As the world deals with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are perhaps looking at a slightly different Easter celebration. Many countries are either in lockdown or are enforcing or strongly recommending social distancing, and in the Cayman Islands we, too, are staying home. Thankfully, there are many festive activities that we can do solo or with loved ones to mark the holiday, including cooking and baking.
We reached out to Camana Bay chefs to provide seasonal recipes to help make your at-home Easter a delicious and memorable one. Enjoy!
From the chefs at Agua:
Start Easter morning off right with this delicious torta pasqualina from the chefs at Agua. The torta is a traditional Easter dish from Liguria, Italy.
- 1.5 kg spinach
- 12 eggs
- ½ onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 500 grams ricotta cheese
- 200 grams Parmigiano Reggiano
- 25 ml olive oil
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of black pepper
- pinch of salt
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- In a large skillet pan, cook over medium heat the chopped onion, garlic, and spinach. Remove the spinach mixture from the heat after few minutes, pour in a strainer and let it cool down. As soon as the spinach mixture is cold, add to it two whole eggs and the Parmigiano and fold everything together.
- Take the ricotta and add three whole eggs, nutmeg, salt, pepper (to taste), and thyme and fold them together with a whisk until you obtain a creamy consistency.
- Mix together the spinach and the ricotta.
- Preheat oven at 170 C/350 F.
- Take one sheet of puff pastry and cut into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough in a nine-inch pie dish, and tuck it in with your finger, making sure it is smooth. With a small knife, trim the extra overage of the dough and discard it.
- Place the mixture in the mold, flatten it evenly then with a spoon and create seven holes where you will put the egg yolk (one in the centre and six around). Cover with the second puff pastry sheet and cut it into a nine-inch diameter. Seal the edge by crimping with a fork or finger. With the fork create few holes on the surface of the pie for steam to escape. Using a pastry brush, brush the crust with melted butter.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
From Dylan Benoit, chef at Carnivore Premium Meats:
At Carnivore, we want to make dinner time as easy as possible with our line of prepared ready-to-eat products. Fully cooked and packaged in their own sauce, just drop the package right into some simmering water while you prepare your sides and voila, dinner is served! These items also make Easter entertaining a breeze so you can spend more time with your family and friends.
Easy braised Easter lamb shanks
- 1 pkg (2 pieces) ready–to–eat braised lamb shanks (available at Carnivore)
- 1 cup pearl couscous
- 1 ¼ cup beef stock (available at Carnivore)
- 2 tsp Usual Suspects seasoning (available at Carnivore)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp chopped dried fruit, such as cranberries or nectarines
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp chiffonade of mint
- Put the package of lamb shanks in a large pot and cover with water.
- Bring pot to a simmer for 15-20 minutes
- While the lamb is heating up, bring the beef stock, Usual Suspects seasoning, and bay leaf to a boil in a small pot.
- Once boiling, pour in the pearl couscous, stir well and reduce to low heat.
- Cook covered for 10 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from heat and pick out the bay leaves and discard.
- Add butter, dried fruit, and half the chopped herbs. Fluff the couscous with a fork.
- Plate the couscous into two bowls.
- Remove the package of lamb shanks from the simmering water and place in a large bowl.
- Open the package with scissors or a knife and carefully place one lamb shank in each bowl on top of the couscous.
- Pour the lamb sauce from the package over top of the lamb shanks.
- Garnish with the reminder of the chopped herbs and serve.
From the chefs at The Waterfront Urban Diner:
Known for its family-friendly dining and irresistible sweet treats (such as its signature big-as-your-face cinnamon bun!), The Waterfront’s chefs have an easy-to-make delicious treat recipe for you to make with the little ones this Easter.
Chocolate Rice Krispy Nests
- 30 grams cubed butter
- 50 grams milk chocolate
- 50 grams dark chocolate
- 4 cups marshmallows – mini marshmallows
- 5 cups rice cereal
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups mini eggs or other egg–shaped treats
- Grease a 12-cup muffin tray and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat–proof bowl over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted.
- Add the marshmallows into the melted chocolate and stir until melted and incorporated into mixture. Remove from heat.
- Add vanilla and coconut oil into marshmallow mixture and stir to incorporate.
- Fold in Rice Krispies cereal, one cup at a time until well mixed.
- Using a wet ice cream scoop or soup spoons, scoop out ¼ cup mixture into the greased–up
- With wet hands, gently press the centre of the mixture to form a nest or tart-shell shape.
- Place in the fridge for two hours or overnight to set.
- Once set, gently pop the nests out of the muffin tray using an offset spatula or butter knife.
- Fill nest with mini eggs or other treats and enjoy!
From Maureen Cubbon, chef at Bon Vivant:
Not only are these mini muffins great for Easter, they can be a delicious snack any time of the year. The combination of apple, carrot, and coconut make them a balanced and nutritious treat that’s perfect whenever you’d like.
Carrot apple coconut muffins
Makes 30 mini muffins
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
- 1 red delicious apple, peeled and grated, about 1/2 cup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup coconut or canola oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine.
- Place one tablespoon of batter into greased mini muffin tins.
- Bake for 15 minutes and serve warm!