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.)

Peri-Peri Fries with Greek Lemon Oregano Grilled Chicken

On Friday's in South Africa, my sisters and I would stand in line at a very popular braai spot waiting on flame grilled chicken and seasoned slap chips (a version of fries). We watched as cooks flipped grill baskets filled with perfectly seasoned Greek-style chicken over an open flame, basting with marinade as they went along. The word braai is Afrikaans for "barbecue" or "roast" and is a social custom in South Africa. We celebrate National Braai Day every September 24th and come together as a diverse nation to enjoy cooking over an open fire with friends and family. 

The restaurant that I'm referring to was less of a sit-down establishment and more of a hole in the wall located on a bustling street corner close to public transportation. This made it an ideal place to pick up some takeaway (street food) for dinner after work. Why on a Friday? Usually, Friday was pay day which meant people had a little extra to spend. We waited patiently as the hugely popular chicken quarters and flatties (butterflied whole) in styrofoam containers flew from the counter into eager hands of hungry people in line. I remember the smell of oregano distinctly , and this is my version of that street food made in partnership with Pompeian. We love this chicken for Summer grilling with friends!

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Pompeian has been keeping me stocked with their range of olive oils and vinegars for the last few years, and I love using their robust olive oil for marinades.  To lighten things up for Summer, their organic extra virgin olive oil spray is perfect to spritz over salads like the one accompanying my chicken.  A beautiful light flavor and very handy to have on hand.

Ingredients

Lemon Oregano Chicken:
1/4 cup Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried Greek oregano
Zest and juice and 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
6-8 chicken thighs (or any dark meat)
1 lemon, halved

Peri-peri Fries:
6-8 medium starchy potatoes, scrubbed
Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon peri peri chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Optional to serve: Shredded lettuce, cubed feta, diced tomato, diced cucumber, pickled red onion and lemon wedges.

Method:
Whisk olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic in a shallow dish and add chicken pieces. Use your hands to massage the marinade into the chicken, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. 

Preheat your covered grill to 350F.

Prepare potatoes by slicing them into wedges and adding to a cast iron skillet or baking sheet. Spray with olive oil and add spices. Toss to coat and place on the grill with the chicken and halved lemons. Cook chicken and potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken registers 160F. Remove from heat and place in a bowl, squeeze grilled lemon juices over and cover until ready to serve. 

Serves 6-8

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This recipe is sponsored by Pompeian. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Daley Plate.