Gourmet Braai Ideas
Unique ways to spice up a braai
If you are a South African, the words “road trip” and “braai” go together like “peanut butter” and “jelly” for the Americans, and “scones” and “tea” for the British. Alice Zejglic shares some tips on how to add a touch of gourmet flair to your humble campfire meals.
Americans do it in style with their state-of-the-art gas barbeques; the Australians, on the other hand, like to throw some ‘shrimp on the barbie’, but we South Africans know how to make the perfect braai.
What is a South African braai without its best supporting acts, first up the braai broodjie. No South African braai is complete without these original South African toasties. This braai staple is usually served on white or brown bread; spread with lashings of butter on the outside, and filled with thick, juicy slices of tomato, sliced onion, and generous portions of grated cheese on the inside. Add salt and pepper to taste, and be sure to braai slowly.
For those looking for a gourmet version, renowned Durban caterers, Blue Strawberry, has suggested some gourmet variations for you to try:
• Brie and Fig Jam (for extra texture, add
preserved fig and some crushed nuts). • Chip ‘n Cheese: slap chips, curry gravy,
and oozy cheese. • S’more Variation: Nuttella, sliced banana,
• Peanut Butter & Bacon: crunchy peanut butter in lashings with crisp bacon and some salted peanuts for crunch.
• Black Mushroom & Haloumi: sliced and fried black mushrooms with sliced haloumi and a little mozzarella for the stretch.
• Croque Monsieur: good quality ham, Dijon mustard, Emmental cheese, and a lathering of béchamel sauce.
• Bacon with a Bite: crisp bacon, tomato and onion sambal, and chilli with a dash of vinegar, cheddar and mozzarella. • Cheese and Sweet Chilli: combine three cheeses and a good splash of sweet chilli with chopped coriander. Another side dish that is not given enough glory is pap – very popular at any braai, and also another traditional dish native to South Africa. The word pap in Dutch translates to “porridge”. In isizulu it is called phuthu and in isixhosa ipapa. It is easily cooked in a pot (usually in a black cast iron pot) over a fire.
A gourmet slant on the standard pap and tomato gravy dish is this Creamy Cheesy Pap.the recipe is supplied by Executive Chef for Goodersons Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort, Francis Hegarty:
• Cook pap and set aside.
• Chop one onion, a packet of mushrooms, and 250 g of bacon. If you have a vegetarian in your midst, replace the bacon with sautéed butternut or baby marrows.
• Fry it all up in a pan, add a clove of garlic
and salt and pepper seasoning. •Add a tub of 250 ml cream to make
•Take the pap and put it in an oven dish, pour the sauce over the top and add lots of cheese.
• Bake for 30 minutes.
• Voilà. Easy peazy!
Nothing beats a braai after a long day on the road.try one of these simple recipes the next time you hit the road with your mates, and show off your gourmet cooking savvy.