With the long Easter weekend fast approaching, we’ve compiled a selection of recipes perfect for the holiday. From classic hot cross buns to decadent lamb bon bons, a chocolate cocktail, and a beautiful monkfish recipe that’s an ideal alternative for Good Friday.
Monkfish Dashi from Mike Reid, Executive Chef of M Restaurants
Monkfish tail fillet, 720g (thin grey membrane rubbed off and cut into 4 equal pieces)
Baby carrots, 4, peeled and halved
Baby leeks, 4, trimmed
Baby radishes, 4, trimmed and quartered
Sugar snap peas, 8
Pak choi, 1, quartered
Furikake (a dry Japanese seasoning), 1tsp
For the Dashi
Black peppercorns, 6
Fresh red chillies, 4, deseeded and sliced
Lemongrass stalks, 2, bruised
Saffron threads, a pinch
Carrot, 1, peeled and thinly sliced
Celery, 1 stalk, finely chopped
Fennel, 1 head, trimmed and thinly sliced
Galangal, 1cm piece, peeled and chopped
Garlic, 1 clove, sliced
Leek, 1 (white part only), trimmed and thinly sliced
Onion, 1, thinly sliced
Dry white wine, 200ml
Oyster sauce, 3tbsp
Coriander, a bunch
Tarragon, a bunch
First make the dashi, which will keep in a covered container for up to three days in the fridge, or can be frozen for up to three months.
Put all the ingredients, except the coriander and tarragon, in a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil.
As soon as the liquid boils, add the fresh coriander and tarragon and remove the pan from the heat. Cover and leave to infuse for one hour.
Drain the dashi into another pan and discard the flavouring ingredients. When you’re ready to cook, return the dashi to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, so the liquid just simmers.
Add the monkfish pieces and simmer for 8 minutes, or until they are tender and a toothpick slides in without any resistance. Immediately, transfer the monkfish to a platter and leave to rest while you poach the vegetables.
Add all the baby vegetables, sugar snap peas and pak choi to the pan, and return the liquid to the boil. Use a slotted spoon to remove the individual vegetables from the pan when they are tender.
To serve, place the monkfish fillets in 4 bowls, then add the poached vegetables and ladle over the boiling dashi, dividing it equally among the bowls. Sprinkle over the furikake and serve immediately.
This recipe is adapted from M: A 24 hour cookbook by Mike Reid, available now. Further information on M Restaurants and the book can be found at mrestaurants.co.uk.
Hot Cross Buns by The Gladwin Brothers
Strong bread flour, 1kg
Whole full fat milk, 575ml
Butter, 150g, softened
Fast active yeast, 15g
Ground cinnamon, 20g
Ground cloves, 15g
Salt, a pinch
Leave to add after proving
Orange, zest of 1
Soaked sultanas, 100g, soaked
Mixed peel, 100g
For the Cross
Baking powder, 5g
Water, to make a thick paste
Make the enriched dough by adding all the dry ingredients into a kitchen aid. Then add the eggs to the milk, and slowly incorporate the liquid into the dough. Leave to knead for 5 minutes. To stretch the gluten, add the soft butter until fully incorporated. Put into a bowl cover with cling film and leave until it doubles in size.
Test the dough is ready by poking it, your finger should leave an indent which means the elasticity of the gluten in the dough, has been stretched by the carbon dioxide the yeast has created giving you the open crumb we all desire from good bread.
At this stage work the fruit into the dough, then make long sausages out of it then cut off 70g pieces. Role them into tight balls so they prove evenly. Put the buns on a baking tray make shore you leave space for the dough to rise. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 45 minutes. To check if the dough is ready poke with you finger is the dough springs back leave a little longer.
With a sharp knife cut a cross on the top of the buns, leave for a further 5 minutes. Make a smooth paste, add the flour, baking powder, oil, salt, then add water until it’s a loose paste. Carefully pipe the paste into the groves of the crosses on the buns.
Put in a preheated oven at 170C. cook for 20 minutes.
When golden and cooked take them out of the oven and then glaze them with a jam of your choice. I make a clove based sugar syrup with golden syrup that always works well.
Best served with pashka.
Further information on the Gladwin Brothers can be found at rabbit-restaurant.com.
Spring Lamb Bon Bons from Steven Ellis, Chef Proprietor at The Oxford Blue
Veal stock, 2 litres
Chicken stock, 2 litres
Red wine, 750ml
Lamb belly, 1
Lamb neck, 1 (this can be obtained at any good quality butchers)
A small herb bag (2 juniper berries, 10 black peppercorns 1 bay leaf, 5 sprigs of thyme & 1 small piece rosemary)
Eggs, 3, beaten
Mint, a small bunch, freshly chopped
Red wine vinegar, to season
Salt & freshly ground pepper
For the Mirepoix
Celery, 2 sticks
Garlic, a head
Brown off the mirepoix in a pan then deglaze with the wine. Reduce the wine by 2/3 then add the both stocks. Place the lamb belly and neck into the pan (making sure it is submerged). Bring the braise to a gentle simmer, then Place a lid and cook for 3 hours or until the meat is falling away from the bones. Set aside and leave to cool.
Once cooled remove the meat and pick down into small pieces. Pass off the liquid and reduce down to a thick glaze.
Once done in a large bowl place the picked meat, glaze and freshly chopped mint, mix well. Season with red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. (the vinegar helps cut through the richness of the glaze). Ball the mixture into 10g portions
To coat the bon bons, place the seasoned flour in a bowl and set aside, repeat this process with both the beaten eggs and bread crumbs.
Flour all the balls then individually coat in the beaten egg and finish by rolling in the breadcrumbs.
Deep fry for 3 minutes at 180 degrees.
To serve, Steven suggests suggests a dijon mayonnaise “as it has the sharpness to cut through the rich flavours.”
Further information on The Oxford blue can be found at oxfordbluepub.co.uk.
Bluebird’s Egg Chocolate Cocktail
40ml Tanqueray gin
20ml peach liqueur
20ml lemon juice
10ml caramel syrup
20ml chocolate sauce
20ml pasteurised egg white
3ml cherry bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
Shake and serve with one fresh raspberry for garnish.
Further information on Bluebird can be found at bluebird-restaurant.co.uk.