National trainer Jo discusses Easter food traditions with a
handful of tasty recipe ideas you can enjoy with the family this weekend
If you’re looking for spring dishes to conjure up at home for your family this weekend and want to follow a more traditional path, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from. After all, this time of year is renowned for a
whole host of classic recipes, from Good Friday fish dishes to simnel cake. So, if you’re in need of inspiration for Easter food ideas, why not join our national trainer, Jo? Here, she reveals some of her favourites:
Stuffed leg of lamb
For meat eaters, the traditional Sunday centrepiece is roast lamb. On a practical note, in years gone by, this would have been one of the first fresh meats available after winter. Whatever your reasons for serving it, there’s almost nothing nicer for a special Easter lunch than a stuffed leg of lamb. Jamie Oliver’s version features rosemary, anchovies, parsley and pine nuts. It’s so delicious, it’s impossible to serve just once a year!
This lamb needs to be roasted for around an hour and a half and I think our C3371 Sense model is the perfect oven for the job. Its total capacity is an impressive 101 litres, giving you plenty of space to prep your side dishes too. I always cook my roast potatoes separately from my meat, as the fat needs to be searingly hot. So, a double oven really is the ideal option. The C3371 top oven offers four handy functions – conventional heat, full grill, fan heat, and turbo defrost with eight functions in the main oven. I love the full-extension telescopic shelves, which allow plenty of access for easy basting!
Top tip: Do make the effort to baste your joint and vegetables with a swig of wine every 15 minutes or so. It really does make everything extra juicy and delicious.
Good Friday fish
This is known as the traditional Easter food on this day. This BBC Good Food recipe for cod and chorizo stew is perfect for a special feast. It also works equally well as a speedy midweek supper. However, the only downside to cooking fish like this on a hob is the lingering odour.
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Top tip: If you’re not a fan of butter beans, simply substitute with cannellini or borlotti beans.
If you’re looking for a tasty vegetarian Easter food recipe, Sainsbury’s ratatouille strata is hard to beat. It features crunchy sourdough croutons for extra oomph. To serve, it needs nothing more than a crisp, green salad.
This dish is prepared using a griddle and a frying pan, before being baked in the oven. You’ll find our iGRIDDLE2 is available to pre-order from May. It offers an extra-large 840cm2 cooking area, which is perfect for recipes like this. It’s dishwasher safe too! It’s compatible with a wide range of hobs, including our C889G Gas-on-Glass Hob. Featuring five burners – including a triple ring – I love the versatility this appliance provides.
Top tip: Use Italian hard cheese instead of Parmesan to ensure this dish is vegetarian-friendly.
Of course, Easter food isn’t just savoury. If you’re keen to serve some sweet treats, how about these Easter animal cupcakes, courtesy of chef Rachel Davies? The cakes and frosting are super simple to prepare, and I promise the decorations are easier to make than you’d think!
Your oven does all the hard work with this recipe. I recommend our C2105SS Soft Close Model. Its MotionHeat+ function evenly distributes hot air around the cavity. This means there’s no need to preheat – and you don’t have to worry about flavour transfer, either. If you do a lot of baking, this oven’s soft-close hinge is another brilliant feature. It’s not such an issue for cupcakes, but you definitely don’t want to be slamming doors on your soufflés!
Top tip: It’s really important not to over-mix the batter, or your cakes will be heavy and dense.
Hot cross buns
Arguably the most quintessential Easter food is the Hot Cross Bun. I know that you can buy all sorts of different varieties in the shops. But nothing quite compares to baking your own buns. The end result really is worth all the time and effort. My favourite recipe is a Delia Smith classic. The aroma, while they cook, is utterly delicious!
Do you have concerns that your dough won’t rise well? Our warming drawers could provide the perfect place. Set the adjustable thermostat to 30°C, ideal for proving the bun dough.
These Hot Cross Buns take just 15 minutes to bake. Our versatile SO111 Steam Combination Oven is sure to produce perfect results every time. This model offers both steam and conventional cooking methods, which can be customised to suit different types of food. Its 40-litre capacity is plenty big enough to accommodate all of your Easter baking and you’ll achieve a crisp finish if you use the steam setting.
Top tip: Brush your buns with the sugar/water glaze as soon as they come out of the oven, while they are still warm.
No Easter food round-up would be complete without a recipe for simnel cake. This light fruitcake is traditionally topped with eleven marzipan balls, to represent the eleven apostles of Christ. I’m a big fan of Mary Berry’s recipe, which includes glacé cherries.
This cake needs to be baked for around two-and-a-quarter hours. Our C2237 Classic single oven would be ideal. This affordable, value-for-money appliance combines clever technology with an understated, modern look. It incorporates nine functions, including defrost, turbo grill and fan heat. However, this oven also features a conventional function with top and bottom heat. So, use this and you can benefit from baking the rich fruit cake evenly and achieve the flat top, which is required.
Top tip: Do be vigilant when you’re caramelising the marzipan balls under the grill, as they burn very easily.
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