As we have 3 Bank Holidays this month I thought you might be entertaining and I would provide 2 recipes that I cooked when entertaining myself at Easter and which were both very well received.
LAMB KLEFTIKO – Serves 6 – 8
a 2.5kg. bone in leg of lamb
6 garlic cloves
2 tsp. sea salt (ordinary salt will do)
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp. gd. cinnamon
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
For the traybake:
1 kg. waxy potatoes, cut into wedges
2 red onions cut into wedges
2 large red peppers, cut into wedges
4 medium or large tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 tbsps. olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally
2 tbsps. capers
- Score the fat of the lamb. Crush the peeled garlic with the salt using a pestle and mortar, add the zest and cinnamon and pound to a paste. Add the olive oil and combine, seasoning with black pepper. Brush the mustard over the lamb and rub the paste into the meat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Remove the lamb from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 160C, fan 140C, gas mark 3. Put the vegetables in a large roasting tin and drizzle over the oil. Toss to coat and nestle in the bay leaves and halved garlic bulb. Squeeze over the juice from the 2 lemons. Sit the lamb on top of the vegetables and cover the tin with foil making sure its well sealed round the rim. Roast for 4 hours.
- Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 220C, fan 200C, gas mark 7. Remove the foil and stir the capers into the vegetables. Return to the oven uncovered for 15 – 20 minutes until the lamb has browned.
- Lift the lamb from the tin and cover loosely with foil to rest for about 15 minutes. Carve the lamb and serve it with the vegetables.
- Serve with a Greek salad if desired – 600g. vine tomatoes cut into wedges, 1 red onion finely sliced, 1 green pepper, sliced, 1 large cucumber (cut in 1/2, seeds removed and cut into half moons), 75g. pitted black olives, 3 tbsps. olive oil, 2 tbsps. red wine vinegar, 1 x 200g. pack feta drained and cubed, 2 tsps. dried herbs.
Although it seems quite a lot of work to prepare this, once it is in the oven you can go out for 4 hours. We found it delicious. If you don’t want to make a Greek salad you could always cook a green vegetable e.g. broccoli or kale, to give another colour to the food. There were plenty of leftovers, enough cold for the following day, and a doggy bag for my friend to take home.
SPICED SALMON WITH TRAYBAKED SAG ALOO
1 kg. flour potatoes such as Maris Piper
olive oil for roasting
2 tsps. gd. cumin
1 tsp.chilli flakes
1 x 500g. salmon fillet
2 tbsps. tandoori or tikka spice paste~
100 mls. double cream
lemon wedges to serve
- Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, gas mark 6. Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for a few minutes. Toss the potatoes in a roasting tin with 1 tbsp. oil, the turmeric, ground cumin and chilli flakes and plenty of seasoning. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Boil the kettle.
- Put the spinach in a colander and pour over boiling water until wilted. Use the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze out most of the water. Rub the salmon generously with the spice paste and drizzle with oil. Stir the spinach through the potatoes and top with the salmon, skin side down. Increase the heat to 220C, 200C fan, gas mark 7. Return to the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked. Remove the salmon to stir the cream into the potatoes, replace the salmon and serve with lemon wedges.
I cooked the salmon on a separate baking tray as I thought it might break up if lifted to stir in the cream, it also made it easier to serve. I also added cauliflower florets to the potato and spinach mixture at the start of the cooking time, broccoli would also be good, to give more vegetables. We all thought it was a lovely recipe.