Category Archives: Side dish

quick pickled red onion

Pickled red onions

My grandfather used to pickle or chutney every conceivable ingredient he could lay his hands on. One of the more successful and lasting endeavours must be his pickled red onions.

pickled red onions

This is super simple and takes only 10 minutes to make. Ready to give a lift to any sandwich, or add a tart, sweet and zippy flavour to a tomato, cucumber and avocado salad or salsa. We also often have them on a grilled steak or fish.

pickled red onions

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp Maldon or Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Slice the onions as thinly as possible and pack them tightly into a glass jar.
  2. Mix vinegar, salt, and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat till dissolved. Bring to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions and allow to cool to room temperature.

    Since this is not a big batch and we’re doing this in winter, the mixture tends to cool down quite quickly. So you could tuck into the pickled onions almost immediately. For best results, let it stand in the fridge for a day or two to develop flavour.

    quick pickled red onion

    While these pickled onions will last indefinitely in your fridge, I doubt it will be there for too long in any case. Next time you can play around with different flavour pairings such as red peppercorns, cloves, star anise, ginger, cumin, bay leaves or any other spice you have available.

garlic bread with rosemary and sea salt

Quick garlic bread with rosemary and sea salt

When the craving for garlic bread hits you this quick garlic bread with rosemary and sea salt recipe will fill that gap for sure.

I cannot profess to be any good at baking, in fact, I would rather steer clear of baking if I can help it. Outside of malva pudding, sticky toffee pudding, balsamic caramelised onion and blue cheese tart or breakfast pastry cups, my baking repertoire is fairly limited.

So when the craving for some home-made crusty buttery garlic bread rolls hits, you heed the call. I know it’s not LCHF/Banting friendly, but look at all the other ingredients that are good for you. Garlic is rich in several different nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium and iron while rosemary is a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B6. The Himalayan pink salt includes over 84 minerals and trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. Hmm, just look at all that calcium.

I used to be in the Voortrekkers (Afrikaans version of the Scouts) and were taught how to make potbrood (pot bread), griddlecakes (roosterkoek) and stokbrood (stick bread) – quite literally bread dough wrapped around a stick and baked on the fire. When it was ready, we would dollop some fresh butter and honey in the cavity created by the stick. The steam created inside the cavity would melt the butter and honey and every bite was heaven on earth.

Whenever we had a big family gathering we would do a traditional braai (barbeque) with loads of salads, veggies and of course garlic pot bread. The garlic bread would be baked in a cast iron pot with some medium-hot coals underneath and on top of the lid to bake as if in an oven.
potbrood cast iron bread

For the bread dough you have two options – make it yourself (full recipe below) or for a quick option, just pop over to your local grocery store or bakery and buy one of their bags of fresh bread dough. It works out to around R10 a kilo and makes enough bread to feed 8 hungry people.

Quick garlic bread with rosemary and sea salt

If you want to be a bit more rustic about it and you have the time, why not make your own. Our go to recipe is as follows:

Ingredients

  • 1 kg white bread flour (you may use brown bread , wholewheat or rye
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs instant yeast
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • approx 600ml lukewarm water
  • butter to grease
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • Himalayan pink sea salt (or Maldon) to season

Method

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and make a hollow in the centre.
  2. Mix the oil and 600ml of the water and gradually stir into the dry ingredients with your hands (or a wooden spoon – but trust me, rather use your hands).
  3. Mix until the dough is just soft enough to be kneaded. Add a little more water if the mixture is too dry.
  4. Knead the dough (by hand) on a floured surface until soft and elastic. It takes around 8-10 min and is a good workout. Shape into a ball.
  5. Grease a large bowl with butter (or oil), place the dough ball in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and a tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes – it will double in size.
  6. After the initial rising, flatten the dough with your hand and with a sharp knife, divide it into 9-12 pieces.
  7. Fold the sides of each piece into the bottom to create a ball – don’t roll them. Transfer them to the large greased heavy-bottomed pot, cover with a tea towel and let it rise in a warm spot for another 20 minutes.
  8. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C or get your fire ready.
  9. Chop the rosemary finely, crush the garlic and add the butter – place it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to melt the butter.
  10. Brush the dough all over with the butter, garlic and rosemary mixture. Be liberal.
  11. Crack a good amount of the Himalayan pink salt or sprinkle the Maldon sea salt over each bun – don’t be shy.
  12. Place your pot in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden on top and a knife comes out clear.
  13. If you intend on making this on a fire – place your pot in hot coals, cover with a greased lid and place more coals on the lid. Check after 30 mins until done.

Serve with a good dollop of butter, perhaps add some honey, chunky peach or apricot jam for a sweet treat. But it is perfect just with a dash of butter.
Quick garlic bread with rosemary and sea salt

Parmesan roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potato

Parmesan roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potato

Parmesan roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potato makes one of the easiest side dishes that pairs very well with most meat and chicken based meals. I know that brussels sprouts normally have a bad rap, many people don’t like them, but I hasten to bet that it is because they’ve either been steamed or boiled to death. Ever considered roasting them?

The kids love the little caramelised cabbage heads and it has become one of the staple dishes in our repertoire. The addition of sweet potato bulks up the dish a bit and adds a nice sweet note. It is pretty moreish, trust me.

Parmesan roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potato

Ingredients

  • 1 bag fresh cleaned Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 big sweet potatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Add all the ingredients except the parmesan together in a roasting try and shake around to coat well. Add more oil if required.
  2. Bake about 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and brussels sprouts are browned. You may need to turn them 10 minutes into the cooking time.
  3. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and serve.

This couldn’t be easier. You’ll probably want to double the recipe next time. Try them with bacon bits, a sprinkling of paprika or a dash of balsamic vinegar. The options are endless.

Crumbly pap – porridge

Crumbly pap is a nice variant to the traditional “putu pap” eaten at braais. Serve with tomato and onion gravy or with milk, sugar and a little butter for breakfast the next day.

Ingredients:

  • 500ml water
  • 5ml salt
  • 750ml Traditional Braaipap

Method:

  • Bring water and salt to the boil in a pot
  • Add pap, cover with lid and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Stir with a fork until porridge becomes crumbly
  • Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally

This recipe serves 4-6.

Putu pap – porridge

Premier Traditional Coarse braaipap Any self-respecting South African knows that a braai should never be attempted without a good serving of pap.

For the non-South Africans, pap is basically a maize porridge best served with a tomato and onion gravy.

Below is an easy pap recipe for your next braai. We normally use the Premier Traditional Coarse Braai Pap as it has proven to give us the best results without fail.

You can pick these up at your local Spar or Pick ‘n Pay.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lt water
  • 5ml salt
  • 500ml traditional braai pap

Method:

  • bring water and salt to the boil in a large pot
  • Add pap
  • stir and cover with lid
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 40mins, stirring occasionally
  • Add another 125ml cold water to pap
  • simmer over low heat for another 30mins

This recipe serves 4-6.

One last note. You’re almost assured that the bottom of the pap will burn a crust in the pot, don’t stress, this is quite normal and does not influence the taste negatively. Some would say that this is the best bit, served with a bit of butter and golden syrup/sugar. Yumm.