Before you bring it up, it’s true, I have a slight mieliepap obsession. For as long as I can remember, I’ve started my day with a bowl of warm, nourishing pap – usually with lashings of butter or milk, and sugar or honey. Then there’s braai pap, that delectable savoury side that I can never resist drenching in chakalaka and sous. The versatility of maize meal is what makes it so great, and over the years, I’ve experimented with all kinds of variations. This, I have to say, was a revelation: mieliepap rectangles dipped in more mieliepap and deep-fried for an extra crunchy crust. Yes, it’s indulgent, but mix it up with a few fresh veggies and you’ve got yourself the perfect snack platter.
TIME: 2 HOURS / SERVES: MAKES ABOUT 21 FINGERS
500 ml chicken stock
250 ml White Star Super Maize Meal
125 ml milk
1 ml salt
30 g finely grated parmesan cheese
extra White Star Super Maize Meal, for coating
750 ml canola oil
In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the maize meal and stir until smooth. Reduce the heat, and while stirring, let the porridge cook for 5 minutes.
Take the saucepan off the heat and add the milk. Mix well and close with a lid. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Add the salt and parmesan cheese.
Line the base and sides of a 20 cm x 20 cm tin with baking paper. Spoon the porridge into the tin and try to get it as smooth as possible on top. Cover with another piece of baking paper, and with the paper resting on top, you will be able to smooth it out some more.
Place in the fridge for 1 hour. Turn out onto your work surface and cut into fingers.
Coat each finger with maize meal. This will give your fingers a nice crunch.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Your oil should be ready for frying around 175 °C. If you don’t have a thermometer, lower a small piece of white bread into the oil. If it takes about 65 seconds to turn golden your oil will be ready.
Gently lower the fingers in the warm oil – not all at once. Fry until golden, turning them around now again. Once crispy and golden, drain on kitchen towel. Season with salt.
Serve warm, but be careful! They’re super hot on the inside.