Easter Sunday Lunch with Good Food Ireland
Who’s been tasked with cooking the lunch this Easter Sunday, then? If you got landed with being up to your elbows in veg peelings while everyone else scoffs chocolate and watches the telly, don’t worry. We’re coming.
First you need to breathe. Then you need to listen very carefully. Imagine yourself cooking a superb lunch, cool as a breeze, and being elevated to Kitchen Genius in the process. Imagine this and it will happen. Psychologists call it ‘positive visualisation’. It applies to all things in life. And you didn’t even need to pay for the psychologist’s couch to hear that. How good are we already?
Now you’re in the right frame of mind. Next we are going to walk you through, step by step, a three course Sunday lunch that will wow the folks and have you breathing on your fingers and rubbing the lapel of your chef’s whites in an ‘I got this’ kinda way. The reason we’re so confident you’ll be doing this is because we have help for you, in the form of some easy recipes from our collection. We’ve chosen easy to follow dishes that look impressive and will certainly taste impressive. Are you ready? Here goes.
TO BEGIN WITH
First up we’ve chose a stunning looking Vanilla Cured Salmon with Gherkin and Caper Salsa, created in the kitchens at five star Hayfield Manor Hotel in Cork. Don’t get your knickers in a twist at the mention of five stars. This is not a difficult recipe. All the ingredients are easy to get. All you need to do is plan. Get the best and freshest salmon you can get your hands on, which probably means buying organic and getting it from your fishmonger.
Then you need to prepare this at least 24 hours before you want it, which means Easter Saturday morning. Or even better for wowser taste factor, do it on Good Friday. You’re going to mix the marinade and slap it all over the fish, then leave it to soak in, turning occasionally. That’s all there is to it.
On the day, you’ll be preparing all the ingredients for the salsa well beforehand, chopping the gherkin and capers up as finely as you can. You can make the salsa as you’re ready to serve. Follow the recipe for slicing the salmon. If you think it’s too hard to make the rolls, you can always arrange this on plates just in slices. But we think it’s worth making an effort for the rolls because they look fab. Then you arrange the salsa on the plate in a thin line. Top the salmon with a scoop of crème fraiche mixed with herbs and bingo, you’re done.
THE MAIN EVENT
New season lamb is the meat of Easter and we can’t think of a simpler and more family friendy way to serve it than this Minted Leg of Spring Lamb. A gorgeous leg of lamb, rubbed with a fresh mint marinade then left to marinate for a while before roasting in the trad way.
Serve this up with the ever favourite roast potatoes and veggies, or go different. Café Rua’s gorgeous warm Roast Cauliflower Salad sings with zesty flavours and the crunch and texture of seeds. A few greens won’t go amiss either.
We’ve spotted beautiful new season baby spinach lately, so you can serve this just wilted in butter and seasoned with nutmeg, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, or enrich it with a dash of cream. For spuds, try out Ed Cooney’s Champ Mash, served at The Merrion Hotel. We’ve even given you a video of him making it so you can’t go wrong! Ed is in the kitchen with you all the way!
For a quick pan gravy for the lamb, add a tablespoon of flour to the meat juices in the roasting tray and cook for a minute. Then add about 400mls of good meat stock, stirring till its bubbling and thickened. Season and strain into a gravy boat. Don’t forget extra mint sauce for the lamb as well.
Lowland lamb will be ready for the Easter Feast. Lamb from higher ground like our Achill Mountain lamb won’t be ready till July, because the ewes lamb later after the cold of the winter is gone. So keep that in mind for when you want to repeat this feast in the summer months – maybe with a few summery salads and a potato salad instead of the hot veggies.
For afters its got to be chocolate. We’ve chosen two lovely desserts which really compliment each other to be served together. Lynda Booth’s Hot Chocolate Pots recipe is dead easy to follow because Lynda of Dublin Cookery School is a teacher who likes to inspire confidence in a cook. This baked chocolate dessert is gluten free also, making it light as a feather.
Partner it with The Kitchen @ Gorey’s Belgian Chocolate and Chilli Panna Cotta with Rapsberry Curd. You probably won’t find Wexford raspberries quite yet, it’s too early in the season, but you can use frozen berries and defrost them gently beforehand. Other than that, this recipe is plain sailing! It will win you brownie points. Enough not to have to cook another family lunch till, well, till Christmas, probably…