Five unusual things you probably didn't know you could cook over coals

The best part is these foods won't break the bank

30 September 2020 - 13:06
Braaied aubergine makes a delicious side dish.
Braaied aubergine makes a delicious side dish.
Image: 123RF/Volodymyr Rozumii

Forget the expensive cuts of meat for the braai, here's a handful of unlikely foods that can take a grilling and will not break the bank.

1. AUBERGINE/BRINJAL

Slice two large aubergines into 1.5cm slices horizontally or lengthways into steaks. Sprinkle with salt, place in a colander at the sink and allow to drain for 15 minutes. Rinse well and dry.

Marinate the slices in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, chilli flakes, ground cumin and coriander, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Remove the aubergine from the marinade and cook over medium coals for 5-7 minutes per side, basting with the marinade till cooked through.

2. HALLOUMI CHEESE

Cut the square of halloumi horizontally into two steaks and brush generously with olive oil. Cook over medium to low fire for 2-3 minutes per side until the cheese starts to soften. Season generously and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and the sauce of your choice.

3. MUSSELS

Mussels cook perfectly in their shells over the coals.

Take half-shell mussels and turn them into a feast by making a paste of softened butter, crushed garlic, finely grated rind and juice of half a lemon and seasoning. Chill till just firm, then, using a knife or teaspoon, spread the butter over the mussels covering the flesh.

Just before serving, cook shell-side down over medium to low coals till the butter is melted, then carefully remove and serve with French bread to mop up the juices.

4. PINEAPPLE

Braaied pineapple makes a great starter.

Peel and cut a pineapple into quarters lengthways. Brush each quarter with olive oil, dipping the outer side of pineapple into cayenne pepper, if you like it hot, or smoked paprika for a less spicy, smoky flavour.

Soak wooden kebab sticks in water for 15 minutes so they don’t burn, then thread each quarter on to the stick and place spice side down over medium coals and turn to grill on all sides.

Grilled pineapple pieces. Stock image.
Grilled pineapple pieces. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/serezniy

5. CHICKEN LIVERS

Marinate chicken livers in your favourite peri-peri sauce or a mixture of  olive oil, crushed garlic and Worcestershire sauce and seasoning for 15 minutes. Remove and wrap each liver in half a slice of rindless streaky bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Just before serving cook over medium-hot coals until the bacon is crispy and chicken liver is just cooked; remember, it will cook more on standing. Take care not to overcook as livers will become tough.