Easter Eats & Welcoming Spring

“Of sweets & candies
And little treats,
A fluffy bunny
Hopping on it’s feet,
Egg shells & tarts
And games a ton,
A buffet for two
Or a spring-fling run,
Fruits & flowers
Gifts you give,
It’s for this weekend
The week you live,
Holiday & hearts
Let’s have some fun,
Happy Easter
To you, and everyone!”

I think spring is finally here. Or at least I pray it is. The sky is blue, colors everywhere are changing and the best part, spring fruits! How I adore them. So I thought I may as well cook up something. Plus, how could I let easter go by and not prepare something interesting for you to read about?

With an upcoming race, I didn't want something for dinner that would be too heavy in Indian flavors, and neither did I want to spend hours in the kitchen sweating over it. All the dishes below were super easy, and I got them from the kitchen to the table in under 3 hours. Not bad, right?

The mushroom sundae was my favorite. What was yours?

Mushroom Sundae
1 cup mushroom stir fry from my mushroom toasties (sans the peas, and with some coriander powder, added for flavor)
4 slices of brioche bread
4 mini mozarella rounds
4 cherry tomatoes
Cut a circle from the brioche bread and bake into bread cups. Put 2 teaspoons of the mushroom stir fry, and top with a mozzarella & cherry tomato. Quick, cute and comforting - a sundae that even your kids would love!

Orzo & Cheese Bites
1 cup orzo, cooked al-dente
½ cup gouda cheese, grated
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
½ red pepper, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Sauté the garlic and onion till the onion turns translucent. Add the tomatoes, red pepper and all the dry spices and cook covered for a few minutes till the tomatoes are tender and cooked. Once done, add the orzo and cook for another few minutes and then remove from heat to cool. Once cooled, mix in the cheese & breadcrumbs. Put 3 tablespoons of the mixture into each mould of a greased muffin pan, and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, till the underside is crisp. Cool slightly before removing from the pan. Top with some grated cucumber & coriander and serve fresh. A slight variation on the favorite Mac & Cheese.

Chicken Spring Rolls
½ pound chicken cutlet
1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, red & green peppers), julienned
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons tomato paste
Salt & pepper to taste
Put the chicken inside a freezer bag and beat with a rolling pin till it becomes thin and can be rolled.
Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes & paprika and rub the chicken with this mixture. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
In the meantime prepare your vegetable filling. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a non-stick pan and sauté all the vegetables on high heat (with the exception of cucumber) with coriander powder, salt & pepper. Do it for a few minutes, just enough for them to lose their raw taste, but not enough for them to become soft. Remove from heat, cool and mix with the cucumber.
Cut 1 inch strips from the chicken. Put some tomato paste, followed by 1 teaspoon of the vegetable mixture in the centre and roll up the strip. Secure with a toothpick. Rub some more tomato paste on top. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. The switch to broil mode and cook for another 5, til the chicken is cooked and begins to brown on the top. Serve immediately.

Spring Custard Cups
250 ml + 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 heaped tablespoon eggless custard powder (vanilla)
1 ripe peach, skinned and diced
¼ cup blueberries
Juice of ½ an orange + pulp of ½ an orange (I used cara cara oranges)
Bring 250 ml milk to boil with the sugar. Meanwhile mix the custard powder in 2 tablespoons milk to make a smooth paste. Once the milk begins to boil, add the custard mixture while constantly stirring the milk so that no lumps form. Once the custard begins to thicken, add the cinnamon, orange juice and all the fruits. Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes on low heat till the fruits become tender. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours to chill & serve.