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Entertain Easter

ENTERTAIN EASTER

ISSUE 4 | EASTER

Chocolate and Bunnies… what’s not to love about Easter?

word and recipes BY:

SAM COUTTS

STYLING BY:

KAREN LOCKE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY:

INSIGHT CREATIVE

DESIGN & LAYOUT BY:

VERVE DESIGN

When I think of Easter I think chocolate for breakfast, shiny foil wrapping, steamy hot cross buns with a tangy pineapple glaze and lazy afternoon naps… followed by more chocolate. You can imagine then that my day is somewhat of a sugar overload, making lunch a savory haven.
By about 11 am my tongue begins to crave salt, meatiness and crunchy vegetables. This makes lunch so important, for someone as food obsessed as me, as it provides a break from the sweets… that is until we get to sweets. This is my Autumn Easter menu with Rabbit Pie and Chocolate Tart, sorry to the bunny-lovers in advance. Click here to download the shopping list for these two recipes.

Rabbit Pie

  

Ingredients

1 Rabbit, cut into 4 pieces
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
1/4 cup Olive Oil 
4-6 slices of Pancetta or Bacon
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
1 Celery Stick, finely chopped
1 Carrot, finely chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp Dried Oregano 
1 cup White Wine
1 can (400g) Diced/chopped Tomatoes
3 tbs Tomato Paste
1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Fresh Basil, chopped
1 packet of Puff Pastry (four square sheets)
1 Egg, beaten lightly (for basting) 

Serves 4-6

Method

Pat rabbit dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a deep 25-30 cm heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown rabbit in 2 batches, turning over once, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer rabbit to your slow cooker, reserving fat in skillet.

Add pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta and vegetables are golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add wine and boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until most of liquid is evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste and bring to a boil. Stir in the parsley and basil, then pour the tomato mixture over the rabbit pieces. Turn the slow cooker on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Transfer rabbit pieces to plate, and when cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones, discarding bones and gristle, and shred the meat.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees in preparation for the pie.

Return meat along with any juices to sauce to the slow cooker, taste, and adjust salt and pepper as needed. If this sauce hasn’t thickened, turn on high for 30 minutes and cook without the lid.

The pie could be cooked in two large ramekins (11x16cm + 6 cm deep) like the Confetti team did or one large pie dish/tin (22x32cm + 6 cm deep).

Layout sheet/s of puff pastry and cut around the shape of the top of the tin and set aside. Oil pie dish/ramekins, fill contents with rabbit filling. Lay puff pastry on top of dish and pinch around the edges so the pastry connects with the dish. Make 2 cuts in centre of the pie to allow steam to escape.

If you would like a pastry ‘topper’ (like the bunny ears in the photos) cut out the desired shape from the left over puff pastry and lay out on a tray with baking paper. Baste top of pie and pastry ‘toppers’ with egg.

Place pie in oven for around 30 minutes or until top of pastry is golden brown colour. The toppers should take around 10 minutes depending on their shape and size. You may need to turn the pie at around 15 minutes so the top gets an even colour. If you find the edges are browning to quick, cover the edges in aluminium foil.

Serve pie with your favourite side – like mashed potato or polenta!

**Recipe adapted from Rabbit Ragu recipe from ‘Italian Food Forever

Chocolate tart

Ingredients

1 & 2/3 cups Plain Flour
3/4 cup Pure Icing Sugar
125g Butter, chilled, chopped
1 Egg Yolk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbs Chilled Water
2 tsp Garam Masala
250g Good-quality Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
200g Butter, chopped
6 Eggs
1/3 cup Caster Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
200g Mini Chocolate Easter Eggs (or Speckled Eggs), for decoration
Cocoa Powder, to serve

Method

Make shortcrust pastry: Combine flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk, vanilla, chilled water and spices. Process until pastry just comes together. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Pat into a 10cm disc. Wrap in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll out.

Preheat your oven to 190°C with a baking tray inside.  Roll pastry out between 2 sheets baking paper to a 34cm round. Use round to line base and sides of a fluted loose-based tart pan. Trim excess pastry and freeze the pastry case for 15 minutes or until firm.

Line pastry case with baking paper. Three-quarters fill with dried beans or uncooked rice. Place on hot tray. Bake for 10 minutes or until firm to touch. Remove paper and beans. Bake for a further 8 to 10 minutes or until pastry base is light golden. Remove from oven. Reduce oven to 180°C and return baking tray to oven.

Meanwhile, place chocolate and butter in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on Medium-High for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth. Using hand beaters, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl for 4 minutes or until pale and thick. Pour in chocolate mixture and orange zest. Beat until well combined.

Pour chocolate mixture into pastry case. Place on hot tray and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until just set. Cool to room temperature.

Arrange mini Easter eggs on tart. Dust with cocoa powder and serve.