My Freshly Blogged experience is all about the learning. I’m using these challenges as an opportunity to skill up and tackle techniques that are new to me. In this latest challenge, I faced two things I’d never prepared before; bread and a braai/barbecue.
Our ingredients this week were:
- PnP Red Grape Juice (for those of us who don’t cook with alcohol)
- mielie meal (corn meal)
- ostrich sausage
- green Beans (Cape-based challengers used waterblommetjies)
- Pnp Chutney
- Pnp Mixed Dried Fruit
Very typical braai components feature in this list and the challenge for me was to come up with something a little different than pap and wors.
We were able to add three spices and three fresh ingredients and at least one component of this dish had to be cooked over the coals to be counted as a valid entry.
While I do enjoy partaking of a good braai, I’ve never actually fired up the coals by myself before. And so I hauled out our small braai stand from storage, googled for tips on how to prepare the coals and played it safe by cooking just the sausages on the grill.
For the choice of fresh ingredients, I went for the onion, tomato and fresh coriander staples and made a chutney sauce for the sausages, accented with what I call my whole spices C-trifecta; cumin, cardamom and cinnamon.
I really enjoyed the fruity spiciness of this chutney, just a little sweet and so flavourful. And you can make it in advance and toss in the sausages straight off of the grill.
I wanted to use the mielie meal in a bread and I found a recipe for Sweet Corn Raisin Bread that was perfect for me to substitute the dried fruit into. It’s actually quite silly how yeast-based breads have intimidated me for so long. The process was lengthy but methodical. And there is something very meditative about it all. While my loaf didn’t rise as much as I liked, I though the result was pretty good for a bread-n00b.