Dreaming of barbecues and honeyed fruit brochettes
Returning from weeks of glorious weather in the UK (i.e. not raining) and lush green countryside, I find it difficult to face the furnace-like temperatures of a Dubai September. Walking the dogs has to be done at 6am while breathing in the steamy atmosphere; once the sun starts to rise it’s unbearable. Even mustering up the energy to go from air-conditioned house, into air-conned car to air-conned supermarket is something I leave until late afternoon when it doesn’t feel so like being under a grill when you load up the boot. But today the humidity has dropped, the garden looks almost inviting and even the dogs are popping in and out a lot more…it’s a hint of things to come. By about mid October there will be at least 5 months of blissful sunny days and temperate nights and barbecuing is the first choice for friendly gatherings. My husband always says you should invite someone from the Southern Hemisphere to a barbecue as they always take over (leaving him to drink and chat) – they can’t help themselves. In particular South Africans (and I mean men here) jostle to show their mastery of the perfect braai (as it’s known in SA).
The hint of cooler evenings has set me dreaming of recipes old and new ready for the season: little lamb keftedas stuffed into pitta breads with yoghurt and mint leaves, fish with coconut milk cooked in bananas leaves, a spiral of boerworst cooked whole and sliced into bite-sized chunks with a mustardy dip (and Lynchburg lemonades to get the party started). With National Braai Day and Heritage Day being celebrated on September 24th in South Africa, here’s something for dessert that makes use of the coals while their still glowing (medium-hot) – just make sure you get a wire brush and clean off all traces of meatiness from the rack first.
Jeanne from Cook Sister celebrated National Braai day by having a round-up of delicious barbecue recipes (including this one) – check it out and I guarantee you’ll be getting out your tongs and lighting the charcoal.
Honeyed fruit brochettes with rosewater cream
For the rosewater cream
280 ml double cream
2 tablespoons rosewater (or kirsch if you prefer)
1-2 tablespoons of sifted icing sugar (omit if using kirsch)
For the brochettes
1 medium pineapple
5 medium bananas
2 ripe nectarines or peaches (not too soft)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
6 tablespoons honey (or maple-syrup as a variation)
Fresh lime (to serve)
You will also need a dozen 15cm wooden skewers soaked in water for at least 3 hours.
For the rosewater cream, whisk all the ingredients together until the cream forms soft peaks. Put into a serving bowl.
For the brochettes, slice off the top and bottom of the pineapple, cut away the peel and remove any ‘eyes’. Quarter the pineapple lengthways and cut away the core. Cut each quarter in half lengthways then slice into chunks, about 5mm thick. Quarter and stone the nectarines (removing the peel if using peaches) and cut into similar-sized chunks. If preparing the fruit ahead of time, toss the fruit in lemon juice.
Thread the pieces of pineapple, banana and nectarine or peach onto the skewers alternating the fruit. Melt the honey in a small saucepan over a low heat and remove as soon as it turns runny (or heat in a bowl for about 20 seconds on high in the microwave) . Brush generously over the fruit. Cook the brochettes on the barbecue for about 5 minutes turning regularly. If you want to cook these indoors you can toss the fruit in the melted honey, cook the fruit on a hot griddle pan and thread onto skewers afterwards. Serve drizzled with any extra honey, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and the cream – Sauternes would be the perfect match for this. Happy Braai-day
What’s your favourite thing to sling on the barbie? I’d love to hear in the comments.
Adapted from House and Gardens magazine.