24 September – Heritage day in South Africa, but more fondly known as Braai Day by many a South African man.
Unfortunately, Braai day in Durb’s turned out to be wet and miserable, though we were determined to braai until the last minute when a glance out the window suggested we’d be crazy! But, never fear, with our trusty cast iron griddle pan and the stove our braai was saved 🙂
We did chicken breasts that had been marinated in Nomu’s Moroccan rub and olive oil for a few hours – if you haven’t tried Nomu’s rub you simply must – they’re fantastic and can make the simplest of meals out of this world. The breasts were succulent and tender and we served them with warm ciabatta and a new salad that I tried, once again out of the latest (October 2011) Taste magazine. The salad was delicious and it appealed to me because it didn’t have lettuce, and only contained the best bits of the salad – so no left over piles of lettuce in your serving bowl! It was essentially a corn, tomato and avocado salsa, with chillis, lemon juice and coriander – see the recipe below.
Corn and avo salsa
Steam 4 mielies (corn on the cob – we did them on the griddle pan, which would have been the braai if the weather had held out!), slice off the kernels and toss with 8 sun dried tomatoes (we used the ones we’d bought earlier in the day at The Food market in Durban North), 1 chopped chilli (we’ll add more next time, but we like it hot!), 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, 1 ripe avo, chopped into chunks, and 1/4 cup coriander. Season. Dress with the juice of one lemon and serve. Mmm…tasty-licious!
Unfortunately I have no photographic evidence of this awesome meal, but with my folks coming to town this weekend and a braai on the cards, I think I’ll be making it again and then I’ll post some pics.
Sunday lunch we made wors rolls (a typically South African farmstyle sausage on a hotdog roll, for the non-Saffa’s out there) – but these were gourmet wors rolls with rocket, fried red onions and a delicious chunky chilli sauce.
Monday dinner (not quite the weekend, I know) we tried out Jamie Oliver’s bell peppers stuffed with all sorts of tasty goodness, seen a couple of nights previously on Jamie at Home – remember the saga of no chillies in Woolies (Shopping frustrations)!
We still didn’t have all the ingredients that Jamie included (mostly because we’re packing up our home to move and lots of ingredients have been packed in boxes!), but they were still lovely – really sweet and juicy. We served them with warm ciabatta and thick medium rib-eye steaks. The recipe, adapted from various other people’s sites as it’s not officially published anywhere on the net that I can find, is below and you can see the photos of how ours turned out. I love the peppers because they’re so bright and colourful, and I can’t wait to find a variety of chilli peppers to try out for added flavour and colour! This recipe is definitely also a keeper and goes into my “holy grail” recipe book – a beautiful Moleskine that I love 😉
Here’s the recipe – you should try it out 🙂
Jamie Oliver’s Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 1 red bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper (I could only get red!)
- Handful of cheery tomatoes, larger one chopped in half
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced
- 4 – 5 assorted chilli peppers (cascabel, apricot, pasilla, fresno, scotch bonnet)
- 1 Tbsp capers
- Dozen basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 pitted black olives
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- several small fresh mozzarella balls
- Few slices pancetta / bacon
- Halve and seed the bell peppers, place on a baking sheet and season with salt.
- In a bowl, mix tomatoes, thinly sliced chillis and garlic. Add the capers, torn basil, vinegar, olives and olive oil. Season.
- Scrunch by hand, squeezing until juices come out.
- Fill bell peppers with the mixture and pour in any remaining juice.
- Drape each half with a pancetta slice.
- Cover with tin foil and bake/steam for 15 minutes.
- Uncover and bake until they start to brown.
- Serve on top of a thickly sliced rustic bread (you can also toast it) and stab the peppers through, so that the juices flow out onto your toast.
- Garnish with mozzarella balls and thinly sliced apricot pepper.
So, you may be able to tell from the pics that we were lacking a large number of these ingredients (capers, olives, chilli varieties, and bacon), but it was still delicious. We also didn’t have foil so ours were baked uncovered for 30 min. And the only mozzarella balls I could find were boconccini with cherry tomatoes and basil pesto. A delightful replacement that complemented the stuffed peppers well.
Random fact: Boconccini translates from Italian as small mouthfuls.
Thanks for reading x