As a South African, BBQ’ing or ‘braaing‘ is a massive part of our culture, practically coded into our DNA. Traditionally a male dominated area, there is still this strange gender segregation at a South African BBQ.
The girls normally make the salads, garlic bread and dessert and gossip and chat on one side (far away from the smoke!), while the men gather round the BBQ, clutching beers and performing this mysterious ritual of charring meat over an open flame.
Well move over lads!!
BBQ’ing is really not that difficult. It is my favourite way to entertain, even in chilly weather. But we can do better than a few bangers and burgers cremated on the BBQ. Why not look to other countries and cuisines for a bit of inspiration?
Give that boring chicken skewer a bit of the ‘Ish factor’ – Spicy ‘Boerewors’ sausage from South Africa, Peanut Chilli Chicken from Thailand, Harissa Lamb from North Africa and golden grilled Halloumi Cheese and Peaches from Greece. With a few extra condiments in your pantry, you’ll be able to transform any meat and produce gorgeous veggie options that everyone will enjoy. Even fresh ingredients like halloumi cheese, has a long shelf life so can hang out in your fridge until you spot a bit of BBQ friendly sun.
The Salads ..
I have a passion for vibrant, punchy salads – no tired looking iceburg lettuce, watery cucumber and anaemic tomatoes. You don’t need to serve a huge selection, maybe two or three of your favourites – and not shop bought coleslaw and potato salad!
I love using bright, colourful fruit and vegetables like pomegranate seeds, finely sliced fresh fennel, mangoes, avocados and plenty of zingy orange, lime and lemon. I also always serve a potato bake and either garlic bread, foccacia or tomato and fennel bread. Move beyond just ketchup and mayo and serve an interesting selection of condiments and dips: Greek tzatziki, Middle Eastern hummous, Argentinian chimichurri, homemade chutneys and relishes, chilli sauce and flavoured mustards.
So move over lads and hand me those BBQ tongs! … I’ll show you how it’s done, the Ish way.