Easter Recipes from Coleen Speaks

Along with her sister Erin Barrett and friends, this Hummingbird chef hosts a meal for 20 with a mix of new recipes and annual favorites.
Recipes by Coleen Speaks | photography by Taylor McDonald

“I’m not a stickler for tradition,” says Coleen Speaks of her Easter spread. “I prefer to try new recipes to get feedback from the crowd, and contributions of food are always welcome.” In our April issue, Speaks shared how she, along with her sister and business partner Erin Barrett, plus a group of longtime friends, create this Easter brunch for their families every year. Here are their recipes.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Pesto  

Lamb Chop Ingredients
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds lamb chops

Place all marinade ingredients into a large zip-top bag and mix well. Add lamb chops to the bag and coat well with marinade. Let marinate for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours. When ready, preheat a grill to medium-hot. Remove lamb chops from marinade and grill to desired temperature. Serve with Mint Pesto. Yields 2 pounds lamb chops.

Mint Pesto Ingredients
2 cups mint, large stems removed
1 cup parsley, large stems removed
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup hot water

Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stovetop, and have another bowl nearby with an ice bath ready. Working in batches, plunge mint and parsley into the boiling water for about 10 seconds, then transfer immediately to the ice bath with a slotted sponge; let cool for 30 seconds. Drain herbs into a colander and squeeze out as much water as possible.

Combine herbs, almonds, lemon, garlic, red pepper, and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped, adding water as necessary, then run until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Smoked Deviled Eggs 

Smoked Deviled Egg Ingredients
12 eggs
2 to 3 cups apple or pecan wood chips
1/2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Splash dill pickle juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Trout roe, pickled red onion, or fresh dill for garnish

Fill a heavy-bottom pot with cold water, gently add the eggs, then bring to a soft boil. Take off heat and let sit for 12 minutes. Remove eggs and shock in an ice bath to stop cooking. Peel the eggs and cut in half lengthwise, then separate the white and yolks. Refrigerate the whites during this next step.

To cold-smoke the yolks: Line a baking dish with aluminum foil, with about 6 extra inches on all four sides. Fill with wood chips, then fold foil down to seal. Flip the packet over, then poke about a dozen holes into the top. Cover the top of the foil with ice, then place a cooling tack on top of the ice. Place the yolks on top. Set the baking dish onto two burners of your stove, then heat for 15 to 20 minutes, replacing ice cubes as necessary. 

Place the smoked yolks into a food processor; pulse until you get a sandy consistency. Add mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, pickle juice, and salt and pepper; pulse to get a smooth consistency. Pipe the yolk mixture into whites and garnish. Yield 24 halves.

Asparagus with Parmesan Vinaigrette

Asparagus Ingredients
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed 
2 to 4 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
2 cups shallots, thinly sliced
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola oil

Hard-boil the eggs (see directions above). Let cool, then chop the yolks and whites, separately, into a fine crumble. Refrigerate until the final step.

While the eggs are boiling, soak the shallots in the buttermilk. Heat oil in a frying pan. Drain the shallots, dredge in flour, and fry until golden, working in batches as necessary. Remove to a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

Blanch asparagus in boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes depending on thickness, until crisp, but tender. Shock in ice water to stop cooking. Drain and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Toss the asparagus in the Parmesan Vinaigrette. Place on platter, then garnish with the eggs and fried shallots. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

Parmesan Vinaigrette Ingredients
2 tablespoons Zatarain’s Creole Mustard
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
3/4 cup canola oil

Mix all ingredients except the canola oil in a food processor. Once it’s well combined, slowly drizzle in canola oil with the motor running until you get a thick liquid. Taste and adjust any seasoning. Yields 1 cup.


Roasted Radishes

Roasted Radishes Ingredients
1 pound radishes, with greens if possible
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoon yellow miso
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut tops off radishes, and place greens in a separate bowl. Cut radishes in half. Mix the melted butter, miso, honey, and salt and pepper. Toss the radish halves in the mixture, then place on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, stir, then roast another 3 to 4 minutes — you are looking for some color on the radish, but still want a little snap. 

Toss the reserved radish greens with lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Platter radishes and top with the greens. Yields 4 servings.

Strawberry Pavlova

Strawberry Pavlova Ingredients
4 egg whites
Pinch salt
1 1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon + a few drops vanilla, divided
1 pound strawberries, quartered
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
2 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw 3-inch circles on the paper with a pencil. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg whites and salt on low speed, then slowly increase the speed. As the egg whites become shiny, start adding superfine sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is stiff and very shiny. Gently fold in the cornstarch, white wine vinegar, and a few drops of vanilla. Using an ice cream scoop, mound the stiff egg whites into each circle. Place into the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 300 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the meringues inside until the oven cools completely.

While the meringue is baking, mix strawberries with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, white balsamic vinegar, and 2 teaspoons sugar in a bowl. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes, until the strawberries become syrupy. Whip heavy cream with ½ teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon sugar until you have soft peaks.

To serve, carefully peel meringue off parchment and cut away the top inch of the meringue to make a hole. Fill with strawberries and their juices; top with whipped cream. Yields 6 individual servings.

Chocolate Martini

Chocolate Martini Ingredients
1 ounce half & half
1 tablespoon chocolate sauce
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce Godiva MIlk Chocolate Liqueur
Dark chocolate, to taste

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake, then strain into a coupe glass. Top with shaved chocolate and enjoy! 

This article originally appeared in the April 2022 issue of WALTER Magazine.