Since my last post I had a birthday! St Patrick’s Day actually. I went to Footscray Market for the first time but first, had one of my most favourite things to eat for lunch. $3.50 Banh Mi from Sunny Nguyen Bakery (their bread rolls trump Nhu Lan Bakery’s bread for my tastes, but Nhu Lan offer tastier fillings and do a roaring trade ~so Nhu Lan wins out of those two). The Market was too noisy and crowded for our liking but I came away with some bargains like 2kg of La Ionica free range chicken drumettes for $6 and a pile of fruit and veg for $15 eg. 60 cents for a bunch of coriander!
I’d been to Sunny Nguyen Bakery once before and the service was better the first time. I say that of course because the lady behind the counter this time was so impatient and rude it was almost funny. Anyway, I somehow remember the meatballs being tastier the first time I visited. The bread rolls however were divine and I bought 5 (unfilled) plain rolls to take home ($2)
After Footscray we went to the Pancake Parlour in Maribyrnong for “dessert” being a shortstack of pancakes each (I had a Buy 1, Get 1 Free coupon) and my girl surprised me by slipping the staff some birthday candles so they could put them on top of my pancakes all ‘aglow’. It was a nice surprise and a nice substitute for traditional birthday cake. After that we headed home and went out to see a movie later that evening (being “21 Jump Street”)… Slim Pickin’s at the flicks – I’d already seen pretty much everything I’d wanted to see. So that was my birthday in a nutshell if you don’t include two other tasty lunch outings earlier in the week. Jack & Jill Restaurant in Geelong & Craig’s Royal Hotel in Ballarat.
With a pretty full week last week (my first birthday meal was on Wednesday), I wasn’t sure what this week’s recipe would be. We were scheduled to have a men’s group bbq at our place on Monday (yesterday) and I usually marinade meat and make salads. So the recipe of the week is one of those salads using fresh produce I purchased at the market.
I’m a big fan of egg dip or egg salad, but the problem is it’s laaaden with fat and calories because the dressing is usually always 90-100% mayo. If I buy a Yumi’s brand egg salad dip, I can easily polish it off in one sitting with a few crackers and then use my finger to clean out the tub completely. So, I decided to experiment with ricotta and use it to spread 1/2 cup of mayo further (when most egg salad recipes ask for 1 cup of mayo or more). I think it worked -it definitely was a much lighter, yet still-creamy dressing. The addition of lemon zest is an idea I came across on taste.com.au -Serve with homemade croutons or a good quality boxed-kind. I think Cardini brand Caesar Salad croutons work well and I also think garlic flavoured bagel chips crumbled over would be nice too. P.S. I decided to include a second salad recipe which technically isn’t “recipe of the week” but nevertheless is still worthy of sharing.
Egg Salad with Lemon Ricotta Dressing
*Eggs, 12 x free range
*Ricotta, organic 250g tub (I used Lemnos brand)
*Lemon x 1/2 (finely grated rind & juice)
*Mayonnaise, Kewpie brand x 1/2 cup
*Celery x 1/3 cup chopped finely & 1 heaped tablespoon of finely chopped celery heart leaves (from the centre of the celery)
*Onion x 1/4 cup, finely chopped
*Parsley, flat-leaf fresh x 1/3 cup (half for stirring into the salad, half for garnish, Chives would be an excellent substitute)
*Croutons (either homemade or quality store bought – I used Cardini brand Caesar Salad croutons, 2 packs per box, I used 1 x 75gm packet)
*Salt + white & black pepper to taste
*Rocket leaves to serve
-Hardboil eggs & peel, then chop up roughly and put into a large bowl
-In a smaller bowl stir together ricotta, mayo, a couple of pinches of salt, some ground white pepper and cracked black pepper, half of the parsley, the chopped celery leaves, celery, onion, lemon zest and lemon juice.
-Pour dressing over chopped eggs, stir with a spoon to coat eggs, then add half of your croutons and stir again
-Arrange a bed of rocket leaves in a salad bowl or a serving platter and arrange egg salad over the top
-Scatter over remaining parsley & croutons and serve immediately
Kipfler & Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Dill Dressing
This is another salad I made and served alongside the egg salad. I used a pricey bottle of dressing (to mix-in with other dressing ingredients) but I think you could substitute the ‘pricey bottle’ with other things, read on:
Kifler & Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Dill Dressing
*Kipfler potatoes x 4
*Sweet potato x 1/2 large
*Dill, fresh, finely chopped x 1/2 cup
*Garlic infused olive oil x 1 tablespoon
*Olive oil x a couple of splashes
*Sweet Paprika x 1/2 teaspoon
*Lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon
*Maple Zing dressing (‘Yumm’ brand, from good green grocer’s, food festivals or purchase online -substitute with 2 tablespoon’s of maple syrup mixed with a squeeze of lemon & a teaspoon of olive oil)
*Maldon salt, ground white pepper & cracked black pepper to taste
-Peel Kipfler potatoes and steam whole with peeled sweet potato, chopped into large chunks until just cooked through
-When potatoes are cooled, put in a large bowl, season with salt & pepper and mix gently with your hands
-Add fresh dill, oils, Maple Zing dressing and lemon juice and give it another good stir with your hands, being careful not to break the potatoes
-Serve at room temperature on a bed of baby cos lettuce