Easter time in Trinidad and Tobago means lots of hot cross buns, great fish dishes and my preference, roasted leg of lamb. Let’s not forget provisions, especially dasheen and yams. Whatever your choice this upcoming long weekend make sure to prepare some delicious dishes!
Hot cross buns
You can use your electric mixer for this recipe but the directions are for making by hand.
1 tbs active dry yeast
1 ¼ cups milk
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg yolk
4 to 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins
½ cup mixed peel, (optional)
1 egg white slightly beaten
1 tbs water
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
In a large bowl place yeast, milk, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, egg, egg yolk and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in raisins and mixed peel. Add enough flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl turn greased side up. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ hours.
Punch down dough, divide into 4 equal parts. Cut each part into 6 equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a ball, place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
With a scissors, snip a cross on top of each ball.
Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 °F.
Mix egg white with 1 tablespoon water, brush top of buns with egg white mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
To make the frosting, mix icing sugar with lemon juice and zest until smooth. Add a little more water if needed ½ tsp at a time. Frost crosses on buns with frosting.
Makes 24 rolls
Garlicky roasted leg of lamb
4 lb leg of lamb (New Zealand)
8 cloves garlic minced
4 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper
2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tbs dried
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt
Remove outer layer of fat from lamb
In a food processor combine garlic, vinegar, mustard, pepper, rosemary and olive oil, process until combined. Rub marinade over lamb, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Before roasting remove lamb from refrigerator, bring to room temperature. Rub salt over lamb,
Preheat oven to 400 °F and roast lamb for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until done. Lamb is usually at its best when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 140 °F
Allow roast to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Serves 8 to 10
Creamy whipped cassava
1 ½ lbs cassava, centre string removed
¼ cup butter
½ to ⅔ cup full cream milk
1 large egg
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup grated cheese
Boil cassava in lots of salted water until very tender, about 30 minutes.
Drain the cassavas taking care to leave a small amount of water back with the cassava.
Using a hand mixer crush and whip the cassava. Add the butter and some of the milk. Add the egg and continue beating for about 5 minutes, adding more milk as the texture tightens.
Add garlic and continue whipping to a light creamy and smooth consistency.
Turn into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake for about 20 minutes until golden in a 350 °F preheated oven.
4 provision (dasheen yams, sweet potatoes), peeled boiled and cut into cubes
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
⅔ cup olive or vegetable oil
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp oregano
1 tsp minced garlic
¼ cup minced parsley
¼ cup diced celery stalks
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
¼ cup diced sweet red bell pepper
1 tbs Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine dasheen with pepper, celery, chives and parsley, oregano and paprika. In a small bowl combine oil with vinegar, Dijon, garlic, salt and black pepper. Blend to make a thick emulsion.
Combine with dasheen toss to coat evenly. Garnish with parsley. Refrigerate until ready for use.
Baked stuffed red snapper
You can try this fish with smaller snappers if you like, or try it with any type of fish you may prefer. Any way you choose, it’s great!
1 4½ lb whole red snapper, cleaned
2 tbs minced chives
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs melted butter
2 tbs butter
½ cup finely chopped onions
½ cup finely chopped sweet pepper
½ cup finely chopped chives
2 pimento peppers, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh thyme
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tbs capers or olives
1 egg, beaten
⅓ cup grated cheese
Combine chives with garlic and olive oil. Rub mixture over fish and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready for use.
In a large sauté pan melt butter and add onions, peppers, chives, garlic, thyme and pimento. Sauté until fragrant.
Add bread crumbs and stir to combine. Add capers or olives.
Combine beaten egg with cheese. Add to mixture, combine and cool.
Stuff fish with stuffing. Close cavity and hold together with metal skewers.
Brush fish with melted butter and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Place in foil and tent.
Bake at 350 °F for about 40 to 45 minutes until fish is cooked.
Serves 4 to 6