Grilled Brinjal (Aubergine or Eggplant) Sandwich

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Brinjal, Aubergine, Eggplant…they are all the same vegetable :-).

Here in South Africa we generally use the word Brinjal.  I believe that the word, Aubergine is used in Britain and in the States, the word Eggplant is used.  It has always intrigued me that the same vegetable can have numerous names depending on which country one lives in….why is that???

Well, no matter which word you use or prefer, this is the ultimate vegetarian grilled sandwich !!!

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The original recipe came from a Your Family magazine, which I cut out years ago and put into my recipe file.  Desperately wanting something vegetarian to braai (barbecue), and knowing that the combination of brinjal (aubergine or eggplant), tomato, mozzarella and basil just all compliment each other so well, this was a no brainer.  I had to try it.  I have changed the actual quantities slightly, and found this to be necessary due to the size of the various vegetables.

Ideally, these are perfect if you are ‘braai-ing’ (another South African word) or ‘barbecuing’ as a no meat alternative.  They are actually so delicious, even the typical meat and potato man would love them !

I am all for trying out different foods and with the warmer weather approaching us, I am keen to get some new ideas for when we braai (or barbecue).

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Just for interest, I have attempted these on the stove, and it works, but it’s just so messy with oil splattering all over the show, and then you need to squash them down, as they are quite chunky, in order to make them in a sandwich form…..hmmmm not really worth it….Braai-ing (or barbecuing) is the way to go and all you need is one of those grill goodies (braai grid), and then it works like a dream :-).

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These healthy little babies are a winner, there is no doubt, and I love the added touch of baby marrow (zucchini).  So, this super easy recipe is definitely going to stay.

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Grilled Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant) Sandwich

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  25 – 30 minutes

Total time:  35 – 40 minutes

Makes 6 sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 x large brinjal (aubergine or eggplant)

2 x medium-sized tomatoes

1 x block of mozzarella cheese, approximately 400 grams

a handful of fresh basil leaves

4 – 5 baby marrows (depending on size)

Freshly ground salt and pepper

Olive oil for basting

Instructions:

Ideally arrange a ‘braai grid’ for the braai or barbecue.

Prepare the braai (barbecue).

Slice the top and bottom off from the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant).

Then, at 1 centimeter intervals, slice the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) into discs.

Lay these discs on a board.

Then, slice the tomatoes at approximately 1 centimeter intervals as well.

Place a slice of tomato onto half of the brinjals (aubergine or eggplant). The other half will be used later to top and finish off the sandwich, so don’t stress.

Top the tomato with a healthy slice/s of mozzarella cheese.  I also cut the cheese into approximately 1 centimeter slices.

Wash the basil leaves under water, and add the fresh leaves onto the mozzarella slices.

Then, with a potato peeler, slice up the baby marrows (zucchini) and place on top of the basil leaves.

Now, grind a generous helping of salt and pepper on the baby marrows (zucchini).

Place the other half of the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) on top of the towering sandwich.

Baste the top of the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) with a little olive oil.

Gently put the towering sandwiches in the ‘braai grid’, close and secure.  You will notice that the sandwiches get squashed quite a bit. Pop any veggies that popped out, right back into the sandwich 🙂

Put the ‘braai grid’ over the medium coals of the braai (barbecue).

A good sign that they are ready is the cheese will start to melt.

Allow to cook for about 30 minutes.

Take off the braai (barbecue).

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

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Bacon, Tomato and Halloumi Bake

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Lunch time always tends to baffle me over weekends.  I am so used to just having a good old salad for lunch during the week and often just feel like something different on a weekend.  Anyway, after a lot of pondering and wondering… I decided to do a dish with one of my favourite cheeses’…. Halloumi :-). Why not, it was the weekend ! …. Any excuse to have Halloumi ! Really, I can’t get enough of Halloumi, whether it is baked or fried, I will take it anyway !

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This dish is particularly easy.  I came across it in a cooking magazine several years ago, and with a few odd changes here and there it has become a firm favourite.  It is more of a throw all together quick dish, just my kind of dish and perfect for a lunch or brunch.

I did use a Gluten Free and Wheat Free Brown Bread in this dish, purely due to the fact that I have had my eldest daughter on a Gluten Free and Wheat Free way of eating for several years now, and I tend to be following suit….

This dish would be amazing though with a Ciabatta bread or even a sour dough bread, so if you are not Gluten and Wheat intolerant, try either of them, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.  Ciabatta bread crisps up so nicely once in the oven, and that added crunch just will take this dish to another level of perfection.

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Bacon, Tomato and Halloumi Bake

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

500 grams diced bacon bits

500 grams Red Cherry Tomatoes *

300 grams Halloumi cheese *

1 Ciabatta Bread, broken into bite size pieces (approximately 2 cups) or a bread of your choice

3 tablespoons Avocado Oil or Olive Oil

bunch of fresh basil leaves

For the dressing

1 tablespoon of honey *

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C/ 525 degrees F

Start cooking bacon pieces till partially cooked just to give them a head start. (I started mine off in the microwave)

Slice the Halloumi into slices, about a few millilitres thick and set aside.

Crush the garlic clove and set aside for the dressing.

Once the bacon is slightly done (not crisp) as it will crisp up in the oven, it will be time to start assembling the ingredients.

In an oven proof dish (I used a square one, approximately  22 x 22 centimetres/8.5 x 8.5 inches in size) place the bacon, tomatoes, Halloumi cheese and bread.  Toss gently, and pour over the avocado oil or olive oil.

Place oven proof dish into the oven and allow to cook for about 30 minutes. Watch the bread, that it doesn’t crisp up too much and burn (this will depend on the actual bread you are using.)

Whilst everything is cooking, place all the dressing ingredients together and shake well.

Once the bacon is crisp, the tomatoes have wrinkled and cooked, and the Halloumi slightly golden brown on the edges and the bread perfect, take the oven proof dish out of the oven.

Serve immediately and place basil leaves on.  This is not great just for colour but adds a great flavour with the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with the dressing. *

Enjoy 🙂

*  Any red cherry tomatoes will do. The size may differ, but that will be fine.

*  I used Raw Honey for the dressing, runny honey will blend a lot easier.

*  You may have some extra dressing left, depending on how much each person likes on their meal.

 

Marinated Fillet of Beef

 

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I found this recipe in a Your Family Magazine probably five years ago or more. This marinated fillet of beef is probably one of my favourites.  The combination of the sweet chilli sauce and the fresh herbs, just adds such an amazing touch to the beef….something different.

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I made my own home-made sweet chilli sauce last week, and that sauce is just absolutely perfect for this meal.  The two just go hand in hand with one another.

I know this recipe may look complicated, but it really isn’t.  I would strongly suggest having the fillet of beef marinate over night if possible, then once that is done it is plain sailing.

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Marinated Fillet of Beef

Preparation time:  25 minutes

Marinating time:  Several hours or overnight

Total time:  35 minutes

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients:

1.2 kg fillet of beef

For the marinade:

3-4 medium sized garlic cloves

1/4 cup (80 ml) soy sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) raw honey *

Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

1/3 cup (80 ml) sweet chilli sauce

2 large handfuls of fresh herbs of your choice (for example thyme, parsley, chives, origanum)

Instructions:

Firstly place the fillet of beef in an oven-proof flat dish.

Then prepare the marinade by crushing and chopping the garlic cloves and setting aside in a separate bowl.

Then add the soy sauce and honey to the garlic .

Pour this mixture over the fillet of beef and turn the beef over on all sides so that the marinade coats the beef generously.

Using cling wrap, tightly cover the oven-proof dish with the fillet of beef and place in the refrigerator for several hours, turning the fillet of beef periodically.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius /375  degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, finely chop the herbs, removing the stems from the thyme and origanum.  The stalks of the parsley can be chopped and used. Once all chopped, set aside.

Then, take the fillet of beef out from the oven-proof dish and scrape any excess marinade off the fillet of beef.  Do not throw this away, instead return it to the balance of marinade in the oven-proof dish.

Season the fillet of beef with salt and pepper.

Sear the fillet of beef on all sides over a medium to high heat.

Once seared, return the fillet of beef to the oven-proof dish with the remaining marinade.

Top the fillet of beef with the olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Baste the fillet of beef occasionally throughout the cooking process to keep it moist at all times.

Once the fillet of beef is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it rest.

Then rub the sweet chilli sauce all over the fillet of beef.

Place the chopped herbs on a chopping board and roll the fillet of beef over the chopped herbs.

Slice the fillet of beef as desired, and serve with either mashed potato, baked potato, chips, salad or vegetables.

Enjoy 🙂

*  You can use any honey to your liking.

*  I prefer to marinate over-night.

*  Every oven is different, so that is a guide  for a medium/rare fillet of beef.

*  Remember that the fillet of beef will still cook whilst it is resting out of the oven until it cools.