Ben and I decided to try something a little different for our Easter menu last week. While I believe slow-cooked lamb to be my most favourite meat preparation at this time of year, especially when served with roasted potatoes, for some reason I had a somewhat urgent urge to roll out some tortillas. Tacos sounded ideal. I was also disconcertingly keen on getting my hands in dough and standing near hot oil, so we put doughnuts on the menu too. Don’t ask, just fry.
Menu planning is one of my most favourite past times. Especially lazy weekend lunches, when there’s time for pondering then sourcing and preparing dishes. But really, it’s all so we can gather together. Family lunches at Mum and Dad’s are easy for Ben and I now we live 10 minutes from my family home, but for Jackson, it takes a bit of planning. That’s cool, I’m happy to lure him from the big smoke with slow-cooked meat and doughnuts. That’s my job as a good sister, daughter, granddaughter – to bring my family together and feed them. Doughtnuts are entirely optional but encouraged by all.
Our morning on Easter Monday began bright an early, with a fresh batch of cinnamon buns on my lap as Ben and I drove to mum and dad’s house. Apparently
mum the Easter bunny hadn’t forgotten us, as there was a pile of chocolatey goodies waiting for Ben and I when we arrived. Mine were tucked in and around this darling little tea cup and saucer, in my most favourite colour – green. It’s the perfect size for an after dinner peppermint tea. Or an Easter egg…
Almond Meal Cinnamon Buns with Condensed Coconut Milk (recipe link) were keenly devoured, alongside my parents’ homegrown figs and wonderfully tart apples. Coffee, too. Times two.
We were a party of ten on this day, and so I tripled the batch of Wholemeal Flour Tortillas (recipe link) and kept them stacked between layers of baking paper. As people were arriving I quickly cooked them before piling a stack high and covering with foil. Mine kept nicely warm, but you can microwave them right before serving if they get a little cold. Once you go homemade, you never go back, they are outrageously simple and scrumptious.
A variation of Shutterbean’s Creamed Summer Corn (recipe link) is obligatory when making tacos in our household. We’re just mad for this dish.
Creamy Spiced Corn
Serves 2-4 (depending on how many other taco fillings you have)
2 Corn Cobs
1 big Clove Garlic, crushed
20g Unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Full Cream Milk or Cream (whatever is in your fridge)
A pinch of Cayenne Pepper (more if you’re eager for heat)
1/2 a juicy Lime
Sea Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper
1. With a sharp chef’s knife, cut vertically down each ear of corn to slice off the kernels.
2. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the corn kernals and cook for a couple of minutes until golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so until fragrant. Add the butter, allow it to melt then and cook for a further minute before adding the milk or cream and cayenne.
3. Cook the corn for five-ten minutes or so until the milk bubbles down and evaporates, and everything begins to caramelise and get sticky. Add the lime juice then stir, taste and season as required. You can add more milk or cream and cook for longer, if you want a more mushy preparation. I like a bit of bite.
Prawns were Dad’s idea and a good one at that. He used the grill device we brought back from Vietnam and they were wonderfully coal cooked.
To pimp our tortillas and creamy spiced corn, we slow-roasted a pork shoulder with smoked paprika. Smoked paprika and patience. It was the loveliest and simplest Pulled Pork (recipe link), without too much jazz or distraction. Together with a simple slaw of cabbage, extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar; a salsa made of tomato, red onion, garlic, sea salt, lime juice and coriander; a spread of avocado and sour cream; extra coriander for delicious decoration and our faithful Tabasco, we had ourselves quite a splendid Easter feast.
We had made a Spiced Honey, which was to be drizzled liberally over hot Green Fig and Walnut Fritole with Mascarpone (recipe link). Why yes, that translates to figs stuffed with walnuts, covered in a yeasty dough and fried.
Jackson’s girlfriend brought a beautiful cake that she just whipped together in her brain. It was made with spelt flour and banana and apple and spices including cardamom. I so appreciate her style.
So…what menu can I plan next?