Easter is traditionally a day for a lamb or beef roast dinner. It’s a time for new beginnings and celebrating birth and renewal. For some, it is also a time to celebrate the religious festival.
Most people will host a family dinner. It’s not as big as Christmas but still, has a place in hearts and minds around the world. That leads to many people looking for dinners to make without doing the usual Sunday roast.
How about opting for fish this year? Here’s a look at five interesting fish dishes that are just perfect for Easter weekend.
Why Fish Instead of Red Meat?
You’ll hear a lot of experts share how fish and poultry are much better for the diet than red meat. It’s why there are far more fish recipes now than ever before. But why is that?
It really depends on the type of fish for all the benefits. The main one is that fish has less fat than meat, especially when it comes to saturated fats. While fats have had an unfairly poor reputation in the past, there are still known dangers to eating a lot of saturated fats. They have been linked to higher levels of bad cholesterol.
But fish is oily, right? Some of them are, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad for you. As I said, fat has had an unfairly poor reputation in the past. Healthy oils from fish are good for the body. They help to boost the levels of good cholesterol in the body instead, which means you get to line your arteries with a smooth coating that will protect the body.
There are also various antioxidants and oils that help to protect the brain health. They protect the cells from dying, boosting concentration, memory, and much more.
You do need to watch just how much fish you eat. Some sources contain high levels of mercury. Just getting one or two portions a week is more than enough for your body to reap the benefits without the poisonous metal doing you any harm.
So, here’s a look at five fish dish recipes that you can now try for Easter.
Quiche with Smoked Salmon and Dill
Easter dinner doesn’t mean you must have a meat/fish with some potatoes and vegetables. You could have a quiche instead, which can be eaten hot or cold. The great thing about quiches is that you have more choice of the side dishes that you have. You could choose to have potatoes if you’d like, but you can also have a salad or even risotto.
Try out this homemade quiche. Don’t cheat by getting an unfilled crust from the store. Make it from scratch with this fish recipe.
Ingredients for the Crust:
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2tsp sugar
- 1/2tsp salt
- 9tbsp butter, chopped into 9 pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 2tbsp cold milk
Ingredients for the Filling:
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup of milk
- ¼ cup of dill, freshly chopped
- 1/4tsp nutmeg
- 4oz of cream cheese, chopped into cubes
- ¾ cup of smoked salmon, chopped
- ¼ cup of red onion, chopped
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
Start by making the crust.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a pie or quiche dish
- Combine the flour, salt, and sugar together in a mixer
- Add the butter and mix together on low speed until it blends (you can also do this by hand with your fingers)
- Whisk the milk and yolk together in a separate bowl and then add to your flour
- Mix together until the dough forms and looks a little shaggy
- Put the dough on the work surface and gather it into a ball, before working it outwards with the heel of your hand to smear all the butter into it
- Gather it up again and place it in the fridge for an hour, covered
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin and then place onto a pie plate, trimming off the excess from the sides
- Place in the fridge again for another hour and then bake for about 40 minutes, careful not to overcook the pastry
Now make the filling for the crust.
- Preheat the oven to 325F
- Combine everything except the cream cheese, salmon, and onion together in a bowl
- Scatter the cheese, salmon, and onion into the quiche crust and then pour the mixture over the top
- Cover with a ring of foil and then place in the oven for about 50 minutes
You’ll know if the quiche is cooked as a toothpick will come out clean, and there shouldn’t be any sloshing when you jiggle the dish.
If you want to eat the quiche warm, just let it cool for about 45 minutes first. If you want it cold, put it in the fridge before serving.
You can create the dough for the crust up to four days in advance if you’re going to keep it in the fridge or for up to a month in the freezer. You’ll want to thaw the dough completely if you do decide to freeze it. You can place the dough into the pie dish and keep it for two days in the fridge, or you can bake it and keep it for a couple of days before making the rest of your quiche.
You’ll be able to keep the dish all together in the fridge for up to two days, meaning you can cook it in advance.
Spring Vegetables and Salmon in Paper
How about avoiding the smoked salmon, since not everyone likes it? This uses salmon fillets. They do tend to be more expensive, but they also offer many more health benefits since you get more nutrients.
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3tbsp oil of choice
- 6 salmon fillets, remove the skins
- 1 lemon, sliced into 12
- 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
- 1 cup of sugar snap peas, with strings, removed
- 12 sprigs of tarragon
- ¼ cup of dry white wine of choice
- Place some salted water into a saucepan and boil
- Add in the carrots and simmer for three minutes, before draining and setting aside
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Chop up 6 pieces of parchment paper into heart shapes and brush with the oil
- Place a piece of salmon on one-half of the hearts and then brush the top of the salmon with the oil
- Season the salmon and place two slices of lemon on each
- Divide up the vegetables among the six hearts and then add two sprigs to each
- Finally, sprinkle with some white wine and season with more salt and black pepper
- Fold over the other half of the heart and seal in the salmon and vegetables
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes and then serve with sides of your choice
You can serve this with some wild rice if you don’t want the usual potatoes. It also works extremely well without any side dish at all. You’ll get the full flavor of the salmon and vegetables.
Deluxe Fish Pie
There is something to be said for a fish pie. These types of pies are delicious and extremely healthy. One of the best things is that you need absolutely no side dish, although a side salad will be tasty for all. While this recipe has some suggested vegetables, you can throw in whatever you would like to work with the different types of fish.
- 500g of white fish like haddock or cod, unskinned
- 500g of salmon fillet, unskinned
- 300g of smoked haddock
- 700ml of milk
- 1 onion, chopped into wedges
- 2 bay leaves
- 75g of butter
- 75g of flour
- 140g of spinach
- 3tbsp dry white wine/vermouth
- ½ pack of dill, chopped roughly
Ingredients for the Topping:
- 1.5kg of potatoes of choice, chopped into pieces
- 50g of butter
- 100g of mature cheddar, grated
- 300ml of crème Fraiche
- Add the milk and fish into a large saucepan, along with the onion and bay leaves
- Bring the milk to a simmer and then cover the pan, removing from the heat
- Let the fish stand for 10 minutes, cooking lightly, before draining in a colander with the milk going into a jug for later use
- Place the fish into another bowl and set to one side
- Boil the potatoes in water for 15 minutes and then completely drain and return to the pan
- Mash with crème Fraiche, butter, and half the cheese until smooth, seasoning to taste
- Melt some butter in a pan and add in the flour, gradually adding in the previously used milk and stirring for 3 minutes
- Add the spinach and wine, cooking for another 3 minutes
- Remove from the heat and add in the dill
- Heat the oven to 430F
- Add a third of the sauce to a rectangular dish and then scatter in half the fish fillets, breaking them into pieces and discarding the skin, stray bones, bay leaves, and onions
- Pour a third of the source and then top with the rest of the fish
- Add the last of the sauce and then add the potato over the top, sprinkling the rest of the cheese over the top
- Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling
If you don’t want a cheesy mash on the top, you can work with regular mashed potatoes. You could also think about adding a few other herbs if you’d prefer to try something unique this Easter. Start with this recipe and as you get used to flavors try out your own styles.
Fish and Chips and Tartar Sauce
How about traditional English fish and chips? This is something that many people enjoy because it’s easy, but it’s known for being an unhealthy option. It’s time to make your own instead of relying on the local chip shop. This is a recipe that you want to follow.
- 2 pieces of preferred fish each
- Ingredients for the tartar sauce:
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 4 gherkins, chopped
- 1tbsp capers, chopped
- Small bunches of tarragon, chives, parsley, chopped
- 1 egg, hard-boiled and grated
- 1 lemon
Ingredients for the Beer Batter:
- 250g of strong lour
- 200g of rice flour
- 50g of corn flour
- 20g of salt
- 20g of yeast
- 20g of sugar
- 625ml of beer of choice
Start with the tartar sauce.
- Mix everything together in a bowl and squeeze in some lemon juice
- Taste the seasoning
- Once happy, put to one side
Make the beer batter.
- Mix everything together except the beer
- Whisk in the beer and put somewhere warm for an hour
- Heat your deep fat fryer with oil and remove the basket
- Dust the fish in flour and then place in the beer batter, covering the whole fish
- Lay the fish in the fryer basket and cook for 5-6 minutes
- Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels
Make some homemade chips by chopping up potatoes. You can either shake them in oil and place them in the oven, or you can use your deep fat fryer. It really is completely up to you. If you want to make your homemade mayo instead of using a store-bought option that is something worth considering.
Rhubarb Sauce & Tarragon May with Salmon
This recipe will need a few extra ingredients than you’ll already have. It can also take a while. It’s all worth it in the end when you have a family excited about Easter Sunday dinner.
- 1 whole salmon, gutted and scaled
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery sticks, trimmed and chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 2tbsp peppercorns, colors of choice
- Sprigs of herbs of choice
Ingredients for the Pickled Onions:
- 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
- 4tbsp red wine vinegar
- Ingredients for the sauce
- 5 rhubarb sticks, trimmed and chopped
- 1 apple, peeled and cored and chopped
- 2tbsp honey
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cloves
- Splash of red wine vinegar
- 1 orange
Ingredients for the Mayo:
- 200g of tarragon
- 30ml of oil of choice
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1-2tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ a lemon
- Place the salmon in a roasting tin and cover with water and then place over two hobs
- Place the vegetables in the water with the salmon, along with the rest of the salmon ingredients
- Cover and then bring to a boil, before switching off the heat and leaving for 5 hours (you can leave this overnight if you wish)
- Place the red onions in a bowl and add the red wine vinegar with some sea salt and then set to one side
- Place the apple and rhubarb in a pan with the honey, cloves, bay leaf, splash of vinegar, and orange juice
- Bring to the boil before lowing the heat to a medium and simmering for 30 minutes, softening the rhubarb
- Place in a bowl and check that it is sweet enough (adding more honey if not) and then put to one side
- Place the tarragon leaves in a blender with 100ml of oil and pulse until they blend
- Strain the tarragon oil through a fine sieve and into a bowl
- Mix the yolks and mustard together in a bowl and then drop in the tarragon oil slowly, while whisking
- When you’ve added in half the oil, add in a tbsp. of the vinegar and then add the rest of the oil slowly
- Squeeze in the lemon juice and season with some salt and black pepper
- Remove the salmon from the pan onto a serving board and take of the skin slowly, breaking the salmon up into pieces
- Rub the salmon with some oil
- Add the herb leaves to the onions and combine
Serve everything together for your family to get as much of each dish as they want. You can also serve with some new potatoes boiled and served with some butter.
Easter Is about Spending Time with Family
Don’t worry about what you’re going to eat on Easter Sunday. It doesn’t have to be yet the same old roast dinner that you have every other weekend. You can make something exciting and new.
Try out fish. It really is one of the best “meats” to eat regularly. You only need two portions of it a week to get all the benefits without worrying about the downsides of the mercury in some of the oilier fishes.
When using oil, consider olive oil as much as possible. This is known for being much healthier than vegetable and sunflower oils that tend to be a little cheaper.