South African Braaibroodtjies with Sun Dried Tomato Butter

It does not matter where we as South Africans find ourselves around the globe. If there is an opportunity to Braai (Grill outside over a wood fire), there's a very high chance that Braaibroodtjies are accompanying our meal of farmers sausage, lamb chops, chicken and salads. The Afrikaans word broodjie translates to sandwich in English, therefore Braaibroodtjie means grilled sandwich. They are usually prepared after everything else is done cooking and the embers start to fade - the ideal temperature to toast bread and impart a wonderful smoked flavor. 

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The Braaibroodtjie of my childhood was unapologetically unsophisticated. Layers of tomato, onions, cheddar and white bread spread with butter - Ingredients that were mostly always availabe, save for the cheese that sometimes got left off during more difficult times. Do you sometimes remember things unintentionally and feel super nostalgic?
When I make Braaibroodtjies now, I want my guests here in America to have the best possible experience eating them. I step up my Summer grilling game by using sourdough bread, sun dried tomato butter, heirloom tomatoes, red onion and my favorite Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar. I always put a little extra cheese now, and buy the best possible while stilll being economical at the same time. When I'm making Braaibroodtjies I look for an aged cheddar that will stand up to the onion and char brought on by the fire, but one that will also melt easily. The range of Tillamook Cheddar Loaves recently became available at my local supermarket and I've never been happier. I find it's better to buy a good loaf of real cheese and shred, cube, or slice it myself to use in a variety of dishes - My Home Economics teacher would be so proud. 

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A few notes:
- You can definitely use a griddle pan inside instead, but you will lose the smoke. 
- I prefer extra sharp cheddar, but Tillamook has a wonderful selection of high-quality cheddars that would work wonderfully. Try the Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar Loaf! Find out where it's available near you here!
- This isn't one of those recipes where everything is measured precisely. It's about the joy of eating a toasty melted cheese sandwich fireside. Customize it to your liking and have fun!

Ingredients:
8 slices sourdough bread
sun dried tomato butter (recipe follows)
1/4 Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar Loaf, sliced (roughly 12 slices)
2 medium heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Optional: 1/4 cup peach chutney, or any sweet and sour chutney

For Sun Dried Tomato Butter, combine:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. sun dried tomato paste
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika

Method:
1. Spread each slice of bread with sun dried tomato butter. Place 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface or directly on to a grill basket (see example below). Top with a thin layer of chutney and then cheese, onion and tomato slices. Place remaining bread slices on top, butter side up. 

2. Grill for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat source until the bread is slightly charred around the edges and the cheese is melted.  I sometimes like to place them on my covered smoker for longer as well, 8 minutes at 275F. Remove from the grill and slice, serving 1/2 sandwich to each guest as a side.

Serves 8.

This post is sponsored by Tillamook but all opinions are my own

Braaibroodtjies in a  rooster (South African wire grill basket used to contain food while being flipped over the fire.)

Braaibroodtjies in a rooster (South African wire grill basket used to contain food while being flipped over the fire.)

Chipotle Turkey Toastie

This post is sponsored by Sir Kensington's but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me!

What is it about Thanksgiving that excites you the most? Is it a beautiful table laid out with a selection of home cooked dishes? The togetherness that you feel when surrounded by loved ones? The fact that you don't have to go to work that day, or a combination of all those things? 

I didn't grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, and so although I am excited to celebrate with family here it's also a little stressful to cook a meal that they have had the time to perfect for years. It's my turn to host this year and the pressure is on, but once it's all said and done we get to my favorite part of Thanksgiving... The morning after! The turkey sandwich for breakfast! 

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For me the turkey sandwich NEEDS to be spicy. It's what I crave after all the creamy, the sweet, the mild and earthy flavors of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Enter my friends at Sir Kensington's and their flavor packed Chipotle Mayonnaise! It's really great on anything (tacos, subs, in dips) but the cumin notes and chipotle peppers in adobo really work well in sandwiches with smoked fillings. 

Couldn't stay away even if I tried...

Couldn't stay away even if I tried...

This Chipotle Turkey Toastie starts with a generous helping of Sir Kensington's Chipotle Mayonnaise spread on some sourdough bread instead of butter. Did I mention FLAVOR?  There's a lot of it here :) Biting into the crunchy chipotle-flavored toasted bread is enough to wake up any palate. I used my grill pan because I love the look of those sear marks but any pan will do.

This is where it gets even tastier... The fillings depend on your Thanksgiving leftovers and dietary preferences but mine has smoked turkey, sharp cheddar, pickled red onion and jalapēnos. Praise be. 

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Flip it, flip it real good .

Flip it, flip it real good.

Chipotle Turkey Toastie

2 slices sourdough bread

1 tablespoon Sir Kensington's Chipotle Mayonnaise

3-4 slices smoked turkey

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup pickled red onion slices

Optional extra heat: Jalapenos 

Method:

Heat a griddle plan to medium-high.

Divide your Sir Kensington's Chipotle Mayonnaise and spread on one side of your bread. Make sure to spread it evenly and cover the entire slice for maximum flavor. Flip your sliced bread and add cheese on each side, then turkey and onion slices. Gently press down to flatten slightly and place sandwich on griddle pan.

Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until the cheese is melted and the bread nicely grilled.

Serves 1

Aaaah, yes!

Aaaah, yes!