The Easter weekend is upon us and many of us are preparing to host family that is coming to visit for the long weekend. The thought of cooking and keeping guests, including children, entertained can be quite daunting. But if you plan properly, things can go well and you won’t be overwhelmed by the task at hand. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan and execute a memorable Easter weekend for adults and children.

 

Suggestions for hosting adults

Unlike children, adults are easy to entertain; as long as the wine is flowing, so will the conversation. Also, throw in a game of 30 Seconds or Monopoly. The key area of focus will really be your menu, that’s where adults are the biggest critics. The safest strategy to adopt here is the three-course menu.

 

Starters

Hot cross buns are obviously first prize when it comes to what you could serve, warm them up, serve them with tea, and you’re good to go. But if you’d like to offer something different, you can try these pickled fish tacos suggested on the Woolworths recipe site.

 

Here’s what you will need:

  • Four small tortillas
  • 500 grams pickled fish
  • Guacamole
  • One red chilli, roughly chopped
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • Lemon wedges

 

Here’s how to make the tacos:

  • Heat the tortillas in a hot pan.
  • Top each tortilla with a generous dollop of guacamole then add the pickled fish, red onion, red chilli and coriander.
  • Squeeze over a little lemon juice then serve.

 

Main meal

This one is going to take a bit more effort and time, that’s why you should prepare everything well in advance. Our suggestion is that you try Siba Mtongana’s stuffed pork roast. You can serve it with roast potatoes and a medley of roasted veggies.

“Not only is pork leg affordable, it always looks impressive and is such a delicious main-course choice.” – Siba

Ingredients

For the Stuffing:

  • 30ml olive oil, plus extra to grease
  • Four bacon rashers, chopped
  • One large onion, finely chopped
  • Two cloves garlic, crushed
  • 30ml sage, chopped
  • 400g spinach (stems removed), thoroughly washed and chopped
  • 250ml dried breadcrumbs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pork:

  • 1,5kg boned, butterflied pork leg
  • 10ml sea salt, for rubbing the skin

Gravy:

  • 40ml cornflour
  • 180ml apple juice
  • 250ml chicken stock

Here’s how to make the stuffed lamb:

1. Preheat oven to 220°C and lightly grease a roasting pan with oil. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and render the bacon for about 5 minutes until slightly crispy. Add the onion and saute?e for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the sage, and cook for 1 minute.

2. Remove from heat and add the spinach and breadcrumbs, stirring until it’s combined and the spinach is slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

3. On a clean surface, place the butterflied pork with the rind-side up and clean it by patting it dry with a paper towel. Turn over and place the stuffing in the centre and tightly roll to enclose, securing with kitchen string. Tie string around the pork leg at 2cm intervals.

4. Now rub the pork with the remaining oil and sea salt, using your hands. 5. Rub the large frying pan with olive oil and heat until hot. Brown the outside of the meat until somewhat crispy. Transfer to the roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

6. Reduce the heat to 180°C and cook for a further 30 to 45 minutes until the pork is tender and cooked. Transfer to a serving platter, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the string just before serving.

7. While the meat is resting, prepare the gravy. Place the roasting pan over two stove hobs and heat until sizzling. Add the cornflour and stir to combine. Pour in the apple juice and chicken stock, whisk to remove any lumps and bring to the boil.

8. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until the gravy thickens and the starch from the cornflour is cooked. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve into a serving jug.

 

Dessert

After all that meal prep, you will probably be tired. This microwave chocolate coffee mug cake from Zola Nene's cookbook is quick and easy to make. You can serve it with ice cream or custard.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 60 ml cake flour
  • 2.5 ml baking powder
  • 30 ml cocoa powder
  • 15 ml instant espresso coffee powder
  • 60 ml icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 45ml milk
  • 45ml vegetable oil
  • 5ml vanilla extract
  • 45ml chocolate chips

 

Here’s how to make it:

In a 300ml microwaveable bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, coffee powder, icing sugar, egg, milk, oil, vanilla and chocolate chips. Beat well with a whisk until smooth and blended. Microwave on high power for 90 seconds.

 

Keeping the little ones entertained

Unlike adults, children don’t have as sophisticated a palate as adults do, fussy yes, but certainly not bougie. You need to make sure that you offer them something that will incentivise them to eat the main meal. The promise of dessert after the meal is a great way to get them to finish their food, and don’t forget those Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies. You can also organise an Easter egg hunt; that’s always fun around this time of the year.

 

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