My Mother's Kitchen: Mario Rodrigues

Mario Rodrigues prepares for a braai. Photos: Supplied
Mario Rodrigues prepares for a braai. Photos: Supplied
The memory of the food that our mothers served us as children never leaves us, a comforting reminder of the maternal bond that resonates through our adult lives.

More than 70 New Zealand chefs, cooks, bakers and foodies have shared the stories and recipes of their childhood in the new publication My Mother’s Kitchen.

I grew up in South Africa, where we love to have a braai (wood-burning barbecue). There's just something about standing outside on a warm day, enjoying the air, looking at the fire and cooking the food.

Mum always made a potato salad to go with the braai, because it makes the barbecued food taste even better. The basting sauce (recipe below) gives you chicken drumsticks that are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, and right at the end when the embers have gone down, throw on the sandwiches to cook.

All together it's just perfect.


Elisma's Potato Salad with Homemade Mayonnaise, BBQ Basting Sauce, and Barbecued Cheese Toasties

Elisma's Potato Salad

Serves 8


Time: 20 minutes using pre-prepared ingredients (garlic, potatoes, eggs)


For the mayonnaise:
3 cloves roasted garlic
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp sugar
3 whole eggs
80ml malt vinegar
1 litre canola oil
Lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste

For the potato salad:
1kg Perla potatoes, boiled, cooled and halved
½ red onion, finely diced
4 boiled eggs, grated
4 bier-stick sausages, finely sliced
2 Tbsp finely chopped chives
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 spring onions, finely sliced

Prepare the mayonnaise: Put garlic, mustard, sugar, eggs, and vinegar in a food processor and blend to a puree.

With the processor still running, slowly drizzle in oil, starting drop by drop then continuing in a very thin stream, to form a thick and creamy mayonnaise. Mix in lemon juice and salt to taste.

Assemble the potato salad: Put all ingredients with half of the prepared mayonnaise into a large bowl and mix well without breaking the potatoes.

Add more mayonnaise if needed or to your personal taste. Leftover mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Barbecued Cheese Toasties

Serves 8


Time: 15 minutes

16 slices white bread
16 slices Colby cheese
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
34 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
Salt and white pepper

Lay out 8 pieces of bread. Divide cheese, onion and tomato on top and season with salt and pepper. Lay the remaining bread on top to form 8 sandwiches. 

Cook sandwiches on the barbecue on low heat (if using wood or coal, cook them right at the end when the embers are going down). Grill on both sides until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Serve hot.

BBQ Basting Sauce

Serves 8


Time: 15 minutes

300ml ketchup
60ml apple cider vinegar
50ml cola
30ml pineapple juice
30ml molasses
25ml bourbon, rum or brandy
10ml Worcestershire sauce
50g soft brown sugar
4g garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Stir all ingredients except salt and pepper together in a medium-sized saucepan set on a medium heat.

Bring to a simmer then reduce heat and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes, whisking frequently, to form a thick sauce.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Warm sauce can be used to baste chicken drumsticks before and during barbecuing.

If using sauce to marinate chicken, let it cool completely before using. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

-Reproduced from My Mother's Kitchen, published by Potton & Burton, available nationwide

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