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Russians for the win!

Did you know  South Africa is the only country in the world where a nationally favoured delicious sausage is called a Russian? And have you watched the latest Who Got Chowed episode, with the hysterically funny Coconut Kelz? If not, you really should. Kelz, the star in this much-loved tongue-in-the-cheek digi-series, gets together with Vlad to clear up why South Africans eat Russians … the yummiest Eskort snack ever.

We love a Russian … and have found this easy, tasty, fast recipe for you to serve the next time you have friends over for a snack. A Cheesy Russian & Spicy Caramelised Onion Toasted Panini (gosh, we’re now throwing some Italian into the mix). And since we’re massive fans of Eskort products, we’ve given you a bacon and a rib platter recipe too.

Cheesy Russian & Spicy Caramelised Onion Toasted Panini

A really quick snack … ten minutes tops. We’ve made this for a last minute family dinner, too.

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You’ll need: 500g Eskort Cheese Russians, sliced in half lengthwise; 2 onions, sliced into rings; 1 red chilli, chopped; 2 garlic cloves, chopped; 60ml (¼ cup) treacle sugar; 60ml (¼ cup) white vinegar; 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh rosemary, chopped; 250ml (1 cup) mozzarella cheese; 250ml (1 cup) parmesan; 4 panini breads, sliced in half lengthwise; 45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil; 1 lemon, sliced into wedges; Micro herbs, for garnishing

To make: Preheat the oven grill. In a large pan over medium heat, add olive oil and fry the onions, chilli, garlic and rosemary until the onions are golden. Add the sugar and vinegar and allow to simmer for five minutes. Place the paninis sliced-side up on a baking tray, top with Russians and grill for three minutes. Top with the onion mixture and cheeses, and grill again until the cheese is melted. Serve with fresh micro herbs and a wedge of lemon.

The Ultimate Bacon Cheese Sarmie

Ten minutes to prep, ten to cook … and enjoy! This serves six as a starter around the braai.

You’ll need:  400g Eskort Streaky Bacon; 12 slices bread; 1 cup of cream cheese; half a cup pickled jalapeno; 2 cups cheddar cheese; 3 sliced tomatoes; 1 sliced red onion sliced; about quarter of a cup butter; chutney to serve.

To make:  Place the streaky bacon into a frying pan and heat the pan over a high heat and fry until crispy (tip: lie the bacon flat in the hot pan, and turn once only for the crispiest bacon ever). Combine the cream cheese, jalapenos, and cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl. Spread all the slices with the cheese mix. Place the tomatoes, bacon and red onion on the sarmies and close them. Butter them on both sides. You can, if you wish, tie them with wet butchers’ twine, otherwise just use a braai grid.  Braai them for five minutes on each side over the fire, or until lovely and crisp, with the cheese oozing! Serve with chutney.

Sundowner platter

The rugby’s on at 5pm. Invite over a few friends, put together this platter and tuck it. Ribs. Ash bread. xxxx This serves four, so just double up if you’ve invited more guests.

You’ll need:  1 packet of 750g Eskort Marinated Loin Ribs; 2 packs Eskort Honey Glazed Pork Rashers

For the ash bread you’ll need: 625ml (2½ cups) bread flour; 10ml (2 tsp) baking powder; 5ml (1 tsp) coarse salt; 250ml (1 cup) warm water

For the chermoula dip you’ll need:  2 red peppers, charred, skinned and deseeded; 30ml (2 tbsp) each coriander leaves, mint and Italian parsley; zest and juice from one lemon; 3 cloves garlic; 5ml (1 tsp) each ground cumin, ground coriander seeds, salt and pepper;  45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil

To make:  Prepare a fire for braaing. When the coals are ready, braai the ribs for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, turning regularly, and the rashers for 5 minutes on each side.Keep the coals hot to cook the ash bread.

Ash Bread: Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Knead for about 10 minutes until a firm, smooth dough forms. Divide the dough into 8 balls and roll out each one out on a flour-dusted surface. Clear a space between the coals in the ash and place each flat bread in the ashes. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, turning frequently to ensure even cooking. Remove when cooked and crispy.

Chermoula Dip: Place the ingredients in a blender and pulse until roughly blended. Spoon into a serving bowl.

Arrange the braaied meat, chermoula dip and ash bread on a platter and allow guests to serve themselves. You can add also potato wedges if you want to bulk up the platter a little.

Details: visit Eskort’s Facebook, Instagram or YouTube pages, or follow #ILoveEatingRussians


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