ALTHOUGH your Easter weekend will be totally different this year, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a delicious and special Easter lunch. Many will be keeping within budgets, so my recipe offerings for you this weekend are budget friendly.
I’ve included a roasted chicken with an orange glaze and a Mediterranean-spiced braised lamb shoulder with eggplant, shoulder is a more affordable cut and, in my opinion, much more delicious. The perfect side for any of these entrees is my all-time favourite, and very high ranking on the comfort food scale, creamy scalloped potatoes, be aware that these scalloped potatoes are made with tons of chopped onions, and uncooked sliced potatoes.
Let’s finish up with a serious slice of dirty banana cake with chocolate frosting. Remember all the ingredients are available at the local supermarkets or most of them you may have in your kitchen pantry.
Cheers to you all and delicious wishes for a Happy Easter.
Split roasted chicken with orange balsamic glaze
1 3½ lb whole chicken
1 tsp salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lime juice
Split chicken down the centre leaving it attached at the back, open out butterfly style.
Combine all other ingredients and rub onto chicken. Marinate covered and refrigerated for 1 hour minimum.
1 tbs butter
½ medium onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup orange Juice
¼ cup orange marmalade
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper sauce
Melt butter in a small saucepan, add onion and garlic, cook for a few minutes until fragrant, taking care not to brown.
Add the remaining ingredients, stir, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until thick and syrupy.
Preheat oven to 375F
Place chicken on greased roasting tray, bake or roast for 30 minutes, turn once, roast on the other side for 10 minutes. Turn right side up again, and brush liberally with glaze.
Leave in oven for just 5 minutes more.
Remove and serve.
Serves 4 to 6
Mediterranean lamb with eggplant
6 lamb shoulder slices cut about 1-inch thick
2 tbs olive or vegetable oil
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 14 oz tin whole tomatoes, crushed with juice
1 small eggplant cubed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbs minced chives
1 tbs fresh thyme
1 tbs chopped rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs wine vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
Cut lamb pieces into two inch pieces
Marinate lamb slices in marinade for 2 hours or overnight.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown lamb slices on both sides until meat is nicely browned. Remove and drain off any extra fat.
Add a small amount of oil to pan and add onions and garlic, sauté until fragrant about four minutes, add eggplant and cook for a few minutes more.
Add lamb pieces back to pot. Add the tomatoes.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour or more adding a little water at a time to prevent sticking.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Festive scalloped potatoes
2½ lbs potatoes
5 tbs unsalted butter
5 tbs flour
4 cups milk
1 large onion, finely chopped
1½ tsp salt
½-1 cup grated cheese
Peel and thinly slice potatoes to about 1/8-inch thickness.
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter, add flour stirring constantly, cook and stir until the mixture forms a creamy consistency.
Add milk and stir, lower heat and stir until thick, smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes, add salt and stir.
Add chopped onions, stir and remove from heat at once.
Grease a 9×8 in casserole dish. Place a single layer of potatoes in the dish, cover with some sauce, making sure all the potatoes are covered, repeat again with another layer of potatoes and sauce. Repeat process until all the potatoes are used up, finish with a layer of sauce, and top with grated cheese.
Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes, remove foil and continue baking for a further 20–30 minutes until potatoes are tender, and the top is lightly-browned.
Dirty banana spice cake with chocolate buttercream
½ cup milk
½ tbs lime juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
4 oz unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed (1¼ cups)
Preheat oven to 350F
Line and grease 2, 8-inch round layer cake pans.
Combine milk and lime juice, let stand for 10 minutes until curdled.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
Cream butter with sugar on medium speed until creamy.
Add eggs one at a time beating well between additions.
Puree the bananas with the curdled milk and vanilla. Do not over purée.
Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture alternately with the banana mixture in three additions. Begin and end with the flour.
Spoon batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 mins until a wooden pick comes out clean.
Makes 2 8-inch cakes
hocolate butter frosting
4 cups sifted icing sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup butter
1 tbs evaporated milk
Sift icing sugar with cocoa powder and combine.
Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler.
Cream butter and add cooled melted chocolate, gradually add icing sugar and cocoa mixture. Add a couple drops milk at a time to bring the frosting to a creamy consistency, if necessary.
Fill and frost cake.