A taste of easter
The flavour combination of these canapes is very more-ish.
MINTED CALAMARI AND PRAWN SALAD
You could make this more substantial by adding cooked vermicelli noodles.
Serves 8 as an entree
• 500g cleaned baby squid tubes
• 2 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
• 500g peeled prawns
• 1 telegraph cucumber
• 1 cup mint leaves
• 1 cup coriander leaves
• 1 long red chilli, chopped finely
• 4 tbsp lime juice
• 2 tbsp caster sugar
• 1 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
• 6 kaffir lime leaves, julienned
Cut the squid tubes in half lengthways, then score in a crosshatch pattern. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan and cook the squid for a few minutes over a high heat. Scoop out and set aside. Repeat with the remaining oil and the prawns. Chill. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and run a teaspoon down the centre to scoop out the seeds, discard. Cut the cucumber into 1cm slices. Toss the chilled seafood, cucumber, mint, coriander and chilli together in a bowl with the dressing. Serve immediately.
QUAIL EGG TARTS
The flavour combination of these canapes is very more-ish so you might want to double the recipe for the same number of people — just in case!
• 8 slices white bread
• 2 tsp butter
• 1/2 cup creme fraiche
• 2 tbsp spring onion, finely chopped
• 8 quail eggs, hard boiled
• lumpfish caviar
• sprig of chervil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 120C. Cut the crusts off the bread and flatten each slice with a rolling pin. Cut two circles out of each slice of bread with a small scone cutter. Melt the butter and brush both sides of each disc, place them on a prepared tray and bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp. Set aside to cool. Mix the creme fraiche and onion, set aside in the fridge. Just before serving, spoon a little creme fraiche mix on to a bread disc, top with half a quail egg and a little dob of caviar. Decorate with a sprig of chervil if desired.
Quail egg tarts.
PEARL BARLEY SALAD
Pearl barley is associated with winter soups and stews but it is also a soothing base to salads. Try adding roast pumpkin or shredded spinach for a change.
• 2 cups pearl barley
• 3 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 6 spring onions, chopped
• 2 tbsp chopped preserved lemon
• 2-3 firm but ripe avocados, cut into chunks
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1 tsp honey
• salt and pepper
Whisk all dressing ingredients together. Place the pearl barley in a large pan with plenty of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 25 minutes or until swollen and tender to the bite. Drain and chill. Mix with the remaining ingredients and dressing.
Braised Sweet and Sour Cabbage
• 1 red cabbage, outer leaves removed
• 2 tbsp butter
• 1/3 cup caster sugar
• 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Cut the cabbage into quarters, remove the core, discard it and slice the cabbage very thinly. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and toss in the cabbage. Cook, stirring until it has wilted. This should take about 5 minutes. Sprinkle over the sugar, add the vinegar and stir until combined. Lower the heat and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pearl barley salad. Braised sweet and sour cabbage with marinated butterflied Lamb.
CAPER AND ANCHOVY MARINATED LAMB
The mere mention of anchovy sends some into a spin. Here it is used as a flavour enhancer and completely melds into a rich savoury flavour base for the lamb. I cooked the lamb in the oven, but it could also be done on the barbecue.
• 1 leg of lamb butterflied to an even thickness
• 2 tbsp capers, drained
• 8 anchovy fillets
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 bunch parsley
• 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
Place all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it has formed a coarse paste. Rub all over the lamb, cover and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 200C and roast the meat for 30-40 minutes. Allow at least 15 minutes resting time before serving. This is perfect with sweet and sour braised cabbage.
Mendiants are a simple accompaniment to coffee and a small indulgence after a special meal. Melt chocolate and place a teaspoon-sized blob on a sheet of baking paper, swirl it into an egg shape with the back of the spoon and sprinkle the top with pistachios, dried rose petals and cachous before leaving to set.
Small Indulgence: Mendiants.
© The West Australian
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