I hope everyone had a Happy Easter and ate a fabulous amount of chocolate (like me!). This year, my family and I celebrated on the (Anzac) Monday, as a few were away for the long weekend. As usual, I did the cooking while Mum sat back and paid for it all (thanks K!). We had 16 for lunch this year (2 of whom were a surprise last-minute addition). Hence why the menu below caters for 14!
I had originally intended to keep things simple, as I wanted to go away to the beach for the weekend. But when they didn’t happen I went a bit crazy.. going so far as to make Easter labels for my lemonade. I seriously can’t help myself.
For the table decorations, I kept with the pink/green Easter theme from the previous year, as I still had the eggs I had painted by hand. I scattered the table with pink and green Easter eggs from the Chocolate Box, and arranged 4 pink and white flower bouquets along the table. To top it off, each place setting had a chocolate bunny rabbit, which I sat in some cute cupcake wrappers I found, and filled with shredded green paper to look like grass.
On to the food! To start, I wizzed up some frozen raspberries with some lime juice and sugar to create a coulis, which I served with champagne along side my starters (see in the background below). As we were having Salmon for the main (not traditional I know, but we have a big roast at Christmas so I love doing seafood at Easter), I made some Thai spiced prawns which I served on sesame leaves, as well as some cute little crab cakes topped with a sweet pineapple and avocado salsa. The crab meat I ordered from the fishmonger, along with the prawns and salmon. I also made (well, Mum made) her curried deviled eggs which I love! Very Eastery I thought..
For the main, I decided to bake salmon potions, to make it easy to serve up as we had so many for lunch. I had a production line going: Mum put a corn cake on each plate, dad topped it with a salmon fillet, I scooped on some beetroot pesto while my Aunty added the sour cream, and my sister A topped the whole thing off with some watercress salad. It worked very well actually and I highly recommend getting some helpers when it comes to plating up!
For dessert, I enlisted the help of my little sister E to make some carrot cupcakes. The holidays are all about family after all ;) I sent her an email that read something like “make these, decorate like this”. I had found a cute image of cupcakes topped with fairy floss ‘nests’ with some speckled eggs in them. So cute. About a week before the big day I told her to go buy the eggs incase they sold out.. Which she didn’t. And they did. So we topped them with regular eggs which still looked pretty good! I must confess, the image here has been restaged, as the fairy floss went limp as it sat on top of the cupcakes. So be sure to only top them with the fairy floss right before serving.
My aunty J, was also nice enough to bring a few desserts: chocolate mousse and cheesecake cookies. Both of which were delicious. She told me how intimidated she was at the thought of bringing desert, as she was worried it wouldn’t be good enough. Bless.
All in all it was a fabulous day. We all collapsed on the couch after the huge meal to watch the footy. Damn Collingwood won (though I did tip them). And I am still making my way through the mass of chocolate that has accumulated on our coffee table – including some gorgeous eggs from Shocolate from my cousin B and his fiance B as a thank-you-for-cooking. It will probably take a few months, but I’m sure I will get through it all!
Curried Deviled Eggs
Betel leaves topped w/ prawns and galangal
Crab cakes w/ pineapple and avocado salsa
Baked Salmon served on corn cakes
w/ beetroot pesto, sour cream and watercress salad
Carrot Cupcakes w/ cream cheese icing,
topped with eggs in Persian fairy floss nests
I love curried eggs. My mum always used to make them when we were growing up, and I had forgotten all about them until I started my research for Easter. As I was running a bit late (the cousin’s were early for once!), I let mum do the honours in making them, and cousin K had the serious task of piping them. Yum!
12 free-range eggs
1 tbsp curry powder
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper
paprika and parsley to serve
- Place the eggs in a pot and cover with tap water. The level of the water should be about 1 inch above the eggs.
- Bring the pot to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Allow to sit for 13 minutes.
- Uncover and run the eggs under cold water until cool enough to handle.
- Peel the eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks from the whites. Mash the yolks with a fork. Add the curry powder, mayonnaise, and enough salt and pepper to taste. Stir together until well combined.
- Spoon or pipe the yolk mixture into the whites. Sprinkle with a little paprika and parsley to serve.
This recipe I found in Gourmet Traveller and I have to say, they were delicious! The leaves I found at the Asian grocer near my work (although, I have to admit they are sesame leaves which I cut smaller with a cookie cutter). The recipe on the Gourmet Traveller site makes double the amount of prawn mix needed for the leaves, so I have halved it here. Although, I did enjoy eating the prawn mix by itself out of the bowl the next day for lunch… The galangal I found at the market along side the ginger.
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 cm piece of galangal, peeled and finely grated
500g prawn meat, veins removed, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp coconut cream
large handful beansprouts
large handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
20 betel leaves, washed and dried
35g chopped peanuts
lime wedges to serve
- Heat wok or large frying pan over high heat, add oil and heat until oil begins to smoke. Add the garlic, chilli, ginger and galangal and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the prawns and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the fish sauce and coconut cream, toss to combine, then remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir in beansprouts and coriander leaves.
- To serve, top betel leaves with 2 tbsp of prawn mixture, scatter with peanuts and serve with lime wedges.
1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
1 avocado, finely diced
sald and pepper
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 large egg
salt and pepper to taste
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 spring onion, finely chopped
500g crabmeat, picked over to remove cartilage
60 g saltine crackers, crush into fine crumbs
1/4 cup canola oil
- Combine pineapple and avocado in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, combine the mustard, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and egg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently fold in the chilli, parsley, scallion, crabmeat, and cracker crumbs with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Shape the crab mixture into 24 mini patties.
- Heat a oil in a large cast-iron pan or non-stick pan until hot. Lower the heat to medium and shallow fry the crab cakes for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
- Arrange crab cakes on a serving plate. Top with a little of the pineapple and avocado mixture. Serve immediately.
14 x corn cakes (recipe below)
14 x salmon fillets, skin on
1 quantity beetroot pesto (recipe below)
400ml sour cream
3 bunches of watercress, stems removed, washed and drained well
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for salmon
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- If you’ve made the corn cakes ahead of time, place in a moderate oven for 25 minutes until warmed through. Otherwise, continue with recipe.
- Rub salmon with a little olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Place side-by-side, skin side up on a baking tray in a single layer, and place under a hot grill for 25 minutes until just cooked (cooking time till depend how close the fillets are together – mine were almost touching).
- Meanwhile, drizzle watercress with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- When salmon is ready, set up a production line: one person serves up a corn cake, another person places a salmon fillet on top, another adds a dollop each of the beetroot pesto and sour cream, and the last person puts a handful of watercress salad on top. Serve immediately.
2 cups instant polenta
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for frying
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 cans of sweet corn
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- In a bowl whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking soda, pepper, and the sugar.
- Add the butter, eggs, buttermilk, corn, onion, chili, and cheese, stirring until the batter is just combined.
- Heat a griddle over moderate heat until it is hot and brush it lightly with the additional butter. You don’t want the pan super hot, as the polenta doesn’t absorb the liquid as it cooks, giving the cakes a grainy texture.
- Working in batches, drop 1/2 cupfuls of the mix into the pan.
- Spread the batter slightly to form 12cm cakes and cook the cakes for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden.
- Keep warm and serve with salmon*.
*TIP: You can make these ahead of time and freeze them. Just allow them to thaw fully before reheating in a 180C oven for 25 minutes.
850g whole baby beetroot
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup almond meal
salt and pepper
- Wizz beetroot in a food processor until smooth.
- With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil.
- Transfer beetroot puree to a bowl and stir through parmesan and almond meal. Season well.
Makes approx. 2 cups.
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
24 paper liners
450g finely grated carrot
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, (or 1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract)
3 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
FOR THE FROSTING:
225g unsalted butter, softened
340g cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 bag rosewater persian fairy floss
48 mini chocolate eggs
- Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 muffin tins with 24 paper liners.
- In a bowl, whisk together grated carrot, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla.
- Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir until well combined.
- Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.
- Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- For frosting, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix until smooth.
- Spread or pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes, before topping with a little persian fairy floss and 2 mini chocolate eggs.