Simply delicious!

Sure, meat is meat and man must eat. But there needs to be other things on the plate too… just for some colour. LIANA REINERS discovers that there are many more options besides salad and braaibroodjies and that preparing tasty side dishes need not be a difficult task.

Nothing beats sitting around a fire while the aroma of grilling meat hangs heavy in the air. This is where great stories are told, laughter is shared, and many lifelong friendships are forged. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making side dishes. I want to kuier! Maybe it’s the feminist in me talking, but it’s not fair that the men get to socialise while the women slave away in the kitchen. And no, I’m not falling for the excuse that braai-ing is hard work!

I rummaged through my grandmother’s recipes (all handwritten) and came across a few simple ideas for side dishes that can be prepared in very little time, don’t require a lot of ingredients and are simply delicious.

Vegetable bake

Ingredients:

2 eggs

½ cup of milk

¼ cup of oil

1 packet mushroom soup powder

250g frozen mixed vegetables

1 medium-sized potato (boiled, peeled and cut into small squares)

1 punnet fresh mushrooms (cut into pieces and fried)

1 packet bacon (cut into small pieces)

1 medium-sized onion (chopped)

1 cup grated cheese of your choice

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Prepare the frozen vegetables according to the directions on packaging. Fry the bacon and onion together in a pan. Mix the oil, soup powder, eggs, milk, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Add the potato, vegetables, mushrooms, bacon and onion and mix through. Spoon into an ovenproof casserole or pie dish. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Bake in the oven at 180oC until golden brown.

Bacon and potato bake

Ingredients:

6 medium-sized potatoes (semi cooked)

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

375ml cheddar cheese

600ml fresh cream

2 x 200g packets of shoulder bacon

Black pepper and salt to taste

Method:

Cut the bacon into smaller pieces and fry until golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool down. Chop the onion and garlic and fry in the same pan until golden brown. Add to the bacon. Peel the potato and cut into slices. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish. Place a layer of potato slices in the dish, followed by a layer of the bacon and onion mix and then grated cheese. Repeat the layers with remaining ingredients, ending with cheese. Pour the cream over the layers. Bake in oven at 200oC for 45 minutes until golden brown.

Roosterkoek

Ingredients:

1kg white break flour

10g (1 packet) instant yeast

10ml sugar

2.5ml salt

15ml melted butter

Extra flour to sprinkle over

500 – 600ml lukewarm water

Method:

Combine the flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt. Add the lukewarm water and mix thoroughly. Kneed for 10 minutes until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Form a round ball, baste with the melted butter and place in a bowl. Cover with cling wrap and allow to rise until double in size. Kneed down and form smaller balls. Flatten slightly and sprinkle each with flour. Allow to rise until double in size. Place on the braai grid, turning regularly until done.

Mealie tart

Ingredients:

1 tin of sweetcorn

1 tin of whole kernel corn

2 eggs

250ml cream or milk

5ml baking powder

12ml sugar

½ cup cake flour

125ml butter or margarine (melted)

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into an ovenproof dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 180oC.

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