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Fireworks: Recipes, Techniques, Advice by Jan Braai (2014-08-04)

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Breakfast Braaibroodjies

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The braaibroodjie (braaied toasted sandwich) is the highlight of many a braai. Those not yet emancipated by the fact that you don’t need meat at every braai, frequently braai meat as a pretext when all they actually want is braaibroodjies. Top your work of art with a sunny side up egg or two for the ultimate in breakfast braai. This is the superior South African braai fire version of the classic French croque-madame.

WHAT YOU NEED (makes 9 braaibroodjies)

  • 1 pre-sliced loaf white bread (usually contains at least 18 useable slices)
  • 300 g cheddar cheese (sliced – grate if you want to, but it falls out easier)
  • 1 large onion (sliced into rings)
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced (you need 2 slices per braaibroodjie and there are on average 5 useable slices per tomato)
  • chutney
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • one or two eggs per person

WHAT TO DO TO ASSEMBLE

  1. Butter all the slices of bread on one side. Slice the cheese, onion and tomatoes.
  2. Place half the bread slices butter side down, spread chutney on them and evenly distribute all the cheese, tomato and onion on top. Grind salt and pepper over that.
  3. Cover with the remaining bread slices, butter side facing up. Some people try and make an issue out of whether to butter the braaibroodjie on the outside or inside. There is no debate; you butter it on the outside. This makes a golden-brown finished product, and also keeps the braaibroodjie from sticking to the grid.

WHAT TO DO TO BRAAI

  1. Braaibroodjies are always braaied in a toeklaprooster (hinged grid). Using an open grid for this is silly to the point of stupid. You want very gentle heat and you need to turn them often. They are ready when the outsides are golden brown, the cheese has melted and all the other ingredients are properly heated all the way through. If the outsides are burnt before the cheese is melted you’ve failed.
  2. Many people braai the broodjies right at the end, after the meat. The advantage is that the coals are then quite gentle but the disadvantage is that your meat then rests until it is cold.
  3. An alternative trick is to have two identical braai grids. Braai your meat in the bottom one and your braaibroodjies in the other, resting right on top of the meat grid. When you want to turn the meat, first remove the top grid with the braaibroodjies in it. Turn both grids and then replace, meat grid below, bread grid on top. The heat will reach the bread and start to melt the cheese but the meat will protect the bread from the direct heat and getting burnt. Right at the end, when you remove the meat, give the bread solid direct heat for about a minute on each side to get some colour.
  4. Top each braaibroodjie with one or two baked sunny side up eggs.
Reblogged 5 days ago from braai.com

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Apple Tart in a potjie

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I first learnt to make apple tart with my friend Louis Jonker, the renowned part-time chef from Stellenbosch (at home he and his wife Anita split the cooking half-and-half). Once, during a visit to Ceres in the Western Cape, I decided to try something I’d never seen before (but it has since grown to such fame that it’s now standard practice) – apple tart in a potjie! I adjusted the recipe slightly for cooking on a fire, and the end result was very successful. Try it and see for yourself!

What you need (serves 6 – 8)

For the filling:

  • 8–10 Granny Smith apples (Louis and all the Ceres locals assured me that when baking apple tart, Granny Smith apples are the way to go)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tots brandy (or rum)

For the crumble:

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (caramel brown sugar, or ordinary light brown sugar)
  • 125 g salted butter (a quarter of a 500 g block – soft)
  • another 2 tots butter
  • another dash of cinnamon
  • vanilla ice-cream (or cream, to serve)

What do do:

  1. Peel and core the apples, cut them into chunks and throw them in a potjie. Add the water, raisins, cinnamon and brandy, and mix well.
  2. Put the potjie on the fire, with the lid on. Cook the mixture for about 10 minutes until the apples begin to soften. Remove from the fire once cooked.
  3. While the apples and their friends cook, add the flour, sugar and butter to a bowl and rub together with your clean fingertips until it forms a dry, crumbly mixture.
  4. Add half of the crumble mixture to the potjie and mix it into the cooked apples.
  5. Use the rest of the crumble mixture to cover the apples – make sure it spreads out evenly.
  6. Add a couple of knobs of butter on top of the crumble and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon over the top to give the tart some colour. Put the lid on the potjie and go back to the fire.
  7. Put the potjie over gentle coals and also put coals on the lid. When and if the coals lose power, add extra coals to the bottom and top of the potjie. If the fire is big and one side of the potjie gets more heat than the other, rotate the potjie every now and again.
  8. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, until you see the apple sauce bubbling through the crust when you lift the lid.
  9. Enjoy with some vanilla ice-cream or cream.
Reblogged 2 weeks ago from braai.com

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Fireworks: Recipes, Techniques, Advice by Jan Braai (2014-08-04)

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Braai Masters of the Cape Winelands: Braai recipes and wine-pairing tips from the West Coast to the Karoo by Wines of South Africa (2011-09-01)

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Best South African Braai Recipes by Christa Kirstein (1995-05-31)

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Pasta Potjie

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During my formative years of high school, my father expected me to start taking over part of the braai duties, like making the fire. As I progressed in my braai career, I was later even allowed to turn the grid, on his instruction from a chair of course. At that time my mother also started teaching me a few kitchen fundamentals, like how to make a lasagne. During this era of my life, one of our family’s favourite restaurants served a pasta that I absolutely loved. So much so that at that young and inexperienced age I embarked on a research and development project to recreate that dish at home. It so happens that you can prepare this meal extremely successfully in a classic three-legged potjie on the fire. Truth be told, it’s even better this way.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4–6)

  • 500 g pasta
  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 packet bacon (250 g, chopped)
  • 1 punnet mushrooms (250 g)
  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cream
  • fresh green herbs (chopped, optional for serving)
  • lemon wedges (to serve, optional)

WHAT TO DO

  1. Place your classic potjie on the fire and boil the pasta in salted water until 80% done. The trick here is to not boil it all the way, as we’re going to add it back to the meal later for a second round of cooking. Drain the partly cooked pasta from the pot and preserve some of the liquid in a cup.
  2. Put the potjie back on the fire and add the oil, butter and chopped onion. Sauté the onion for a few minutes until it starts to get a nice colour.
  3. Now add the chopped garlic, chopped bacon and mushrooms to the pot. Depending on the size of the mushrooms and how much you like to make extra work for yourself, you can either chop or not chop them. Stir-fry until the bacon and mushrooms are cooked.
  4. While the bacon and mushrooms are cooking, scrape some coals from the fire and braai the 4 chicken breast fillets. You can season them with normal salt and pepper or your favourite braai spice. Chicken breast fillets take about 6 to 10 minutes to braai, so this meal is going to come together very nicely at the end!
  5. Back to the pot: Once you are happy with the bacon and mushrooms, add all of the 80% cooked pasta from step 1 back to the pot and add the cream to it. Stir through paying specific attention to the fact that the pot should not run dry and burn. If at any stage the pot looks a bit dry, add some or all of the pasta water you preserved in step 1 or consider impact players like butter and olive oil.
  6. Once the chicken breasts are braaied, remove them from the fire and artfully slice them diagonally into strips. Now mix the chicken breast strips into the pasta.

AND…

If you’re so inclined and attuned to the finer details, the meal can be finished with a drizzle of high-quality South African olive oil, fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Reblogged 1 month ago from braai.com

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Braai Masters of the Cape Winelands: Braai recipes and wine-pairing tips from the West Coast to the Karoo by Wines of South Africa (2011-09-01)

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Paella

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Catering and kitchen shops sell a type of fireproof steel pan that is perfect for the preparation of this dish, so perfect in fact that this pan is widely referred to as a ‘paella pan’. Paella actually means ‘pan’ and this is where the name of the dish comes from so get yourself one of them. Failing that, any normal cast-iron pot also does the job.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 8)

  • 8 chicken pieces (thighs and/or drumsticks)
  • 2 kg shellfish (in the shell – like black mussels and prawns. If you’re using just meat without shells, 1 kg is sufficient.)
  • 500 g fresh fish fillets (cut into blocks)
  • 250 g spicy cured sausages (sliced or chopped – like chorizo or pepperoni)
  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 peppers (chopped – green, red or yellow)
  • 2 cups rice (uncooked)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3 cups fish, chicken or vegetable stock (3 cups is 750 ml which is also the size of a wine bottle)
  • 1 cup black olives (pitted)
  • 250 g peas (they come in frozen packets of this size)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tot parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges

Please note that as with most dishes cooked on a braai, paella ingredients are not exact. Take these ingredients as a guideline.

WHAT TO DO

  1. In a large pan on the fire, fry the onions and peppers in the oil for 3 minutes. Your coals should be just hot enough to actually fry the onion. As the steel of the pan is much thinner than a cast-iron pot, it will be a bit more sensitive to heat.
  2. Add the rice and mix well. All the rice should be thinly coated with oil. If this is not the case, add a bit more oil. Fry the rice for a few minutes until it turns pale golden in colour. Now add the garlic, paprika, turmeric, chilli powder and chopped tomatoes and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and cover the pan with a lid or with tinfoil. The rice should now cook until soft, which will take about 35 minutes in total. Slightly reduce the heat under the pan by scraping away some coals. You are allowed to lift the lid now and again to stir the rice, and to monitor that it is not burning. Should everything seem a bit quiet, scrape a few extra coals back under the pan.
  4. After 20 of those 35 minutes, add the seafood, spicy sausage, olives and peas to the pan. Stir it in and cover the pan again. The seafood will cook in these last 15 minutes. Monitor your liquid level and add the wine if the pan becomes dry. If the wine is in and the pan still dry, start adding small amounts of water.
  5. On the side, and timing it to be ready with the rest of the dish, braai the chicken pieces in a grid over coals. This will take about 20–25 minutes.
  6. When the rice is soft, sample the dish and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Arrange the chicken pieces on top, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve immediately.
Reblogged 1 month ago from braai.com

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Fireworks: Recipes, Techniques, Advice by Jan Braai (2014-08-04)

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