‘You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher
Come on baby, light my fire’
There is something about a fire, and the atmosphere it gives to a party…with braai day around the corner and the Springboks ready for the field…it is time to get the fire started.
One can talk for hours about how to build the perfect fire, how to choose the perfect wood, what the perfect temperature is to ‘’braai’’, on and and and…
For me it comes down to choosing a fun crowd, good food and don’t forget the ice! It takes about 2 hours for a tray of ice to freeze – SO BE PREPARED!!
The days of putting out an oily packet of chips in a plastic container are gone. It’s time to try something new and wow your guests. Bruschetta with fried tomatoes, basil and feta or anchovies, olives and origanum. Make your own dips or make a nice flavoured salt for roasted cashew or almond nuts. Even the old famous ‘’braai broodjie’’ can be made into a gourmet explosion. Use a whole ciabatta loaf and top with onion marmalade, tomato and mature cheddar cheese.
Always remember: don’t interfere with captain ‘’braaier’’. He (sometimes she) knows that you are hungry and that you don’t want a well cooked steak. Keep calm and have another cold beverage.
Like legendary Koos Kombuis says: ‘’die hele lewe is ‘n bring en braai’’
Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.
This is refreshing when served iced cold and can be a great ‘’ice breaker’’ to start a braai. I don’t like carbonated drinks – so I prefer lemonade made with still water. You can add mint or fresh raspberries if you want to be fancy, or gin in the summer if you want to add an extra kick. Sugar is a very sensitive topic of discussion these days – listen to your palate and adjust your sugar crave accordingly.
1 cup White sugar
1 cup Water
1 cup Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
4 cups Water to dilute
Bring white sugar and water to the boil until all sugar is dissolved and add lemon juice, water to dilute and passionfruit. Cool down and serve ice cold.
“ Gee daai bek jam’’
Chicken wings with Yuzu and Apricot glaze
Yuzu is a citrus fruit from east Asia. It is sour and salty in one! You can get it from any Chinese groceries shop. I don’t like to marinade the chicken wings in the sauce – but rather brush it over while it is cooking on the fire. This ensures a great colour and no bitter burnt taste.
4 tbsp Apricot Jam
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tbsp Soya sauce
1 tsp White sugar
Heat all the ingredients together in a pot until apricot jam is melted. If the glaze is too thick – add a little more lemon juice or yuzu. ‘’Braai’’ the chicken wings and brush with Yuzu and Apricot glaze. Season with salt and pepper – not too much as the yuzu is already salty.
Chimichurri is lovely to serve with fish, chicken and lamb. If it was up to my husband, Nikki, he will eat this every day – on anything from sliced bread to baked potato…even in his porridge.
1 bunch Parsley with stalks
2 cloves Garlic
½ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper
½ cup Red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Wholegrain mustards
¾ cup Good quality Olive oil
½ Red chili
Blitz all the ingredients together – easy as 1,2,3,…
’Swartpot’’ Balsamic onions
IF there is any leftovers…slice it up and serve it with mature cheddar cheese on a toasted sandwich.
500g Baby onions – cut the top off and peel, but leave one layer of skin on. This will prevent the whole story of falling apart
5 Thyme stalks
Sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp White sugar
20ml Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Butter
Heat oil in ‘’swartpot’’ and add onions – flat side down. Brown the onion for about 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to very very low and put the lid on the pot. After 30 minutes the onion should be half-cooked. Add the thyme, salt, pepper, white sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 30-40 minutes over very low heat, with the lid on. When the onion is soft – add the butter and serve.
Use sunglasses when peeling a onion or put onions in freezer 15 minutes before you use it to prevent those tears from running down your cheeks. If this does not do the trick – breathe through your mouth and stick your tongue out!!
Nectarine, Fennel & Goats cheese salad
1 packet Micro leaves/ Rocket
1 log Goats cheese, broken into big chunks
Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Nectarines, sliced into thin wedges
Layer your salad – starting with the micro leaves or rocket. Top with goats cheese chunks, fennel and nectarines. Repeat layers 3 times. This salad does not need a very potent dressing – drizzle with olive oil. I have some of the passionfruit left over from making the lemonade and I mixed that with a bit of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of black onion seeds. Plain, simple and delicious.
Sweet potato with sesame & ginger salt
8 Whole sweet potatoes, wrapped in tinfoil
2 tbsp Salt
2 tbsp White and black sesame seeds
1 tbsp Finely chopped fresh ginger
1 sprig Rosemary, chopped fine
1 tbsp Black pepper
2 tbsp Butter
Place the tinfoil wrapped sweet potato into the fire and leave to cook – this will take about 40 minutes. When you are ready to eat: Open the tinfoil, make a cut in the sweet potato and put a dollop of butter on top and sprinkle with sesame & ginger salt.
Good quality sea salt contains many essential minerals for the body. The best type of sea salt should be slightly wet… from it’s original source. Did you know you can use tinfoil to polish your silver? Line a pan with tinfoil, fill it with cold water and add two teaspoons of salt. Drop your silverware into solution and let it sit for 3 minutes. Rinse off and dry.
Doughnut Marshmallow S’mores
This is heaven!!
10 Ready made frosted doughnuts ( I got mine from woolies) – cut in half
1 Wholenut chocolate slab
20g Almonds and pistachio’s, chopped fine
20g Dried figs, chopped fine
5 Marshmallow’s – braaied over the coles
Mix almonds, pistachio and dried figs together. Melt wholenut slab and dip half of doughnut into chocolate and roll into nut mix. Set aside. Braai the marshmallows and stick it inbetween chocolate coated and frosted doughnut. You will want s……more
‘We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning. We didn’t start the fire. No we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it’ – Billy Joel