4 TRADITIONAL EASTER RECIPES

29 Mar 2021 | Student Life

Whether you are celebrating this Easter with family or friends, over zoom or amongst your household, it’s definitely an excuse to enjoy some tasty food! Easter is a massive celebration amongst my family, almost as big as Christmas (seriously!). Every year, since as long as I can remember, we’ve had an Easter egg hunt and a family meal, topped off with games and a few drinks. You’re never too old for a fun Easter egg hunt – my family and I always work up an appetite whilst searching around in the garden! Here are a few of my families tradition recipes, as well as some we have tried and loved throughout the years.

Chicken Roulade

This dish has become one of my families traditional dishes for special occasions. When I was young I was really picky, and the only meat that I would eat during sit-down meals as a family would be chicken. Even now, my Nan always ensures that there’s a serving or two of chicken roulade on the table! Here is my family recipe for you to try at home this Easter.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 100g of feta cheese
  • 4 slices of bacon, smoked
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 2 Tbsp of extra-virgin oil for brushing
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 chicken stock cube

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and brush with oil so that it is evenly covered. Place each slice of bacon onto the tray and season with oregano, add a little bit of feta cheese on top (this will melt in between the bacon and chicken, adding a creamy texture)
  3. Place your chicken breast on top of the bacon, making sure they’re evenly spread out so they have space to cook. Brush some oil on top and season these with salt, pepper, oregano and garlic. Add about ¾ of the remaining feta cheese
  4. Starting with the end of the chicken closest to you, roll them upwards, closing them as tightly to the bacon as possible (you can secure these with some kitchen twine). Then, sprinkle your chicken breasts with the remaining feta and oregano, and squeeze some lemon over the top for a zesty kick to the chicken
  5. Add the remainder of your oil into a large frying pan or skillet on a medium-high heat. Place your chicken into the pan until it is evenly cooked on both sides. This should take approximately 10 minutes for all 4 breasts. Once evenly cooked, transfer the chicken roulades onto a roasting tray and bake in the oven for about 5-8 minutes
  6. Whilst waiting for the chicken to bake in the oven add the wine, chicken stock cube, remainder of your lemon zest and half a cup of water into a pot and bring to the boil. Cook this for about 5 minutes until the stock cube is fully dissolved (you can add more spices to this if you want).Wait until this reduces down to about half of what you started with, then set this aside to use for the sauce.
  7. Take the chicken out of the oven and cut the strings from the roulades. Careful not to remove any of the chicken or bacon with it! Cover the chicken in the juices it has cooked in, it adds extra flavour.
  8. Lastly, add the white wine sauce on top and voila. Bon appetit!

Honey Glazed Gammon

As an alternative to chicken, my family would sometimes cook gammon for one of our meat options during Easter dinner. Personally, I rarely reach for pork, but when it’s made by Nana I have to have a slice or two!

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ boneless tied gammon joint
  • 1 sprig of rosemary thyme
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic glove

For the honey glaze:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp English murstard
  • 70g clear honey
  • 2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of black peppercorn

 Method:

  1. Put your gammon in a large deep saucepan. Add the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves along with the onions, carrots, peppercorns and garlic. Pour over enough cold water to cover the meat thoroughly and boil. Cover with a lid so that it can sit and simmer gently for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the gammon to sit in the saucepan for around 30 minutes. Leave the lid on the saucepan as this will keep all of the juices and aroma inside of the ham, making for a bolder flavour!
  2. Preheat your oven to 200°C
  3. Remove the gammon from the saucepan and leave it to cool down, so that you can handle it without burning your hands. Peel off the top layer of skin to reveal the fat underneath. Score the fat in a criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut yourself.
  4. Line your tray with foil before putting your gammon into the roasting tray. Mix together the mustard, honey and brown sugar in a bowl and brush this over the gammon. Roast the gammon for 15 minutes and then cover the gammon with the remaining glaze. Cook this for another 20 – 30 minutes. Your gammon should be a beautiful pinky-brown colour and have a sticky touch. Leave this to cool down for 10 minutes before slicing.

Cauliflower Au Gratin:

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for Cauliflower Cheese. I made it as a side dish for my family and it has quickly become a must have with a Sunday lunch! This is my own personal recipe that I make weekly for my mum and boyfriend, so these measurements make enough for 3-4 people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cauliflower heads
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 sprig of parsley

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp of salt and pepper
  • 100g of mature cheddar cheese
  • 1 Colman’s cheddar cheese mix
  • 300ml of semi skimmed milk

Method:

  1. Cut the cauliflower into quarters and then section these into smaller pieces. You can part boil these for around 5-6 minutes until soft to the touch, however I prefer to put mine straight into the oven as this prevents the sauce from becoming too watery later on. Put your cauliflower into a deep baking tray, this helps distribute the sauce and cover the cauliflower better, as well as allowing a crispier top. Preheat the oven at 200°.
  2. Pour 300ml of semi skimmed milk into a measuring jug, add the cheddar cheese sauce in after (this stops the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the jug), add the salt and pepper in afterwards. Once stirred into one mixture, add the sauce into a pot on a low-medium stove. Stir slowly with a whisk until it becomes a little bit thicker.
  3. Add half of your cheese into the sauce and stir this until it gets to the thickness that you are happy with, this should be enough to cover the cauliflower as well as line the bottom of the baking tray, you can judge this usually by just looking at it.
  4. Add your garlic and parsley into the sauce then pour over your cauliflower. Add the remainder of your cheese on top. Bake this at 200° for 10-12 minutes for a soft and creamy top, or 15 minutes for a crispy top. Serve in a small bowl on the side to keep its texture.

Carrot Cake

My family love a carrot cake at Easter! Packed full of grated carrots and orange, this recipe is delicious, moist and full of flavour. It’s especially good if you have quests who prefer something a bit more savoury.

Ingredients:

  • 175g of muscovado sugar
  • 175ml of sunflower oil
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 140g grated carrot
  • 1 large orange, zested
  • 17g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg, grated

For the frosting:

  • 175g of icing sugar
  •  1-2 tbsp of orange juice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° and rub a square cake tin with oil, before lining it with baking parchment
  2. Mix the sugar, sunflower oil and eggs in a bowl until smooth. Then add the carrots and orange zest. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into the bowl. Mix this all together until the mixture is soft, smooth and slightly runny
  3. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and put in the oven to bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Check on this regularly until it feels firm and springy when you touch the centre
  4. Take the cake out of the oven and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. Turn it out of the baking tray using a kitchen towel or oven mitts, ensuring not to burn yourself in the process. Place on a cooling rack or in a safe place to begin icing
  5. Beat the icing sugar and orange juice in a small bowl until it forms a smooth mixture. You want this icing to be as runny as single cream. Put the cake on a serving plate and drizzle the frosting over generously

Chocolate Nests

Everybody loves a chocolate nest, especially at Easter! It’s a massive hit amongst young and old, but can be a really fun activity for the kids to get involved with by decorating their own cakes. My cousins and I used to do this with our grandparents when we were younger, and it was always a fun and memorable way to celebrate Easter.

Ingredients:

  • 225g of plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 50g of butter
  • 75g cornflakes
  • 36 mini chocolate eggs

Method:

  1. Line a 12 hole cupcake cake tin with paper cases. Add your chocolate into a bowl along with the golden syrup and butter. Place this over a saucepan of simmering water and melt until this creates a smooth texture. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water, this could cause it to burn and go lumpy
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat and gently stir in the cornflakes until coated in chocolate
  3. Divide your mixture evenly into the 12 paper cases and top each one off with 3 chocolate mini eggs. Skip this step if you’d like to decorate these with family or friends later on!
  4. Pop into the fridge and let these sit for 1 hour or until they are completely set

By Chloé Williamson

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