Tasty braai treats with Chef Gary Opperman


When it comes to sport, this month is all about the Rugby World Cup! If you’re planning on watching the games with friends at home, may we suggest serving one (or all) of these very tasty braai dishes . . .

Whether you’re a die-hard green-and-gold Springbok fan, or you secretly hope the All Blacks will take home the cup, there is no doubt that every rugby fan is going to be glued to their television for the entire month of October. And where there is rugby, there is usually also a great braai. We asked Simbithi Country Club’s new executive chef, Gary Opperman, for some sumptuous braai dishes to serve to guests while watching the rugger. We had no idea he would come up with these fantastic spoils though!

About Chef Gary Opperman

A born-and-bred local boy, chef Gary attended Stanger High School before attaining an advanced gourmet cooking diploma at Intec College and completing his in-service training at Wits Hotel School. He has travelled around Africa, heading up kitchens in Nigeria, Mozambique and Zambia, and has worked at hotels in the Drakensberg, Umhlanga and at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. Chef Gary is passionate about Asian food and says he loves playing with the combination of sweet, salty and sour! As the new executive chef at Simbithi Country Club, chef Gary says he is looking forward to bringing a ‘wow’ factor to the kitchen.

Braai Wors Nachos

2 ripe avocados
Handful chopped fresh coriander
1 small red onion, finely chopped
Handful baby tomatoes, diced
1 fresh chilli, chopped (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste

250ml (1 cup) baby tomatoes, diced
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 fresh chilli, diced (optional)
15ml (1 tbsp) red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Other ingredients:
8 tortillas, cut up and baked until crispy, or 1 large packet of nachos
100g (1 cup) grated cheddar cheese
400g boerewors, cooked and sliced into bite-sized chunks

To serve:
Sour cream or crème fraiche
Pickled jalapeños, sliced

1) For the guacamole, mash the avocados roughly with a fork and mix with the other ingredients. Set aside.
2) In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients for the salsa and set aside.
3) Arrange the baked tortilla triangles or nacho chips in an oven-proof dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Place on the braai until the cheese has melted and starts to bubble.
4) Top the tortillas with the boerewors, guacamole, salsa and a scoop or two sour cream or crème fraiche. Serve with pickled jalapeños.

Boerewors Koftas with Minted Hummus Yoghurt

6 long stems of rosemary, stripped of two thirds of their leaves
½ cup plain yoghurt
½ cup hummus
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint, plus extra to garnish
Black pepper
6 x hot dog rolls

1) Remove the boerewors meat from its casing and place in a bowl. Mix in the garlic and cumin.
2) Mould some of the boerewors meat into a sausage shape around the stripped part of each rosemary stem.
3) Braai the boerewors koftas over medium coals until cooked.
4) To make the minted hummus yoghurt, mix the yoghurt, hummus and mint together and season with black pepper.
5) Place a kofta in each hot dog roll, dress with some of the minted hummus yoghurt and sprinkle with more chopped mint. Serve immediately.

Braaibroodtjie Apple Pies (Makes 4 broodtjies)

8 slices of white bread
50g soft butter
1 tin pie apples
5ml cinnamon
60ml castor sugar

1) Spread the soft butter onto each slice of bread (the butter will be on the outside of the sandwich to prevent it from sticking and crisp up the outside of the pie).
2) Place four slices of bread, butter side down, on a braai grid.
3) Drain any juice off the apples and discard. Divide the apple pieces evenly between the slices of bread and arrange them neatly.
4) Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and sprinkle liberally over the apples.
5) Place the other slice of bread on top (butter side up).
6) Close the grid and braai for a few minutes each side over low coals. Keep a close eye on them, making sure the bread doesn’t burn, by turning them regularly.

Details: The Fig Tree, Simbithi Country Club: 032 946 5403

Text: Leah Shone | Photographs: Chris Allan Photo