Food Styling: Heritage Day and The most spoken words in our house…

Are not, ” please brush your teeth,” or “where are your shoes?” they are not even “what is for dinner?”


the most spoken phrase in our house ( after I love you) is

“Nou gaan ons braai!”

translation- Now we will BBQ ( in reference to cooking for a meal)

There is nothing my husband loves more than a braai. He was once drawn into a discussion on whether wood was better than gas, to which he simply replied, “a braai is a braai is a braai.”
Finish and klaar . ( end of story)

Simple, if it is outside, and there is a flame, its a braai.

Imagine then my relief, and his delight, when I had to prep for two braai shoots in one week. Surprisingly I had two different braai manufacturers book shoots with their products in the same week. I was feeling overwhelmed by all the food I had to cook.
Until my Ultimate Braai Master stepped in to assist.
Cue fire lighters and an apron.

It was such fun developing these recipes. Braai is not limited to meat. Veggies, seafood, breads, dessert and even pizza can be made on a braai! All you need is a flame 🙂

Without a doubt a Heritage we will be passing onto our daughter, ONS BRAAI ! ( we braai )

Happy Heritage Day everyone


Grilled Rump / Sirloin with brown sugar rub & salsa verde
Asian inspired Steamed Seafood Parcels with Grilled Seafood and coriander & lime aioli
Sundried Tomato Marinated Chicken kebabs


Lime & Coconut Pudding with vanilla roasted strawberries




Sundried Tomato Marinated Chicken kebabs
serves 6

6 large free range chicken breasts, cut into chunks
220g sundried tomato marinated in olive oil
6 kebabs sticks, soaked in water for 20 mins

Whizz the tomato with the oil in a food processor
Add extra olive oil – if necessary to make a paste
Thread the chicken cubes onto the sticks and marinate in the sundried tomato sauce for 20 – 30 minutes
Cook over medium coals for 20 – 30 mins until cooked to your liking
Serve with green salad and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


Grilled Rump / Sirloin with brown sugar rub & salsa verde

serves 4

4 rump steaks

Brown sugar rub
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
¼ cup brown sugar

Whizz all the spices in a spice grinder
Mix with brown sugar
Store in a jar or container that seals well.

Remove meat from packaging and pat dry with a paper towel.
Rub the meat on both sides with the sugar spice rub, cover and set aside for 1 hour to rest the meat
Cook as preferred .
Salsa verde
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed squeezed dry & chopped
1 anchovy fillet, chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
3 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A few drops of red wine vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl, then leave for 1 hour to allow the flavours to develop.
Serve with the steaks


Asian inspired Steamed Seafood Parcels with Grilled Seafood and coriander & lime aioli

Best done on a kettle braai 
350 g mixed seafood per person, including mussels, clam, prawns, crayfish tails
1 bunch fresh coriander
2 sticks lemon grass
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon crushed ginger
Salt & pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice & zest of 1 lime

For the aioli

30g fresh coriander
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 egg yolks
Juice of ½ lemon, plus extra to taste.
Juice & zest of 1 lime
300ml olive oil.

To make the aioli
Place the coriander, garlic & egg yolks in the bowl of a food processor or blender.
Add the lemon & lime juice and process briefly to mix.
With the motor running gradually add the oil in a thin stream until the mixture is thick and creamy. ( it should look like a good quality mayonnaise)
Scrape into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.

For the shellfish parcels.
Cut squares of baking paper approx 30 x 30cm
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and toss well.
Divide the shell fish between the paper and tie each into a parcel.
Place the parcels on a roasting tin, and place the roasting tin on the grid of the braai.
Cook with the lid closed for approx 30 minutes until the fish is steamed and the clams have opened
Serve parcels with aioli and garlic bread.
Lime & Coconut Pudding with vanilla roasted strawberries
Makes 6

60g butter, softened
Grated zest & juice of 1 lime
1 cup castor sugar
6 eggs, seperated
1 cup self raising flour, sifted
½ cup desiccated coconut
1 ½ cup / 375 ml milk

Preheat braai or oven to 180oC
Grease 6 individual ramekins
Beat the butter, sugar, zest and egg yolks together until light and creamy
Stir in coconut and flour, and add lime juice
Whisk egg whites until firm and fold into batter
Pour batter into ramekins and stand in a roasting tin half filled with water
Place the roasting tin on the grid of the braai ( Bake for 30 min in the oven ) and bake until golden brown and set, can be slightly wobbly.
Serve with roasted strawberries and cream or ice cream

Vanilla Roasted Strawberries
500g large strawberries, washed and hulled
½ cup/ 110g castor sugar or vanilla bean sugar
2 vanilla pods

Place all the ingredients in a roasting tin, and place in oven or kettle braai
Roast for 10 – 15 minutes until fragrant and soft
Serve with puddings

These recipes were developed for MegaMaster, and you can watch my other wonderful assistant Kutloano demonstrating some of them here

Vanessa Lewis Photography

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