIETERS: Good Eating by Si King & Dave Myers’, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2014
Pan Fried Sea Bass, Tomato & Olive Sauce Vierge, Buttered Spinach by Oliver Dunne, owner of Bon Appetit, Malahide
Bass Fillets 4
Baby Spinach 200g
Butter 1 Tbsp
For the Sauce Vierge
Olive Oil 75ml
Lemon ½, Juiced
Tomatoes 2, (de-seeded & chopped)
Basil2 Tbsp, Chopped
Coriander1 Tbsp, Chopped
Olives 1 Tbsp, Chopped
To make the sauce vierge, put the olive oil into a pot & squeeze in the lemon juice and warm up slightly. Add the olives & tomatoes and leave to one side until serving.
For the sea bass, heat up a non-stick frying pan until really, really hot. When hot add a little cooking oil, season the fish and place skin side down into the pan.
Hold the fillets down for a few seconds to prevent them from curling up then leave on the high heat for a further 30 seconds, then turn the heat down low & continue to cook for 2 mins more.
Add a spoon of butter to the pan then flip over the fish and spoon over the melted butter. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into the pan & remove the fish.
For the spinach, add a table spoon of butter and 2 tbsp of water to a hot pot, when the butter has melted add the spinach and stir rapidly until the spinach has wilted.
To serve place a ball of spinach into the centre of each plate and top with the sea bass. Finish the sauce off by warming back up and adding the chopped herbs and adjust the seasoning. Spoon the sauce over & around the fish.
Scotch Easter Egg by Tom Kitchin, owner of The Kitchin, Edinburgh
Makes 12 small Scotch Eggs
smoked haddock 2 fillets
milk ½ pint
thyme 2 sprigs
bay leaf 1
cracked black pepper
Quails’ eggs 12
potatoes 500g, peeled
dill 2-3 sprigs, chopped
lemon zest of 1
plain flour 100g
egg 1 for egg wash
salt pinch, for seasoning
To poach the haddock fillets:
Add together ½ pint milk, thyme, bay leaf and cracked black pepper in a pot and place over a medium heat.
Once it is smoking, add the haddock fillets and poach gently until cooked.
Once cooked, remove the haddock from the liquid. You can keep the milk aside and use it to make Cullen Skink another night, as it will have a delicious smoky flavour.
To make the Scotch eggs:
Fill a pan of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the quail’s eggs and boil for exactly 2 minutes and 25 seconds. Take the eggs from the boiling water and peel off the shell, then set aside.
Chop the peeled potatoes, then bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, or until tender enough to mash.
Once cooked, drain the potatoes and mash them with a potato masher or a fork. Add the haddock to the mash and mix together
Add cracked black pepper to season, then add the chopped dill and lemon zest and mix together.
Carefully take a large spoonful of the potato and haddock mix in your hand and carefully place a quail’s egg in the middle, then wrap the potato mix around in ball. You have to be very carefully and delicate at this stage.
Once you’ve rolled all of your eggs, place the flour; breadcrumbs and egg wash in three separate bowls.
Coat each egg by rolling it in the flour, egg wash and then the breadcrumbs, and then carefully, with your hands, roll each egg so it forms a perfect round shape.
Pre-heat your fryer to 180° and placed the eggs in carefully. Fry until golden.
Carefully remove each egg and place onto kitchen paper then season with a pinch of salt
The secret is to cook your quail’s eggs for exactly the right time, so when you cut into each egg, the yolk will spill out perfectly.
Stuffed Breast of Lamb by Mark Hix, owner of Hix Restaurants
Breast of lamb is one of those cuts that invariably ends up in the butcher’s bin these days. I doubt whether many butchers even bother trimming the small amount of meat to put it through the mincer.
However, there are a few good things you can do with the breast. The simplest way to cook it is to slow-roast it until crisp,
then slice it up and snack on it as is, scatter it into a salad or make it into scrumpets.
breast of lamb 1, boned
cider or water splash
lamb’s sweetbreads 120g – 150g
buttera couple of generous knobs
flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp, chopped
For the stuffing
onion 1, peeled and finely chopped
garlic cloves 2, peeled and crushed
thyme leaves 1 tsp, chopped
fresh rosemary 1 tsp, chopped
olive oil 2 tbsp
lamb mince 120g
lamb’s liver 100g, coarsely minced or chopped
lamb’s sweetbreads 3-4, cut into small dice
lamb’s kidneys 2, sinews removed and cut into small dice
fresh white breadcrumbs 50g
freshly ground black pepper
Cooked spring greens
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. To make the stuffing, gently cook the onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary in the olive oil for 3-4 minutes until soft.
Transfer to a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, season generously and mix well.
Lay the breast of lamb, skin side down, on a work surface or board and spoon the stuffing down the centre, then roll it up tightly. Tie with string at 3-4cm intervals, season and lay in a roasting tray. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, then lower the setting to 180C/gas mark 4 and cook for another 1 ½ hours.
Set aside to rest for about 10 minutes. Deglaze the roasting tray with a little cider or water and reserve the juices.
Meanwhile, blanch the sweetbreads in lightly salted water for 1 minute, then drain. Remove any sinew or fat and cut the larger ones in half. Remove any sinews from the kidneys and cut into similar-sized pieces. Season both with salt and pepper.
Heat the butter in a heavy-based frying pan until foaming. Add the sweetbreads and kidneys and fry for 3-4 minutes over a high heat until nicely coloured. Add the parsley and remove from the heat.
To serve, slice the breast of lamb into 2cm thick slices and arrange on plates, then spoon the offal around the meat and pour over the pan juices. Serve with spring greens and mash. Serve any leftover roast as lamb baps or sandwiches.
Adapted from ‘Mark Hix: The Collection’, Quadrille, 2013.
Easter Rabbit shaped dumplings by Chai Wu Restaurant
Makes 20 dumplings
For the filling
medium size fresh prawn meat 10, about 100 g
diced roast duck 100g
minced ginger 3g
chopped mooli 10g
shiitake mushroom 5g
chopped coriander 5g
sesame oil 1/2 teaspoon
light soya sauce 1 tablespoon
white sugar 1/2 tablespoon
For the wrapper
wonton pastry 20 pieces (can buy in any Chinese supermarket)
Roughly chop prawns until slightly into a paste.
Add rest of ingredients in a bowl together with the prawn paste and mix it all up.
Use 1 piece of wonton pastry and lay it flat at the centre of your palm.
Put 20 grams of mix filing into the centre of wonton pastry; close the pastry & squeeze into a pearl drop shape.
Use a pair of scissors to cut in the centre pointed end of pearl until half way then
Crisscross the 2 piece of cut pastry to make bunny ears, now pinch a little on the roundend of pearl to make a tail. Use 2
black sesame seeds to make eyes.
Place bunny shape dumplings into a steamer and steam for 6 minutes.
Middle Eastern rose-scented, falling apart lamb by Thomasina Miers, owner of Wahaca
Lamb is always such a treat and although I love lamb chops or a leg still pink and juicy in the middle, there is something irresistible about a shoulder cooked long and slow until it is falling apart and melting in its own juices. This voluptuous dish is made for the weekend, when all you want to do is throw a joint in the oven and not worry too much about the timings. The rich flavour of lamb lends itself perfectly to exotic, warm Middle Eastern spices.
shoulder of lamb (about 2kg)
heads of garlic 2
cumin seeds 2 tsp
cinnamon stick 2.5cm
coriander seeds 1 tbsp
sea salt 1 tbsp
Harissa 3 tbsp
Lemon 1, zested and quartered
extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp
rose syrup 1 tbsp (optional)
acorn squash 1 kg, peeled and cut into (roughly) 2cm chunks
dry white wine 500ml
Trim the shoulder of lamb of its outside layer of fat and make incisions all over the flesh. The fat is normally dry and comes away easily with a knife. Cut the heads of garlic in half and slip the cloves from one of the halves out of their skins into a pestle and mortar, leaving the remaining 3 halves for later. Heat the spices in a dry frying pan for a minute or two to bring out their flavour and then add to the pestle and mortar with the salt. Grind to a rough paste before adding the Harissa, lemon zest, olive oil and rose syrup, if using.
Rub the lamb shoulder with the spice paste and leave to marinate for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. Four hours before you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Lay the squash out on a deep baking tray with the lemon quarters and the rest of the garlic and place the lamb on top. Roast for half an hour, then turn the heat down to 130°C/250°F/gas ½, add the wine and continue to cook the lamb for another 3½ hours or until the meat is falling away from the bone and smells enticing.
Serve with pilau rice and coriander raita.
Adapted from ‘Chilli Notes’, Recipes to Warm the Heart, not Burn the Tongue,’ Hodder & Stoughton, 2014.
Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with merguez spices by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Lamb shoulder is an underrated cut. Treated to a very long, slow cook with pungent spices, it offers meltingly soft, flavourful meat that you can pull off the bone easily –as well as a pool of rich juices. This recipe works best with larger, more mature lambs, or hogget or mutton. You can also rub the spice paste on the inside of a boned lamb shoulder, then roll and tie it.
Give it an initial 30 minutes at a high temperature (as below) then roast at 160°C/Gas Mark 3 for 2½ hours.
Serves 6–10, depending on the size of the joint
shoulder of mature lamb, mutton or hogget on the bone
For the spice paste:
cumin seeds 1 tsp
coriander seeds 1 tsp
fennel seeds 1 tsp
cinnamon stick ½, broken up
black peppercorns 1 tsp
cayenne pepper or chilli powder pinch
sweet smoked paprika 2 tsp
garlic cloves 2 , finely chopped
Leaves from large rosemary sprigs 2, finely chopped
sea salt 2 tsp
olive oil 2 tsp
If you have time, toast the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, cinnamon and peppercorns in a dry frying pan over a medium
heat for a minute or so, until fragrant (this boosts the flavour but isn’t essential). Crush to a coarse powder using a pestle
and mortar, then combine with the cayenne or chilli powder, paprika, garlic, rosemary, salt and olive oil.
Lightly score the skin of the meat with a sharp knife, making shallow slashes just a few millimetres deep and 1-2cm apart. Rub half the spice paste all over the lamb shoulder, underneath as well as on top, and especially into the cuts. Put into a large roasting tin and place in an oven preheated to 220°C/Gas Mark 7. Roast for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and rub the remaining spice paste over the meat using the back of a wooden spoon. Pour a glass of water into the tin (not over the meat), cover with foil and return to the oven. Reduce the heat to 120°C/Gas Mark ½ and cook for 6 hours, or until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone. You can add another glass of water halfway through, to keep the pan juices ticking along.
Transfer the lamb to a warm serving plate. Skim the excess fat off the juices in the tin.
Tear the meat into thick shreds and serve with the juices spooned over. Simple accompaniments are all you need: boiled new potatoes (in summer) or some roasted squash (in winter) and a dish of shredded cabbage, greens or kale would be ideal.
Adapted from ‘River Cottage Every Day’, Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2009. Fancy taking things that one step further? Why not sign up for one of the great courses on offer at River Cottage’s Chef’s School?
Hyderabadi Shanks by Peter Joseph of Tamarind Restaurant
lamb (leg) shanks 4
vegetable oil 4 tbsp
cinnamon 4 sticks
cardamom 4 pods
medium onions 3, sliced
ginger & garlic paste 3 tbsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
chilli powder ½ tbsp
cumin powder 2 tsp
coriander powder 2 tbsp
yoghurt 4 tbsp
ripe tomatoes 3, chopped
garam masala powder ½ tsp
coriander leaves ½ bunch
Wash the lamb shanks and leave to drain.
Peel onions and slice fine, wash the tomatoes, chop fine and keep aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan; add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and sauté for half a minute; add sliced onions and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
Add the lamb shanks and cook over high heat for five minutes, stirring constantly.
Add ginger & garlic paste, stir well for a couple of minutes and add the turmeric, chilli, cumin and coriander powders and salt, sauté for a further five minutes. Add yoghurt and sauté for a further 5 minutes over high heat.
Add the chopped tomato, stir and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the oil separates from the masala.
Add enough hot water to cover the shanks and bring to a boil, cover with a lid, simmer and cook until the lamb is done (approximately 1 hour). Remove from the flame, remove the shanks using a pair of tongs and strain the cooking liquid.
Cook the strained liquid for a further 10 minutes or until reduced to the desired consistency and check seasoning.
To finish, add the cooked shanks back into the sauce, cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes, sprinkle garam masala powder (optional) and chopped, washed coriander leaves and serve hot.