My husband and I recently visited South Africa for the first time and experienced several braais. We call it grilling or barbecues here, but South Africans don't appreciate the comparison. The braai is all about slow food and socialization, standing around a very low and slow wood fire. A mix of chicken, a special sausage, anything can be cooked over a braai. However, the surprise star of every braai is the broodjies. Broodjies is pronounced sort of like "broykies" and is would be a great light main course...and very cheap! It seems like a simple recipe but the melding of all the flavors over the wood smoke makes this a very special dish.
Although purists would say this needs to be made over a wood fire, I've done it using a gas grill and it is still just as delicious. - meganvt01 —meganvt01
Test Kitchen Notes
It’s tough to objectively describe a personal comfort food, especially one associated with the best memories of one’s life. Meganvto1 appears to have really nailed the recipe down to a T. The sharp cheddar cheese melts down to barely "cook" the onion, leaving it crisp and crunchy, yet sweet and devoid of any trace of rawness. The thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes (I used a combination of red and yellow ones), almost seem to vaporize, leaving behind the signature stamp of their fresh aroma. The key factor in generating the flavor and texture is to grill this sandwich over low heat. I used a mesh splatter guard over my grill pan to avoid direct contact with high heat with great results! - Panfusine —Panfusine
With one slice of bread laying buttered side up, layer on cheese, onions, and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with other slice of bread, buttered side in.
Place the completed broodjies into a flat mesh grill basket - like one used for whole fish. Over a very low braai (grill) slowly toast the sandwiches. The idea is to melt the cheese through and allow the onion flavor to mellow a bit while toasting the outside to a golden brown. This should take about 15 minutes, turning the grill basket about every 3 minutes so the bread doesn't overly brown. You'll have to tap the completed sandwich out of the grill basket. Enjoy!
After spending years in school while working full time, I'm happy to finally have my evenings pursuing my other passion, cooking! I have a 4 year old boy and a husband that are both adventurous eaters and supportive tasters. I spend a good bit of my vacation travel preparation researching local and regional foods and my friends all make fun of my food obsession.
I've always been pretty confident with my techniques cooking from recipes but I am enjoying Food52's challenge of putting those techniques to work for my own versions of my favorite foods. I love to learn and the group of people that contribute to this site are a great resource.
As an Annapolis native, I love to cook with our local produce and seafood whenever possible. I try to support our community of fisherman, farmers, other food producers and chefs as much as possible.