IN THE SPIRIT OF EASTER!

EASTER is a special time for families and friends to celebrate soberly especiallythe death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ .

Although it is meant to be a time  of sober reflection, yet the season cannot be complete without good food.

So,  as you entertain and exercise your culinary skills this season, you can make up your mind to either flair at home or go picnicking.

Well, whether you are planning a traditional ham, lamb, chicken or turkey, a breakfast, brunch or a big Easter buffet, you can plan your Easter menu with some of the recipe suggestions here.

Don’t forget that marking the festivities starts with penitent Good Friday, especially after 40 days of devotional fasting.

This collection of great recipes is enough to take you from good Friday through Easter Monday. Enjoy them!

FREJON

Frejon  is the Portuguese word for beans {Feijão}. It is a coconut bean soup that is usually eaten during Easter Holy Week by some  Christians, mostly Catholics Well, it is good for you to note that this cuts across the world.

Here in Nigeria, frejon is very common amongst South Western Yorubas. Reports say those who returned to Nigeria from Brazil at the abolition of the slave trade and settled in what is known as the “Brazilian Quarters” in Lagos Island brought this meal along with them.

Apart from Nigeria, frejon is also popular in countries like Brazil, Benin Republic, Sierra leone and other West African countries.

Owing to the fact that dairy foods and flesh meat (beef, pork, goat) are strictly forbidden on Good Friday, this dish is a suitable accompliment to non-dairy foods such as fried fish and garri ijebu.

Frejon is eaten as a local puddings made of black beans. In days of yore, frejon was usually cooked slowly overnight over a wood or charcoal fire, and then mixed with coconut milk to form a thick, sweet, smooth pudding.

But today, thank God we have gas cookers, pressure cookers and stoves, all these make the cooking of frejon much easier.

The beans are boiled to form a thick soft paste and then blended with coconut milk.

Frejon is usually served with fish stew, peppered snail and  Ijebu  garri but variations like pepper, crayfish, salt and tomatoes can be added to the mashed beans and coconut mixture.

If you love to sweeten your frejon, you can add sugar. You can eat your food warm, chilled or hot.

 Recipe for 10 servings:

½ cup sugar

2 cups coconut milk

4 cups black eyed beans (cooked)

salt and seasoning to taste (optional)

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

Preparation:

  • Examine the cooked beans and be sure it is very tender.
  • Drain the water from the beans into the coconut milk.
  • Add sugar and simmer for 50 minutes.
  • Add the salt and seasoning to taste.
  • Add pepper and continue to simmer until a semi-fluid consistency is formed.
  • Remove from heat and serve with garri ijebu.

 

Garri Ijebu, a specially fried garri which is common amongst Yorubas; it has this tingy and sour taste, but well relished and enjoyed by all!

 EASTER FRIED RICE

Rice is a staple food that is rich in starch and carbohydrate, which can be eaten anywhere and without much stress. it has, however, become boring for some people who only boil and eat it with stew.

enjoy the rich pleasure of the food

Recipe for 6 servings:

4 cups rice

2 teaspoons curry

1 kilogram smoked chicken (sliced)

1 kilogram smoked sausage (sliced thickly)

2 teaspoons thyme

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

salt and seasoning to taste

2 cups green peas

1 teaspoon fresh red pepper [ground]

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon ground dried pepper

Method:

  • Cook the chicken and sausage slices in a sauce pan.
  • Make sure they are well seasoned and cook until slightly brown.
  • Remove the meat from the pan and pour out the fat.
  • Return the saucepan to the heat, add some water to the pan, wash and pour the rice into the pan.
  • Add the seasonings as the rice continues to boil.
  • After some time, add the sausage and chicken slices and reduce the heat.
  • Cover the pan and simmer for some minutes.
  • Add the green peas and every other ingredient remaining, including the vegetable oil.
  • Cook until the rice is soft and fluffy.
  • Remove from heat and leave covered for five minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve warm. A cold cup of fruit juice will go well with this rice! Happy Easter Celebrations!

EASTER EGG SANDWICH

Recipe for 12 servings:

3 cans of sardine

12 hard-boiled eggs (peeled and chopped)

2 white onions (chopped)

1 cup finely chopped celery

4 green peppers (chopped)

½ cup mayonnaise

A dash of pepper

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients – onions, celery, green pepper, mayonnaise, chopped eggs, sardine and pepper together in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve on bread slices. Cups of warm or cold chocolate or tea would ideally go with these sandwiches. This meal is good for breakfast!

EASTER BUTTERED CUP CAKE

Recipe for 10 servings:

300g plain flour (sieved)

250g Castor sugar

10 eggs (whisked)

250g butter (softened)

500g mixed dried fruit

1 tablespoon baking powder (sieved)

(Ribbons, sugar, eggs and paste animals for decoration)

Method:

Preheat the oven and grease an ‘E’ shaped cake pan. Line the pan with a greased paper and set aside. Pour the sugar into a bowl, add the softened butter and mix until fluffy. Gradually whisk in the eggs, stir thoroughly and add the fruits. Gradually mix the baking powder with the flour and fold into the egg mixture. Mix well and spoon into the ‘E’ shaped cake pan. Bake until the cake is golden and springy to touch. Remove from the oven, leave in the tin for some minutes until slightly cool.

Turn out the cake on a wire rack, peel off the lining and brush with some egg yolk. Put the cake on a baking sheet and grit for four minutes to brown the top. Cool and decorate with sugared eggs, ribbons and sugar paste animals. Serve cool as an Easter delight!

EASTER OMELETTE

Recipe for 4 plates

1 cup chopped cooked ham

2 chopped green peppers

1 chopped onion

1 teaspoon butter

4 fresh tomatoes chopped

4 eggs

Salt, seasonings and pepper to taste

 

Preparation:

In an omelette pan, cook the ham, tomatoes, green peppers and onion in butter until the vegetables are tender, but not brown. In a bowl, beat the eggs with two tablespoons water, salt and pepper, until blended.

Pour the egg mixture into the hot pan. Carefully push the cooked portion at edges toward the centre so that the uncooked portions can reach the hot pan surface. Tilt the pan as needed when the top is thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, fold the omelette in half with pancake turner. Invert or slide onto clean plates and serve.

         EASTER EGGS

Recipe for 20 servings:

3 cups sugar

2 cups corn syrup

4 cups candied fruits

1 cup shortening

Nuts to taste

Chocolate dipping

Preparation:

Pour the sugar, syrup and water into a saucepan. Add the shortenings, candied fruits and nuts and cook until firm. Mix thoroughly and allow cooling slightly. Use your hands to design the eggs as you desire. Dip in the chocolate and serve. The eggs can be preserved for a long time.

EASTER TASTY COFFEE

Recipe for 10 servings:

6 tablespoons instant coffee

5 cups boiling water

1 cup honey

2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 cups cold water

2 cups milk

Ice cubes

Preparation:

Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water, pour into a large bowl and add the honey. Mix well before adding the cinnamon. Stir in the cold water and serve in glasses with the ice-cubes. Add the liquid milk as you like it to each glass. Serve as a simple Easter delight!

     EASTER PINEAPPLE CRUSH

Recipe for 4 servings:

Whole pineapple (diced)

1 cup milk shake

3 cups of orange juice

1 cup lemonade

2 tablespoons honey or sugar

Preparation:

Blend the diced pineapple, extract the juice and pour into a big jug, add the orange juice, lemonade and milk shake. Stir thoroughly and add the honey or sugar. Stir and serve into tall gasses.

             EASTER KEBABS

Recipe for 10 servings:

1 cup bottle salad dressing

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup white wine

5 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon ground ginger

5 pounds boneless beef steak (cubed)

3 cans unsweetened pineapple chunks or fresh pineapple chunks

3 cans unsweetened pineapple juice or fresh pineapple juice

30 fresh mushrooms (halved)

5 green peppers (diced)

Preparation:

Combine the salad dressing with the soy sauce, wine, honey and ginger in a glass casserole. Stir thoroughly to make marinade. Add the steak cubes into the marinade. Stir and cover the casserole, marinating in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Meanwhile, combine the pineapple juice in a glass casserole, cook for three minutes and set aside. Remove the cubed beef from the marinade, thread on bamboo (or any other wooden) skewers-alternate each cube with a piece of pineapple, mushroom and pepper.

When you are through, place the kebab in a large baking dish, cover with waxed paper and cook in a microwave oven for three minutes, turning each kebab over. Re-arrange and cook continuously until the meat is ready. Serve hot as appetiser or filing snack.

         SPICE TOASTY NUTS

Recipe for 8 servings:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 cups mixed nuts

4 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons garlic salt

Preparation:

Melt the butter in a glass cup in microwave oven for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, garlic, salt, curry powder and cinnamon. Stir properly and set aside. Pour the nuts into a glass casserole and pour the butter mixture over the nuts. Mix well and cook uncovered in microwave oven until the mixture is hot. Stir and remove from heat to cool. Stir and serve as appetizer.

         EASTER EGG NOG

Recipe for 4 servings:

4 eggs

4 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons sherry

4 cups cold milk

½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation:

Whisk the eggs until very  smooth. Add the vanilla extract and sugar and slowly beat in the milk. Stir thoroughly and strain the mixture into tall glasses. Sprinkle nutmeg on each glass and serve cold.

ENJOY YOUR EASTER!

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