Maple & Cinnamon Butternut dreams!

Veggies are a good thing, not only are they healthy and nutritious, but they should always be fun too.  I always catch myself in the kitchen busy preparing food facing this conundrum of rather healthy vs rather tasty.  Sadly, I still have a lot to learn in that department.  One thing is definitely for sure, I like…… no I LOOOOOOVE tasty food and sometimes healthy eating get the back seat.

Recently I posted my side dish of Roasted Maple & Cinnamon Butternut on Instagram (please follow me there @Janthinus) and received some requests on how to go about making it.  So here it is.  Ready yourself glorious Butternut Bi… (ok, I’ll not get carried away) ….. this is going to be awesome and super easy to prepare.

Let’s proceed.  Let’s do this y’all! (apologies for poor accent there). You will need:

Step 1

Butternut (I used about three medium ones) – Place in oven dish, sliced or as you wish

Olive Oil – Drizzle and toss them to coat them well

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar sprinkled evenly over

Salt & Pepper to taste.

Chuck them in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 30-40 minutes until tender.

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Step 2

A few little blocks of Butter (NOT MARGARINE…… How very dare you?! Hehehe! Scatter them around in the dish.

Sprinkle some Cinnamon over the Butternut, not too much.

Drizzle 2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup over them and put it back in the oven.

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Put it on maximum heat and switch to Grill.  Keep your eyes on them the whole time…. THE WHOLE TIME!!!!  Like a hawk y’all!

They should caramelize in roughly 3-5 minutes until golden brown.  Take them out of the oven and taraaaaaaaaaa… you’re done.

Boooyaaaaaa!  Have yourself some merry little Butternut now.

Enjoy!  **drops the mic**

 

Braai broodjie? Or side broodjie?

As per some of my previous posts, having a Braai (or BBQ) in South Africa is quite a huge thing to us.  We love spending time around the fire, reminisce around stories, joking away and obviously enjoying lovely eats and treats from the table close by.  When having a Braai, there are always an array of side dishes to compliment the main feature of the social gathering, which is of course the grilled meat.

One thing most people enjoy is a grilled sandwich that is filled with onion, tomato and cheese, grilled on the fire and oh boy, when you start eating it, the braaibroodjie (yes, that’s what we call it in Afrikaans) oozes cheesy goodness that exceeds all expectation.  Well, I have never had a bad braaibroodjie, but some love it and some loves it less.  So if braaibroodjies are not your thing, how about a good side broodjie on the table?  I have a good broodjie you can whip up,  where everyone can slice a piece of it, spread some good butter on it and enjoy.  Good, easy, simple and delicious.  Here goes:

  1.  Get some lovely bread dough from you local supermarket.  Dust your surface with some flower, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough in a rectangular(ish) shape.
  2. Spread some crushed garlic and a bit of olive oil on the rolled out dough and spice to your heart’s content.15095574_10154768753558573_5689207793028686102_n
  3. Now you can add some lovely goodies to this, sundried tomatoes, olives, capers, onion, salami, chorizo or ham.  Anything you like really.  Just make sure that the ingredients you add here is drained and not watery.  Add some cheese, because why?  Because you CAN! 15037096_10154768754558573_538250758643546157_n
  4. Roll it up very carefully and put it in a greased bread pan.  You can score the top of the bread in what fashion you like  and pop it into the pre heated oven. (180 degrees celsius) for 1 hour until it’s golden brown on top.
  5. Take it out and coat the bread with butter to give it a lovely glossy feel.  Let it rest (if you have the strength to resist).15037144_10154768754993573_1171543595008857302_n
  6. Slice away and serve.  This is a sure winner!15073303_10154768755118573_5117999690620997802_n

So next time you are having friends over for a weekend braai and don’t know what to serve as a side or just to enjoy as a precursor to the feast, whip up this bad boy and have the spoils of their gratitude!  You are welcome, don’t clap, just throw money!

Braai is not just braai!

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Yes, there are a few crucial things about being South African.  Having a braai is surely one of them.  Ask any South African about their favourite way of having a braai and you will most surely hear that this is almost a syndrome of elements to having the perfect braai.

Here it is not just about the meat (which is the most important part of any braai), but it’s about snacks, ambience, music, friends and off course…. the fire.  Not being a “pro” braaier (for our English friends, the word “braai” can be translated to “bbq”), I always tend to sit back and observe all the different styles and processes involved when attending a braai with friends.  My experience taught me that there are 4 distinct owners of a braai

1. The novice:

Here the person will set everything up, doing a rush job and we end up wondering whether we are ever going to get to grilling our meat eventually.  By God’s graces, the fire gets going, meat is on the grill and the braai is under way.  (a sigh of relief).

2.  The Pro:

The Pro is literally the professional here, having access to the latest trends, gadgets, firestarters and an outfit to match.  Usually here, I steer clear of ownership or assistance because they have got everything covered.  You will have your meat, bbq’d to perfection and the pro will be the talk of the braai-town for days waaaay after.

3.  The ADHD:

My brother, (love him to bits…. and sorry Stef) is a great example of an ADHD braaier.  He is all amped up, stacking the fire (very efficiently I might add), but somewhere along the line he get’s pulled into conversation and well, looking at the fire turning into an orphan, someone jumps in and takes responsibility.  No hostile takeovers on this side you know, just a small contingency! LOL!

And then we get to my type…

4.   The “let’s braai and take things as they come” guy:

I have no recipes for stacking the perfect fire, but, it’s my fire.  There will be enough heat and when everything is ready, I invite everyone to take their tongs and do their own thing.  (you see, everyone do their OWN thing, braai tongs provided).  No complaints about meat being under or overdone, because they braaied their own meat and after that, all is well in the braai-world of my life.

This past weekend I was fortunate to tackle a quick weekend away and manning the braai both evenings.  It went well and so we braaied on Saturday lunch as well.  My friend had this awesome brunch dish she prepared and I became a fan instantly.  So if you are looking for something else to put on the grill, give the “bosveld pizza” a go.  You will not be disappointed.

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You will need the following:

1. A medium hot fire.

2. Ingredients like butter, onions, , mushrooms, leftover meat (sausage works best), tomato & onion relish, eggs, foil and lots of cheese.

3. A large frying skillet or shallow pan.

4.  Here goes:  Heat the pan or skillet.  Fry your onions & mushrooms in butter and spice to taste, add leftover meat, tomato & onion relish and let it cook until it starts bubbling.  (your fire should be hot enough for it to cook/bubble).  Stir and fry till it’s all nice and heated up.  Spread the mix out evenly in the pan and make little holes in the mix.  Break an egg in each hole (depending on how many people are about to enjoy this).  Spice with black pepper and evenly top it off with lots of cheese.  Cover with foil and wait until your eggs are no longer translucent.

5.  Dish to your heart’s content!!!  And it is yummmma-yummmmmmmmaaaaa!

I love to braai and will use every opportunity especially in warmer months to have friends over, some red wine, good music, good conversation and good food on the grill. I’m always open to learning new ways and discovering new tricks when it comes to the flaming of food (ok, that was just lame).   Do you have any great braai ideas you wish to share?  Share them below or send them to itsfoodoo@gmail.com.  Would love to hear from you.

ItsFoodoo regards

Janthinus

 

Say hallo to The Publican Bar & Grill!

The Publican Bar & Grill is situated in the Southdowns Shopping centre in Irene, Pretoria and close to the John Vorster offramp.  The Publican greets you with a contemporary mix of leather, stoned walls and an amazing fireplace that hypnotises you the moment you set foot through their doors.

I always say that it’s the small things that count when visiting any restaurant or eatery and here we can check all the boxes.  From the light pink Orchid at reception, the copper light fittings and even the bathrooms are tastefully done.  They surely didn’t skimp on anything when it comes to their decor.

The hostess immediately greets you with a smile and swiftly guide the way to your designated spot.  Flowing through the restaurant you end up on the stoep (veranda) and are immediately taken aback by the view and the gazillion lights.  (I’ve said it before, I’m a sucker for a good setting).

Tables are minimalist and well set and the darker tones on their furniture and black serviettes gives you a very ‘expensive’ or exclusive feel to what you are about to experience.  Their waiting staff works as a team and you are informed on their wines and given drink options.  I enjoyed a delightful deep red called Silver Myn from the Zorgvliet Wine Estate.

Immediately options on starters, mains and desserts were raised and I was impressed with the passion they show when explaining their menu options, from preparation to the moment it arrives on your plate.  It’s infectious.

For starters I just HAD to enjoy the Thick Cut Bacon with fresh parsley salad.  (By the way, the world is better because of Bacon). Delicious!  Mains feature a New York strip steak, Black Angus Beef and was beautifully prepared.  I would’ve like a bit more fries on the side though.  To close the evening off, I enjoyed a delectable Eaton Mess and was engulfed with a sticky viscid meringue, berry coolie and cream.  I was in heaven.

The Publican Bar & Grill gets it right and should be on your list if you are a meat-eater and enjoy lovely flame grilled meals.  They also have good vegetarian options available.  This eatery is a sure catalyst to an amazing evening filled with friends, great food and choice wine……… did I mention the view??  Go! Now!