Looking to create the perfect Easter meal, but struggling to get all the ingredients for your traditional Easter Roast?
During these unprecedented times, the current government restrictions have made shopping a little tricky. However our Executive Chef Iain Thomson has been using his time at home wisely and creating an alternative feast to please the whole family, using ingredients that shouldn’t be too tricky to find…
Spatchcock Chicken, Red Cabbage & Mustard Slaw, Shaved Asparagus, Feta & Pomegranate Salad, Wild Garlic Pesto and Sticky Toffee Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce - what a treat!
Firstly, Wild Garlic and Broad Bean Pesto…
If you can pick some wild garlic while out on your daily walk, this recipe is a winner to pair with so many different things, including a marinade for spatchcock chicken in. The recipe generally calls for pine nuts but works equally well with hazelnuts if you don’t have any. I’m sure the pesto police weren’t looking anyway!
A good handful of thoroughly washed, and rougly chopped wild garlic
2 handfuls of podded broad beans
1 clove of garlic
½ bunch basil
½ bunch parsley
250ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
Around a cup of grated parmesan (add a little more to taste if you like it really cheesy)
50g toasted hazelnuts
In a food processor pulse the garlic, hazelnuts, broad beans and half of the oil, then add the leaves and parmesan and switch to low speed. Scrape down the sides and slowly pour the remaining oil in, check for seasoning, but depending on the parmesan you use you may not need to add any more salt. Put into a clean jar and hey presto!
Marinated Spatchcock Chicken, Charred Sweetcorn and Slow Roast Tomatoes
Roast chicken is a family favourite dinner, its simple and delicious! Spatchcocking is a fantastic way of halving the cooking time while getting the same end result.This dish will work equally well cooked on the BBQ, or in the oven.
- To free up oven space, the tomatoes can be cooked earlier in the day as they require a much lower temperature than the chicken. Once they are slow roasted, they will happily sit out until you are ready for them.
1 whole chicken
2 tablespoons of broad bean and wild garlic pesto
2 cobs of corn
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
Any herbs available (thyme and bay leaves recommended)
1 glug of extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1tsp rapeseed oil
To spatchcock the chicken, remove the backbone by cutting 2cm along either side of it from the tail to the neck with a large cook’s knife or kitchen scissors. Flatten the bird by pressing down firmly on the wings, and then use a sharp knife to score the legs. This will help marinade the meat and allow for more even cooking.
Now rub the pesto on to the bird, trying to get as much under the skin and into the scores as possible. Ideally you could do this the night before but if not, try to allow for at least 2 hours prior to cooking (we will come back to this later!)
Half your tomatoes and place in a baking dish cut side up, drizzle with the olive oil and place a slice of garlic on each. Season well with sea salt and pepper and add any thyme and bay leaves if you have them. Place in the oven at 140ºc for 1 hour or so, it can take longer depending on how juicy the tomatoes are. What you are looking for is a super tomato-y flavour, and slow roasting is a great way to intensify the flavour.
For the sweetcorn, first start by boiling the whole cobs in seasoned water until tender and drain. Now mix the honey, mustard and oil together in a bowl, and roll the warm cobs in the glaze until evenly covered.
Time to cook the chicken!
Heat a griddle pan and lay the chicken skin side down (a frying pan will also work), leave for a couple minutes and rotate the chicken 90 degrees for a nice crisscross pattern. Flip it over and give it a couple of minutes on the bone side and then place in a roasting dish, set the griddle pan aside. Place the chicken in the oven, skin side up at 200ºc for 10 minutes and then lower to 160ºc for a further 25 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken and set aside to rest. If you are BBQ-ing then place the bird, skin side down on the hot/lower rack first to get some colour and then transfer to the cooler/upper rack and cook it through. Leave to rest before serving.
Cut each sweetcorn into 3 pieces and place into the same griddle pan and turn to a low heat. Keep rotating the sweetcorn to get an even colour, reserve the leftover marinade for later.
Once the chicken has rested, cut the legs off and cut through the joints to separate the drums and thighs. For the breast portions, cut down the middle of the breasts and then cut each in two. You will need a sharp knife to do this as you are cutting right through the bone. At this stage, double check its cooked through, it can always go back in the oven for further cooking.
Now the sweetcorn is charred all over, roll it in its original marinade. Give the tomatoes a quick warm in the oven, 2 minutes max and assemble everything on a board. I had a little of the asparagus and chopped parsley left over from my salad so added that for presentation and drizzled some of the roasting juices all over.
Spicy Red Cabbage and Peanut Slaw
Originally the slaw was to be an accompaniment to the BBQ’d chicken, but it turns out you can’t rely on the Scottish weather! Regardless, this slaw works really well with loads of meals which is great as there is always leftovers to keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
¾ red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 spring onions, thinly slices
150g toasted and crushed nuts (peanuts work well)
½ bunch roughly chopped parsley
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
A good squeeze of sriracha
Around 100ml red wine vinegar
50ml rapeseed oil
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
Lightly salt the cabbage and set aside for 30 mins, then wash off and submerge in iced cold water for a further 10 minutes. Mix the oil, vinegar, sriracha, soy, fish sauce and whole grain mustard in a separate bowl to make the dressing.
Drain your cabbage and place in a bowl ready for serving, add the red onion, half the nuts, parsley and spring onion, and then combine with the dressing. Top with the remaining nuts and greens, and it’s another dish ready to go!
Shaved Asparagus, Feta and Pomegranate Salad
This salad is a great way to cobble together fresh produce that needs to be used up. With everything going on at the moment, it’s important than ever that we try to avoid food waste as best we can. If you have any raw greens that are beginning to look a little sad, a cheeky little trick to crisp up raw greens is to give it an ice bath for 10 minutes or so and then drain off.
1 baby gem
A handful of lollo rosso
A handful of rocket
A handful of ruby chard
½ bunch of asparagus – peeled into ribbons and iced
100g crumbled feta
Some of the Broad Bean and Wild Garlic Pesto to dress, mixed with a little rapeseed oil.
Prep the salad leaves and wash, then transfer to a bowl of ice water and sit for 10 minutes or so and drain well. To make the asparagus ribbons peel from the root end about 1cm from the bottom so you have a bit to hold on, keep peeling all the way through and place in an ice bath for around 10 minutes or so and drain. To serve, lightly dress the leaves with some of the pesto and lay in a bowl. Tap the pomegranate over the salad with a wooden spoon to release the seeds, (this might get a bit messy) top with the crumbled feta and the asparagus ribbons, finally spoon a few dollops the pesto around.
Dessert… Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
Iain says – “Yes, Sticky Toffee Pudding is typically a winter dessert but it’s a year-round favourite at Appetite, so here it is! I wish I could say I grew up eating it, but we never had it as my mum didn’t like dates, so I didn’t get it till the first time I made it in the first restaurant I worked in. It was the second or third recipe I was taught. I haven’t ever changed the recipe and why would I, its perfect as it is, I gave it to my mum once and guess what, she now likes dates!!”
For the sticky toffee pudding…
190g soft dark brown sugar
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
190g self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
85g butter, cut into small pieces
100g soft dark brown sugar
Place all the ingredients from step 1 in a pan except the bicarbonate of soda and simmer for around 5 minutes, allow to cool to room temperature. With a hand blender, pulse the mix- this doesn’t want to be perfectly smooth, you want there to still be little bits of dates, now stir in the bicarb. Add the eggs and flour and beat the mixture until all the flour is incorporated.
In a baking dish or loaf tin, line with greaseproof paper and evenly scatter the sugar and small pieces of butter from step 3. Pour over the mix and carefully spoon the water over the top from step 3, this will help keep the top moist. Place in a preheated oven at 160ºc for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and check its cooked with a knife. Once slightly cooled, turn out onto a board, peel away the paper and cut into slices.
Salted Caramel Sauce…
200g caster sugar
200ml double cream
Add the water and sugar in to a saucepan to mix, boil on high heat, do not stir it at any point. The water will evaporate and the sugar will start to caramelize, keep it going until you get a dark amber colour. Carefully add the cream, (it will boil and spit at this stage so beware) once it has stopped boiling, stir the cream in until fully incorporated. Add a good pinch of sea salt and you’re all done! This is perfect for pouring over the top.
The idea behind these recipes is to use up things you already have, or can get fairly easy from local shops. If there is anything you can’t get hold of, it’s perfectly fine to substitute something else similar in.
The Appetite team are all keeping busy at home, putting their own spin on the above, and we would love to see your version of Iain’s recipes!
Stay safe and well, from all of us at Appetite Events. X