Plan a special meal for family and friends with these three delicious recipes, perfect for Easter weekend.
Featuring fishcakes for Good Friday, roasted leg of lamb with a shallot and chorizo stuffing for Easter Sunday and a decadent Strawberry and Vanilla Cheesecake that’s great for dessert on Sunday or easy entertaining throughout the weekend.
Each dish can be either prepped or prepared ahead to save time so you can make the most of your Easter weekend and celebrate the beginning of spring.
Good Friday: Smoked Haddock and watercress fishcakes
A family favourite – these fishcakes with zingy lemon, buttery smoked haddock and peppery watercress have an extra healthy boost!
Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 minutes + chilling time Cook time: 30 minutes
- 400g potatoes
- 30g butter
- 500g smoked haddock
- 1L milk
- 85g watercress
- Zest of a lemon
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 2 tsp oil
- flour to dust
- Peel the potatoes and chop into small chunks. Cook in boiling water for approximately 10 minutes until tender. Drain then add the butter, season and mash roughly.
- Meanwhile in a large deep frying pan, gently cook the fish in the milk (in 2 batches if necessary) for 8 minutes or until it flakes. Lift the fish out of the milk and set aside on a plate. Chop the watercress.
- When the fish is cool enough to handle flake it into a large bowl, add the mashed potatoes, watercress and spring onions and grate in the lemon zest.
- Gently combine all the ingredients then shape into 8 fishcakes, using your hands. Leave to chill in the fridge for ½ hour.
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a frying pan, dust both sides of the fishcakes with flour and gently fry on each side until they are browned and hot to the centre. Serve with a salad of fresh watercress.
Easter Sunday: Roasted Leg of Lamb with a Shallot and Chorizo Stuffing
This delicious roast lamb is an Easter classic with a contemporary twist; the aromatic, tender lamb pairs beautifully with the stuffing and spiced shallot and cherry tomato sauce. Serve up with your favourite selection of seasonal vegetables.
Serves: 6 Prep time: 40 minutes (plus overnight marinade) Cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes
For the leg of Lamb:
- 1.13 kg boneless leg of lamb, butterflied
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp rosemary leaves
- 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp small mint leaves (or torn larger leaves)
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chorizo stuffing:
- 150g breadcrumbs
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 8 shallots, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150g fresh Mexican chorizo, skinned and chopped into small chunks
- 2 tbsp mint, chopped
- 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
For the spiced shallot and cherry tomato sauce:
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 4 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 400g of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp mint, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh chives
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
To prepare the lamb:
- Place the lamb in a baking dish and coat it well on all sides with the smashed garlic, rosemary, chopped parsley, mint, oil, lemon and cracked black pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Take the lamb out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes before stuffing it, to bring it to room temperature.
To make the stuffing:
- Toss the breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp rapeseed oil. Spread them on a baking sheet and toast for 6-8
- minutes, stirring once or twice, until they are golden brown. Heat a medium pot over high heat for 1 minute. Add the remaining rapeseed oil, the rosemary and the chilli; let them sizzle in the oil about 1 minute. Stir in the shallots, garlic and thyme and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and cook about 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and discard the rosemary.
- While the shallots are cooking, heat a medium sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Crumble the chorizo into the pan, and sauté about 8 minutes, until the sausage is crisp and cooked through. Drain the chorizo of excess oil and add it to the bowl with the onions. Stir in the breadcrumbs, mint and parsley and combine well. Taste for seasoning.
To cook the lamb:
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3
- Season the lamb on both sides with sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Lay the meat on a cutting board, fat side down and open like a book. Spoon as much of the chorizo stuffing as you can (about half or a little more) on the right side of the lamb. Fold the left side over the stuffing, as if you’re closing a book. If some of the stuffing falls out, stuff what you can back in. Tie the lamb with butcher’s string at 2-inch intervals to hold it together while roasting. Carefully place the lamb on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan.
- Put the remaining chorizo stuffing into a small dish and set aside. Roast the lamb for 1 hour and 20 minutes, rest for 20 minutes. While lamb is resting put the rest of the stuffing in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
To make the spiced shallot and cherry tomato sauce:
- Heat the oil in the pan and gently fry the shallots for 2-3 minutes, add the garlic, tomatoes, cayenne pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly. Stir in the herbs and season to taste.
Dessert: Strawberry and Vanilla Cheesecake
This creamy vanilla cheesecake recipe is a simple showstopper – no baking required. Drizzle the warm, sweet strawberry compote over just before serving for the perfect finishing touch.
Serves: 6-8 Prep time: 20 minutes plus 1 hour to set
- 200g digestive biscuits crushed
- 100g melted butter
- 400g cream cheese
- 100g icing sugar
- 500g double cream whipped
- 1 vanilla pod split
- 300g Strawberries, halved
For the compote
- 100g Strawberries chopped
- 25g sugar
- Line a 9” springform cake tin with greaseproof paper. Mix the biscuits and melted butter together, and pat into the base of the cake tin. Place in the fridge to set.
- Beat the cream cheese with the icing sugar then fold in the whipped cream and the seeds from the vanilla pod.
- To construct the cheesecake, spread a spoonful of the cream cheese on the base, and then place the strawberries all around the sides, standing up with the cut side facing out. Use the cream cheese on the base to stand them in so they are stable. Then fill in with the rest of the cream cheese mix, and level off the top. Place in the fridge to set.
- Meanwhile make your compote. Put the chopped strawberries and sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries have begun to break down.
- To serve, carefully remove the cake tin, and peel off the paper. Cut into slices and serve with the warm compote.