The sun is still giving up its rays and that means more time to spend outdoors. I love nothing better than to put a pretty cloth on my patio table, fire up the braai and do some outdoor cooking.
Some of my happiest memories are of fishing trips or camping trips and the meals that were cooked on the open fire. Pots of mussels that were freshly picked off the rocks bubbling away in seawater and cooked till they just opened, simple and delicious; or a braai grid covered with everything including vegetables being infused with a delicious smokiness.
One of my family favourites is a chicken cook up on the braai with a nice rack of meaty ribs all sticky and sweet with a, gingery, garlicky, honey laced barbeque sauce. Braaiing is easier than you think and there are so many dishes you can cook on an open fire. All you need is a little bit of inspiration and a lot of imagination.
If you are looking for a great outdoor entertaining, cooking over the coals kind of book, Justin Bonello’s ‘Ultimate Braai Master’ is a book you should give your attention to. It contains great recipes for the expert or the novice. There are over sixty recipes to choose from. What tickled my fancy is the Eggs Benedict. The book is available at all good book stores and is published by Penguin Books.
Mediterranean potato salad
This salad is easy and versatile and can be used with meat or fish or chicken that has come hot and sizzling off the fire.
Make this a few hours before you are going to serve it so all the flavours get to mingle. Also, don’t over-cook the potatoes; they should be just cooked. This salad is something different and gets 10 out of 10 at every meal! And it is equally delicious for a few days after it is made.
- 6 potatoes, boiled in their jackets till just tender
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 3 ripe firm tomatoes cut into quarters, seeds removed and cut into small chunks
- 4 spring onions with tops, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- ½ cup freshly chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon Willow Creek basil infused olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Willow Creek lemon infused olive oil
- ½ cup Willow creek extra virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1 fresh ripe lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 rounds of feta cheese
Peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized cubes. Mix all the remaining ingredients together, except the feta cheese. (The feta will go all red and soggy if it marinates with the rest of the ingredients for three hours.) Let them marinate for an hour or so; this way they can get to know each other and the flavours can mingle.
Now layer the potatoes with the tomatoes mix in a glass bowl, cover and let the salad marinate for a further two hours. Just before you take it to the table, roughly crumble the feta cheese over the top of the salad and stir through lightly.
Tip: I like to garnish the salad with a few tablespoons of deep-fried capers.
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