It’s Easter weekend and we’re pretty sure you’re in the midst of meal planning. If you’re looking for a new twist on a side dish, or the definitive recipe for leg of lamb, we have you cover – along with a smashing dessert with a wonderful message for this holy season.
Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin
Au gratin is a French term for a topping of cheese flavoured breadcrumbs. A great side with a leg of lamb. Recipe courtesy of Foodland Ontario (foodlandontario.ca)
- 1/4 cup (60mL) butter
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 2 cups (500mL) fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup (75mL) grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 cups (1.5 L) each medium-size cauliflower and broccoli florets
- 3 Tbsp. (45mL) each butter and all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (500mL) milk
- 1-1/4 cups (300mL) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. (5mL) onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. (1mL) salt
In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute; remove and discard garlic. Stir in breadcrumbs, coating well; stir in cheese. Set aside. Bring large pot of water to boil. Cook cauliflower for 2 minutes; add broccoli and cook 4 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Drain well; transfer to 12 cup (3 L) casserole. Keep warm.
In large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour; cook, stirring until it changes colour slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, increase heat to medium, whisking constantly until mixture comes to boil. Stir in cheese, onion powder and salt. Pour over hot vegetables. Top with reserved breadcrumb mixture.
Bake in 350F (180C) oven for 20 minutes until bubbling and topping is golden brown. (If made ahead and refrigerated, add 15 minutes to the baking time.)
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
Beloved Irish cookbook author and award-winning celebrity Kevin Dundon, of the famed Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant, in Ireland’s southeast, offers up this amazing recipe to help make Easter celebrations the finest ever!
- 1 leg of lamb (approx 2kg/ 4lb 8oz)
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 3 large onions, roughly chopped
- 1 bulb of garlic-halved horizontally
- 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
- 3 Tbsp. (45 mL) olive oil
- 2 oz. (25g) flour
- 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) tomato puree
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) red wine
- 10 oz. (300mL) good quality meat stock
- salt and pepper to season
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). On a large roasting tray arrange large chunks of carrots, garlic and onion to form a trivet to raise meat off roasting tray. Lay leg of lamb on top of vegetables. Using a sharp knife make a number of incisions to fat of lamb and stick sprigs of the rosemary in fat.
Season lightly with a little salt and pepper and drizzle with a little oil and roast in the oven for 1-1½ hours (15 minutes per 1lb/450g for rare and 20 minutes for medium) turning over half way through. Allow the meat to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before carving, this allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and therefore it will be far more tender and juicy to eat.
While the leg is resting, prepare the sauce.
Drain off the majority of fat off tray and put tray on stove top. Sprinkle in flour and add tomato puree and stir with a whisk until well-coloured. Gradually pour in red wine and stock and continue to whisk until mixture comes to a boil. Sieve into a clean saucepan to remove any impurities. Add chopped rosemary and simmer for 4-5 minutes until reduced and thickened nicely. Adjust seasoning and pour into a sauce boat to accompany lamb.
THE HOPE CAKE
We’re celebrating Easter during extraordinary times. Families are sequestered, loved ones can’t visit. Still, many have found joy in cooking and baking – together. The folks at Baskin Robbins have created a special “hope” cake recipe to help lift people’s spirits during these trying times. The ingredients are guaranteed to make you feel good: chocolate to release the feel-good endorphins in your brain, cherries because they are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements, and vanilla to add brightness. Check out baskinrobbins.ca for additional information.
- 2/3 cup (150mL) butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups (325mL) sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (150mL) baking cocoa
- 1 tsp. (5 mL) baking powder
- 1-1/4 tsp. (6mL) baking soda
- 1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
- 1-1/3 cups (325mL) whole milk
- equal amounts favourite chocolate and cherry ice cream flavours
- 2 cups (500mL) icing sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp. (45-60mL) milk
- 2 tsp. (10 mL) vanilla
- cherries (Amarena cherries recommended, or maraschino cherries)
In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together all dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating until smooth after each addition.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch (23 cm) cake pan. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick in centre comes out dry and clean. Run knife around edges and cool on wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
Icing: In large bowl, blend icing sugar with milk and vanilla until icing is at a spreading consistency.
Slice cake into four. On first layer, spread chocolate ice cream, cover with next slice of cake. Spread cherry ice cream and cover with next cake slice. Finish with last slice. Cover cake in plastic wrap and freeze one hour, or until firm. Remove cake and quickly drizzle icing over cake.Top with cherries and serve immediately.
NOTE: If using Amarena cherries, drizzle some of the syrup from cherries onto cake before spreading ice cream.