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National Braai Day 2018

Today is Heritage Day, also known as National Braai Day.  South Africans country-wide are celebrating their cultural heritage by spending time with friends and love ones around a braai!. There are of course no rules when choosing what you are going to braai – whether it is tjops, wors, chicken, ribs, fish or fillet!.  You can braai whatever lights your fire!  

Carolié de Koster, owner of Carolié’s Culinaire, contributed this article about Heritage Day to Cooking Up A Storm’s newsletter a few years ago. It is a great read!

For a variety of mouthwatering recipes for your next braai, click here.

Seeing that food safety rules applies whether you are cooking indoors or outdoors, I decided to include a few pointers on the do’s and don’ts when braaing.   

  • Make sure your barbecue is HOT before you start to cook. The hand test can give you a good sense of how hot the grill or barbecue plate is. Hold your outstretched palm about 6cm from the heat. If you can only hold it above the heat for around a second it means it’s too hot. If you can hold your hand above the heat for 3 to 4 seconds it’s at a moderately high temperature, which is perfect for barbecuing. Any longer, say 8 seconds then the heat is too low. The barbecue should be hot enough to sizzle the meat as it makes contact with the plate or grill.
  • Marinted meat need to be treated differently. Don’t pour marinade over the meat while it’s cooking, this makes the meat stew and causes flare-ups. To keep meat moist you can brush the meat with a little of the marinade as it cooks. Don’t brush it on the meat during the last minutes of cooking time.
  • Don’t over crowd the grill plate when you barbecue. This reduces the heat and the meat will then release juices and begin to stew.
  • When you barbecue don’t turn the meat too often, the rule is – turn meat once only. Use tongs never a barbecue fork to turn the meat, piercing the meat with the fork will drain the juices from the meat onto the grill or barbecue plate.
  • Always rest meat after it comes off the heat. This allows the juices, which have been driven to the centre of the meat by the heat to return to the surface. If given the time to rest the meat will loose less juice when you cut it and when you eat it the meat will be juicier and tastier.
  • Never test for ‘doneness’ by cutting the meat.

Happy braaiing!

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Raw Fish Is Delish!

If you are worried about embarrassing yourself in front of your date, or even worse, a client, because you do not know the difference between the terms carpacchio, ceviche or crudo on a restaurant menu, don’t fear, the answers are here.  Included in this post is basic info on some of the most popular restaurant options containing raw or partially cooked fish or seafood.  After reading this, you will be able to navigate a restaurant menu like a pro.  Not to mention using foodie lingo in conversations. Recipes containing raw fish or seafood can be prepared at home with great success, as long as the freshest and highest quality fish or shellfish is used. Be sure to read the post How To Handle Raw Fish before trying these recipes at home.

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Ceviche consists of slices or cubes of raw fish or shellfish marinated in citrus juice.  Seeing that Ceviche is not served raw like for instance tuna tartare, it makes for a great alternative for those who prefer not to eat raw fish.  Ceviche is great alternative for raw salmon, tuna, etc. when making poke bowls.

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