As National Braai Day is coming up on Monday September 24, it seemed appropriate to obtain barbeque recipes from visiting Rasta cook Levi Roots.
He’ll be appearing at the Good Food and Wine Show, which starts on Friday September 21 tomorrow at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg.
“Barbecue is a very Caribbean way to cook,” said. London-based Roots.
“In the Caribbean and at carnivals, you see the drum pans we use as barbecues on every street corner, with smoke and fantastic fragrances billowing out.”
A musician, Roots began making and selling Reggae Reggae Sauce, a mix of barbecue and jerk sauce, at the Nottinghill Carnival in London many years ago. He used a recipe from his grandmother.
Roots was then lucky enough to appear on the TV reality show Dragons’ Den where two of the five judges were so impressed with his presentation that they committed £50 000 (R665 000 today) to his company.
His sauce was soon stocked in Sainsbury’s stores across Britain, and he has since expanded the brand to include a range of sauces and other products.
Roots started writing cookbooks – he has three under his belt – and appearing on cooking shows.
He said he is excited about visiting South Africa. “I met Nelson Mandela when he was president and visited the UK, and was lucky enough to sing Happy Birthday to him. It was one of the most fantastic things that happened to me.”
STICKY JERK WINGS WITH SUGARED ORANGES
Serves 4. A starter or part of a spread
4 spring onions, green part only, roughly chopped
1 hot red chilli, seeds left in
3cm piece of root ginger, cut into chunks
30ml thyme leaves
100ml cider vinegar
10ml ground allspice
5ml ground cinnamon
30ml olive oil
salt and pepper
12 chicken wings
30ml soft light brown or demerara sugar
5 long, mild red chillies
Put the marinade ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. Alternatively, pound the ingredients to a paste using a pestle and mortar.
Pour it over the wings, turning them over so they are well coated.
Leave to marinate, covered, in the fridge for at least four hours, or overnight if more convenient, turning the wings over once or twice.
Get a barbecue going until the coals die down to hot grey ash (or preheat an oven to 190°C).
Barbecue or cook the wings, turning them over a few times, until they are cooked through (the juices should run clear when a skewer is pushed into the thickest point) and nicely brown, basting with any leftover jerk marinade (about 15 minutes).
While the wings are cooking, sprinkle the sugar on to a plate and cut the oranges into quarters.
Dip the cut sides of each piece into the sugar and cook on the barbecue (or in a heavy dry frying pan or under a grill) for a few minutes until the sugar has caramelized. Keep a close eye on the oranges to prevent them from burning. At the same time, chargrill the chillies.
Serve the wings with the caramelised oranges and char-grilled chillies.
Serves 4-6. My daughter, Shar, makes the best coleslaw ever.
1 firm white cabbage (about 300g), very finely sliced
1 red cabbage (about 160g), very finely sliced
125g carrots, grated
2 green peppers, deseeded and
2 spring onions, green part only, finely diced
175g can of sweetcorn, drained
30ml finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
salt and pepper
juice of 2 limes
Mix all the prepared vegetables with the sweetcorn and coriander in a serving bowl. Season, then squeeze on the lime and dollop on the mayo.
Stir everything together carefully. That’s it. Fresh and fantastic.
90ml olive oil
45ml white wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and pepper
small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
24 raw tiger prawns
lemon or lime wedges, to serve
Mix the oil, vinegar, garlic, seasoning and parsley together. Pull the heads off the prawns and remove the little legs. (You can discard these trimmings or use them to make fish stock.) With a sharp knife, make a shallow cut down the back of each prawn and, with your finger or a cocktail stick, remove and discard the black vein.
Put the tails into the oil and vinegar mixture, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for about an hour.
Meanwhile, if you intend to cook the prawns on wooden skewers, soak these in cold water while the prawns marinate, to prevent them from burning on the barbecue.
Remove the prawns from their marinade and cook them on soaked wooden skewers on a very hot barbecue or under a hot grill. Alternatively, cook on a searing griddle pan.
In either case, reckon on about 3 minutes each side and baste with the marinade as you go along.
Serve with lemon or lime wedges.
4 ears of sweetcorn
sunflower or groundnut oil
salt and pepper
Lime, Chilli and Coriander Butter
75g butter, slightly softened
15ml finely chopped fresh coriander
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
salt and pepper
If your sweetcorn is without leaves and you are in a hurry, bring a big pot of water to the boil. Add the corn and boil until just tender (about 10 minutes). Brush with oil, season and set the corn on the bars of a barbecue. Let it get a lovely charred appearance, turning it round every so often, then serve.
If you want to go the purist route, buy your sweetcorn with leaves on. Pull the leaves back (but not off) and pull out and discard the silky threads underneath. Fold the leaves back in place, twisting them together at the end. You won’t need oil or seasoning. Wrap in foil, or cook as they are, burying them in the barbecue embers for about 40 minutes.
BUTTER: Put all the ingredients for the butter into a bowl and mash together with a fork. Scoop it into a piece of cling film, wrap carefully and put it into the fridge to chill.
When firm enough to handle, form the chilled butter into a sausage shape and wrap in greaseproof paper. Put back in the fridge to chill completely. This way you will be able to slice little round pats of the butter off the roll.
Serves 8. Every Caribbean person knows a version of this stout punch. This one is inspired by Mike Tyson’s knock-out punch; in the Caribbean, a thump is a “tump”. You can add a bit of milk if you’d prefer it to be less alcoholic, though I wouldn’t do that. It makes you happy and mellow.
385g can condensed milk
4 x 284ml bottles of stout
170g can of evaporated milk
1 cinnamon stick, halved
A little grated nutmeg
6 whole cloves (or 20ml ground)
10ml vanilla essence
few drops almond essence, to taste
90ml rum, or to taste
Put the condensed milk in a large bowl and slowly add the stout and evaporated milk, stirring all the time until smooth, then add everything else and mix it well.
It’s good to leave this to mellow in the fridge for a couple of hours, so the spices can really jazz up the flavour of the stout.
To serve, ladle into tall glasses filled with ice. - The Star
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