Easter offers the perfect opportunity for everyone to slow down and enjoy some time off together. Not quite as socially demanding as Christmas but not so long a wait as summer’s arrival, Easter holidays are a chance to spend time doing the things that among usually busy schedules tend to get overlooked. Cooking for friends and family, for example, bringing everyone together under one roof, sat at one table to enjoy one another’s company while showing off your skills in the kitchen, serves as the perfect Easter activity.
If you’re in search of special occasion worthy meals to cook this Easter, look no further. We’ve turned to our favourite foodie inspired resources and gathers three of the most indulgent recipes to try over the Easter holidays.
So what are you waiting for? What’s cooking, good lookin’?
Roasted Rack of Lamb with Basil Goat Cheese Sauce
1 or more Frenched* lamb rib racks with 7 to 8 ribs each
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/4 cup fresh oregano
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound carrots, halved if large
Honey Goat Cheese Sauce
6 ounces creamy goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup crème fraîche or plain Greek yoghurt, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup fresh basil or mint
zest of 1 lemon
kosher salt and pepper
On a large, rimmed baking sheet, season the racks generously with salt and pepper.
In a food processor, combine the olive oil, garlic, oregano, cumin seeds, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse until combined. Rub the mixture evenly over both racks. Arrange the carrots around the lamb. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour or cover and place in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Roast the lamb for 15 minutes, then flip and roast another 10 minutes for medium-rare. Remove and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a blender, combine the goat cheese, crème fraîche, honey, and basil until smooth. Stir in the lemons zest and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice the lamb in between the bones and serve with the goat cheese sauce.
Easy Potatoes Au Gratin
6 russet potatoes, cleaned and peeled
2 tbsp. butter, plus more for pan
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. milk
1 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme
Pinch of nutmeg
Red pepper flakes
1 1/2 c. shredded Gruyère
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375° and butter a large baking dish. Slice potatoes 1/4″ thick and place in water to keep from browning.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cream, milk, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Let simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Layer a third of potatoes, slightly overlapping, in a prepared dish then pour a third of the cream mixture over potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes and cream to make two more layers. Sprinkle Gruyère over top.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with Parmesan and continue baking until potatoes are tender and the top is golden 15 to 20 minutes.
Buttermilk-Marinated Roast Chicken
Get the full recipe here from NYT Cooking. (adapted from Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat)
1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
Salt or fine sea salt
2 cups buttermilk
The day before you want to cook the chicken, remove the wingtips by cutting through the first wing joint with poultry shears or a sharp knife. Reserve for stock. Season chicken generously with salt and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Stir 2 tablespoons kosher salt or 4 teaspoons fine sea salt into the buttermilk to dissolve. Place the chicken in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and pour in the buttermilk. (If the chicken won’t fit in a gallon-size bag, double up 2 plastic produce bags to prevent leaks and tie the bag with twine.)
Seal the bag, squish the buttermilk all around the chicken, place on a rimmed plate, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. If you’re so inclined, you can turn the bag periodically so every part of the chicken gets marinated, but that’s not essential.
Pull the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it. Heat the oven to 425 degrees with a rack set in the centre position.
Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and scrape off as much buttermilk as you can without being obsessive. Tightly tie together the legs with a piece of butcher’s twine. Place the chicken in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a shallow roasting pan.
Slide the pan all the way to the back of the oven on the centre rack. Rotate the pan so that the legs are pointing toward the rear left corner and the breast is pointing toward the centre of the oven. (The back corners tend to be the hottest spots in the oven, so this orientation protects the breast from overcooking before the legs are done.) Pretty quickly you should hear the chicken sizzling.
After about 20 minutes, when the chicken starts to brown, reduce the heat to 400 degrees and continue roasting for 10 minutes.
Move the pan so the legs are facing the rear right corner of the oven. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes or so, until the chicken is brown all over and the juices run clear when you insert a knife down to the bone between the leg and the thigh. If the skin is getting too brown before it is cooked through, use a foil tent. Remove it to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.