South African Menu Week of October 12th

I have a soft spot for cuisines with dishes that sound like they’ve come from classic children’s stories and/or Harry Potter. South African meets that standard. Just look at the run down of dishes posted on Wikipedia – we’ve got bobotje and mielie-meal and biltong and a braai’d snoek. Not to mention the monkey gland sauce. 

There is very little tricky or to be aware of in reheating this week’s foods. The potato and beet salad is meant to be served warm, that’s about it for notes. All of the Hel’s containers except the 2 oz sauces are microwaveable. Some additional information on what all the items are is below:

Bredie: Lamb and tomato stew, with broad beans just in case the lamb wasn’t enough protein. Because it seems like we’ve had a lot of stews served over potatoes recently, and not much fresh baked bread, I’m serving this with a roll instead of potatoes. 16 oz container, microwaveable (or reheat in a small saucepan). 

Butternut Soup: To be most authentic, I would need to make this with chicken broth. Since I wanted it to be vegetarian I decided to stray a little further afield and use Deborah Madison’s suggestion of a coconut and miso base broth. A 16 oz container (ie it’s a large soup), microwaveable (or reheat in a small saucepan). 

Spare Ribs with Monkey Gland Sauce and Grits: Monkey Gland Sauce is a combination of chutney, ketchup, worcestershire, spices. . . sort of a BBQ-ish glaze. I’m making these spare ribs using St. Louis cut spare rib, with the Monkey Gland sauce instead of where we’d usually use BBWQ.  The grits are my version of “pap”. Pap and samp are standard fare in South Africa. As I understand it, they’re close to but not exactly the same and grits and hominy (respectively). Pap is sort of between grits and cornmeal porridge; hominy is processed using nixtamalization while samp is not. Once we start using words like nixtamalization, I believe we’re getting a bit into the weeds.    

Samp, Beans, and Chakalaka: See above for a discussion of samp. Beans are beans. Chakalaka is a relish that appears, as far as I can tell, on 90% of sandwiches in South Africa even although the Internet tells me it’s intended for samp and beans. My experience was sandwiches. I mostly remember that I’d get hummus with chakalaka, panini’d, and with a mango juice on the side, when I was feeling extravagant about lunch at the University of Cape Town. 

Potato and Beet Salad with Date Vinaigrette: This salad should be served slightly warm. There’s some mild heat in the vinaigrette but not much.

Curry Panir (fresh cheese) with Vegetable Slices: The farmers market admittedly had a reduced number of raw vegetable options at this time of year, but I’ve got some carrots, Japanese turnips and thin sliced beets. 

Melkkos: A thick pudding, with cardamom and cinnamon, which can be warmed slightly or eaten as-is cold. I did add white chocolate to it for the simple reason that this is a really bland dish in the style of things to serve on a dreary day alongside tea when you’re feeling British, which is fine but . . .  I like it better a little more flavorful and so I changed it. I might throw caution to the wind and just go with a different fun pudding of non South African origin later in the week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: