A recycled braai: breakfast after the night before

So this family holds a major braai with food of limitless quality and abundance. Somewhere around midnight, the well-fed masses went home, leaving this writer with the singular task of cleaning up.

A recycled braai: breakfast after the night before
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To make mealie patties for six, you will need:

  • 6 whole mealies pre-roasted on the edge of braai
  • 6 whole cold baked potatoes
  • 2 fresh onions
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • A handful of fresh parsley or coriander leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Being a fastidious sort of person with a high regard for health and hygiene, all whole, untouched leftovers were packed into Ziploc boxes and chilled in the fridge.

The next day, as dawn broke over the formerly festive scene, the moment arrived for a breakfast of breakfasts. Mostly this involved careful slicing and arranging on plates.

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But some of the recycling was transformational, creating something new out of that which had gone before.

The first, brief piece of cooking involved the courgettes. These had been sliced and stir-fried in extra virgin olive oil with a dash of fresh garlic as the dominant accent.

I slowly fried them a second time with fresh rosa tomatoes cut in half plus a few baby mealies cut longitudinally. A light shower of freshly ground black pepper was the main seasoning with a sprinkle of brown sugar to cut the tomatoes’ natural acidity.

But what to do with the large number of mealies that had been slowly roasted on the edge of braai?

Mealie patties! Cut the maize kernels off the cob with a sharp knife. With your well-washed fingers, slide the skins off the cold baked potatoes.

Peel and thinly slice the two onions. In a heavy-based frying pan, sweat the onions in the olive oil over a medium heat for as long as it takes for them to become soft and translucent.

While this is going on, mash the peeled baked potatoes in a mixing bowl, then add the maize kernels, chilli powder and your choice of coarsely chopped parsely or coriander leaves.

Shape these into patties the size of the palm of your hand and coat them lightly with breadcrumbs. Fry these, two or three at a time in olive oil over medium heat, for a couple of minutes a side, turning them once.

Check for doneness by breaking the first one with a fork to determine the cooking time for the remainder. After frying, let them drain on fresh kitchen towel.

The rest is simply a matter of arrangement. I nuked the franks in the microwave but left the moist slices of gebraaide sirloin steak at room temperature.

Diners – all four of them – drank freshly made dark roast Ethiopian coffee and enjoyed a slice or two of buttered toast.

But what about eggs, I hear you ask? Sadly there was no room on the plates.