Ditch the processed bread and limp cheese. It’s all about imagination, good ingredients and moreish layers. Local food bloggers show us how to add flair to any picnic table.
Anel Potgieter’s Beef with Mom’s mustard
‘With this recipe, I’m letting you in on my mom’s mustard sauce. It’s South African sweet and sour mustard but without the condensed milk. It goes perfectly with beef, pork, turkey and just about anything else.’
Bread of your choice
Roast beef, sliced
Red onions, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mom’s mustard sauce
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup vinegar
1 heaped tbsp
• To make the mustard sauce, beat the eggs and add the sugar little by little until the mixture is light and fluffy.
• Add salt and then add the vinegar slowly while beating well.
• Place the sauce over a double boiler and whisk until the mixture starts to heat up and thicken. Just before it starts to boil, remove from the heat and add the mustard. Beat well.
• Allow your mustard sauce to cool before serving.
• Put your sandwich together and smother it with mustard.
Ishay Govender-Ypma’s Grilled mackerel and pesto
‘At school, my lunchboxes held anything from potato curry in roti to peanut butter and jam sandwiches. I used to trade the latter with a friend who always had “exotic” mini quiches. I fell in love with these grilled mackerel sandwiches while travelling in Istanbul last year.’
2 tbsp olive oil
200g cleaned and deboned mackerel fillets
Salt and back pepper, to taste
2 tbsp basil pesto
Ciabatta rolls, sliced in half, buttered and grilled
½ cup red and green peppers, diced
Chilli flakes, to taste
• Heat a frying pan on medium-high, add the olive oil and fry the fillets for a minute and a half per side, depending on thickness. Make sure the fish is done but not dry. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
• Spread the pesto on both halves of the sliced roll.
• On the bottom half of the roll, arrange the cucumber, mackerel and peppers and sprinkle with chilli flakes. Top with basil leaves and the other half of the roll.
Thuli Gogela’s Cheese and mango atchar
Butter or margarine
4-6 tbsp mango atchar
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 cheddar cheese slices per roll
1 tomato, sliced and roasted in the oven for 10 minutes
Basil or rocket leaves
• Cut the rolls open and spread with a thin layer of butter or margarine.
• Top with mango atchar, sweet chilli sauce, one slice cheese, two slices roasted tomato and another slice of cheese.
• Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with basil or rocket leaves.
Usha Singh’s Toasted sweetcorn
‘I grew up in a home that was the “food hub” for family and friends. Every meal was prepared as if it were a celebration, regularly shared with 10 to 12 people, as we never knew who would pop by. This is a great recipe to cater for a group of people.’
20ml cooking oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, roughly ground
1 green chilli, finely chopped
250ml corn kernels (canned, frozen or of the cob)
125ml cream style sweetcorn
1 tsp salt, to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
250ml mature white cheddar, finely grated (optional)
50ml Parmesan, grated
100ml fresh coriander, finely chopped
6 slices good-quality wholewheat bread
• Heat oil in a large pan and cook the onion until translucent.
• Add the cumin seeds and chilli and cook for a few seconds.
• Lower the heat, add the corn kernels and cook for a few minutes.
• Add the sweetcorn, season with salt and lemon juice and cook for a few minutes more, stirring regularly.
• Remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl. Continue to stir and add the cheese and coriander leaves.
• Make sandwiches with the filling and toast in a sandwich toaster.
Matt Allison’s Pastrami and rye
‘Without wanting to sound sexist, this is my ideal “man sandwich”. I love salted beef, preferably free-range, and the sharp tang of pickles and sauerkraut. It’s a hearty sandwich that fills even the emptiest of stomachs.’
2 slices rye bread
2 slices Emmenthal cheese
2 slices pastrami
Sauerkraut, warmed and excess water squeezed out
1 large dill pickle, to serve
• Slather both slices of bread in butter and mustard and top with a slice of cheese.
• Place both slices in a hot pan, cheese side up. As the cheese begins to melt, top with pastrami and sauerkraut.
• Place the two slices on top of each other and skewer together with the pickle on top.
Thando Moleketi’s Spicy chicken and bacon club
Marinated chicken breast
Chicken breast, halved
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
½ fresh red chilli, deseeded and sliced
Olive oil, to coat
Salt and pepper, to taste
Three slices ciabatta or
3 tsp English mustard
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 red onion, sliced
Small handful rocket
½ avo, sliced
4 rashers crispy bacon
½ tomato, sliced
Two small sweet and sour gherkins, thinly sliced
• To prepare the chicken breasts, combine the marinade ingredients, coat the chicken breast and refrigerate for an hour. Pan fry until ready and leave to cool. Slice thinly.
• Lightly toast the bread.
• Combine the mustard and mayonnaise and spread on the bread slices. Spread both sides of the middle slice.
• Layer two slices (the bottom and middle one) with rocket leaves, tomato, avo, bacon and gherkins, and season to taste.
• Top each with chicken slices and drizzle over a spoonful of the pan juices.
• Place the two slices on top of each other and close the sandwich with the third slice of bread. Slice in half and skewer.
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