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FRESH FISH WITH FRAGRANT SAUCE

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Although cultivated and available in a much larger part of South Africa, I associate plum red tomatoes and the best olives with the Klein Karoo. This is not necessarily a fact, it’s simply my frame of reference. It’s the Tuscany of South Africa if you will. For me it follows logically that fresh lemon, capers, basil, garlic and white wine would also play a role here. This sauce compliments the fish, and make sure to have some good quality bread to scrape up all the extra sauce.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 6)

  • 1 fresh good sized yellow tail
  • 1 onion(chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 cup olives(pitted and halved)
  • 1 pack/tub sun-dried tomatoes(in oil or water, 200–300g)
  • 1 tot capers
  • 1 punnet (about 200g) baby or cocktail tomatoes
  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • fresh basil leaves (optional)

WHAT TO DO

  1. Light a big fire. While you wait for the fire to form coals, chop the onion and garlic, and halve the olives to remove the pits from them. Drain and chop the sun-dried tomatoes, but keep the oil/water/sauce as you will add that to the meal later. Drain the capers, and pour yourself a drink. 
  2. When the coals are almost ready to braai the fish, start to make the sauce. 
  3. Place a fireproof pot or pan over the heat and sauté the chopped onion in the oil for a few minutes. 
  4. When the onion has colour, add the garlic, olives, baby tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes plus their sauce, and the drained capers. Regularly toss this mixture with your wooden spoon until it is well combined and starts to ‘fry’.You do not need to add any salt as the sauce will contain enough of it via the capers and olives.
  5. Add the white wine, stir and then let the sauce gently simmer, stirring now and again so that the wine can reduce by half in the time it takes you to braai the fish.
  6. When the fire is ready, season your fish generously with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice and braai over medium hot coals with the skin down. The skin will serve as a type of foil, so it can char a little bit, don’t worry. In the last few minutes, turn your fish around and braai flesh side towards the coals for a few minutes until cooked and firm.
  7. Remove the fish from the fire once ready, pour the warm sauce over the fish season with fresh lemon wedges, basil leaves and toasted bread. 
Posted in Fish, Recipes | Leave a comment

CHERMOULA MIELIES

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Widely available, photogenic, lasts quite well in your fridge, tasty, best done on the braai. Ticks all the boxes. 

WHAT YOU NEED  (feeds 4)

4 mielies
For the Chermoula

  • 3 tots olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped)
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 2 tots fresh coriander (chopped)
  • 2 tots parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt

WHAT TO DO

  1. Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a food processor, or pestle and mortar.
  2. If the mielies still have husk on them, remove it.
  3. Now pack the mielies side by side on a braai grid and braai over hot coals for about 10 minutes, turning them during this time and exposing all sides to the heat of the coals.
  4. When they are starting to look nicely browned, remove the mielies from the fire and generously lather each one with chermoula sauce.
  5. Now it’s back to the fire to toast the mielies and sauce for a few minutes. You want the sauce to heat up and caramelise here and there.
  6. Once you feel it’s ready, you’re right – it’s ready. Remove from the fire and serve immediately. If there is still sauce left over and you feel like it, drizzle that over the mielies.

AND …

Sometimes, when the food chain from farmer to you is quite short, you’ll get hold of mielies that are still completely in the husk. In this case, consider braaing them directly on the coals exactly as they come, turning them now and then. They will steam, cook and braai perfectly just like that. As soon as a kernel starts to show through the husk – that is, when the leaves start to burn away in some part – that mielie is ready to be eaten. Remove from the fire, remove all the husk and enjoy as is or dressed with the sauce.

 

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PORK BELLY BURGER

Pork belly used to be something I liked to order at fancy restaurants. But then I figured out how to braai it, which, not surprisingly, makes it taste even better. The meat looks quite fatty and tough to start with, but after 2 hours of steady heat most of that fat braais out, and the meat gets very tender. Basically, you’re going to braise the meat with an amazing smelling Asian-style marinade inside your potjie. The result will be a succulent piece of pork with a crispy, smoky outer layer of fat called crackling. 

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • peeled rind of 1 orange (solid peel, not grated or zested)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tot chopped fresh ginger
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 kg pork belly (ask your butcher for one with a relatively thin layer of fat)
  • 1 baby cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 250 ml French style mayonnaise

WHAT TO DO

  1. Score the fat of the pork belly. This means you must use a sharp knife to cut a criss-cross pattern into the outer layer of fat.
  2. In our potjie,  throw in all the ingredients except the meat. Stir well to dissolve the sugar slightly.
  3. Now add the pork belly fat side up, and spoon some of the marinade over the top. The liquid should come up the sides but not completely cover the top of the meat.
  4. Cover the potjie with the lid and let this potiie simmer on low heat for 2 hours. You want the heat to be around 150’. Half-way during the cooking process you can open the lid of the potjie to spoon more of the sauce onto the meat. 
  5. Remove the meat from the potjie once the meat is soft and cooked. Put the meat on a wooden cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes. Leave the potjie on th fire so that the sauce can reduce.
  6. Slice the meat into 2 cm-thick slices and place into your hinged grid. Now braai these belly pieces over hot coals until nice and crispy.
  7. Build your burger by placing a nice portion of mayonnaise on the bottom bun, followed by the pork belly. Top the belly with your cabbage and carrot slaw. And finally drizzle the reduced sauce over.
Posted in Pork, Recipes | Leave a comment

FISH TAGINE

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If you dont have a tagine on hand, you can also use your black no.10 potjie for this recipe. And as always the fresher your fish, the better!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 tin (50 g) tomato paste
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 firm white fish, fresh, cut into portions
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh coriander to serve
  • Cous cous to serve

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Place the tagine on the fire and heat the oil. Fry the onions until soft.
  2. Add the garlic curry powder, coriander, cumin, paprika and mixed herbs. Fry for 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato paste, chilli, lemon juice and zest and fry for another minute and mix well.
  4. Add the white wine and let most of the alcohol cook off, then add the tomatoes and mix everything together. Place the portions of fish into the tomato mixture, cover with the lid and let this cook for 8 -10 minutes until the fish is firm, flaky and cooked, but not over cooked.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and fresh coriander
  6. Serve your dish with a side of fragrant cous cous and your favourite glass of white wine.

 

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BOBOTIE BURGER

Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 12.16.06This recipe is in actual fact very simple and obvious, but as South Africans, we all love the taste profile of a classic bobotie. So why not make it into a burger

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 kg good quality beef mince
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tot medium curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tot vinegar
  • 1 tot apricot jam
  • 4 burger buns
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • Chutney to serve
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 4 Fried eggs for serving (optional)

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Season the beef mince with salt, pepper, curry powder and turmeric and mix well.
  2. Add the vinegar and apricot jam and mix well.
  3. Use a patty press or your hands to make 4 burger patties. Do not handle or touch the meat too much, less means more taste.
  4. Braai the patties over medium coals until medium done. A few minutes before the patties are done, toast the burger buns on the fire.
  5. Build the burger by starting with the toasted buns, then tomatoes followed by the patty.
  6. Pour a generous helping of chutney over the patty and top with red onions.
  7. Serve the burger with a fried egg on top

 

Posted in Beef, Recipes | Leave a comment