The other day, my hubby and I were reminiscing about our earlier days in South Africa and in particular about all the lovely food that we had available. At one point he almost started drooling when he started to tell me about a little place in Joburg called Wachenheimers. This, according to him was where you got the best hot beef on rye sandwiches – ever! He even had me Google the restaurant to see if it was still open.
The pictures on Google were definitely tempting so I thought I would have a go at making my own hot beef sandwich and I have to say the results were delicious. Why oh why is Pastrami not used more in this country – it is so tasty? To top it all I tried one of the new pickles from English Provender. They have brought out a range of four Proper Pickles – Traditional Proper Pickle (Chunky); Traditional Proper Pickle (Finely Chopped); Pickled Onion Proper Pickle or Beetroot Proper Pickle which are available from Waitrose or Asda. Normally I’m wary of buying pickles because I don’t like big chunks of vegetables but when I saw the finely chopped pickle I was sold.
As you can see in the picture above the different root vegetables have been very finely chopped and are encased in the most delicious and tangy blend of spices to make a wonderful accompaniment to any sandwich.
Another first for me were the kale chips. I’ve seen them in so many of the latest cook books and magazines but just never got round to trying them until now. Let’s just say I have them with everything now. Baked until crispy and tossed with a pinch of rock salt – you can’t stop eating them.
I would highly recommend giving this tasty sandwich a go. There is nothing complicated about it – just a combination of great tasting ingredients. Warning – make plenty and don’t be shy with the filling.
Drizzle the kale with olive oil and use your hands to toss until the kale is fully covered in oil.
Place the kale on a baking tray making sure it is not overcrowded.
Bake in the oven until the leaves are nice and crispy - about 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and toss with a pinch of rock salt.
Turn your oven off. Place pastrami slices into the oven to warm up. You want it just warm not hot.
Set to one side.
Place a knob of butter in a frying pan and heat until melted.
Place the slices of sour dough bread into the pan and press down lightly until you have some nice colour and crispy edges. You don't want to toast the bread just give it a bit of extra flavour and crunch.
Remove from pan and set on serving platter.
Layer the warm pastrami on the untoasted sides of the bread.
Spoon a generous amount of Proper Pickle on your sandwich.
Add the kale chips to your sandwich or serve as a side dish.
What a week! The poor kids have had rain nearly every day of their school holiday. They have done well to get outside at every given opportunity but it’s not quite the same as if the sun were shining and the grass dry enough to play on without turning into a swamp. We did have one dry afternoon so I quickly made up a batch of these turkey burgers and some delicious Monkeygland sauce, packed them up in a bag and headed off to the village green with a selection of bats and balls and let the kids burn off some energy before tucking into these delicious burgers.
The burgers are low fat and make a nice change from the usual beef burgers. I nearly always use turkey mince if I’m making homemade burgers as it is both cheaper and healthier than beef. The key is to not overcook them, keeping them as moist as possible. Once you’ve added all the extras and some delicious sauce, you’ll hardly notice that they are not beef burgers. Now the sauce may sound a bit odd and I have no idea where the name came from as it has nothing to do with monkeys or glands. It is a typical South African sauce and is found on nearly every menu which has burgers on it. It is sweet and rich but with a nice kick from the chilli. Every South African is familiar with Mrs Ball’s Chutney so we would typically use this brand of chutney. It is available in most of the UK supermarkets and is definitely worth a try. The recipe makes more sauce than is needed for 6 burgers but it stores well in a sterilised jar and if kept in the refrigerator.
We don’t often eat savoury relishes but if we do my favourite has to be red onion marmalade. The sticky, sweet onions are particularly good with red meat and offset any of the salty cheeses beautifully. Goats cheese and red onion marmalade – beautiful!! If you can’t find red onions then substitute with normal brown onions. The marmalade can be bottled and will keep in the refrigerator for up to two months.
My hubby is away on a business trip tonight so I decided to treat myself to a steak sandwich. I found some lovely rustic bread which I heated briefly in the oven. Whilst the bread was heating I fried my topside steak in olive oil – adding rock salt and ground pepper – 2 minutes on either side. Once cooked I let it rest for a couple of minutes, sliced it up and added it to the warm bread with the pan juices. I then added some warm red onion marmalade to the top and finished off with some chopped parsley. Ten minutes in total and I had this gorgeous sandwich. I wonder if my hubby’s slap up dinner tonight was as good as this?