"Corn, or mielies, is an essential part of African eating," says Welgemoed. "It's a staple across the continent and is used in different forms as an accompaniment for the majority of meals."
- 5 fresh bay leaves, thinly sliced, plus 1 extra, thinly sliced, to serve
- 125 gm unsalted butter, softened
- 9 corn cobs, husks and silk removed
- 1½ tsp ground chilli
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
- 5 uncooked prawn heads, halved (see note)
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, bruised
- 1Light a hardwood or charcoal barbecue and burn it down to embers (about 1 hour for wood, 30-40 minutes for charcoal).
- 2Meanwhile, process bay leaves in a high speed blender or with a mortar and pestle until finely chopped or crushed. Reserve a large pinch to serve and stir remaining into butter.
- 3For prawn salt, heat oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Add prawn heads and fry until crisp (2½-3 minutes; be careful, oil will spit). Add lemon rind and garlic, remove from heat and drain on paper towels (reserve prawn oil for use in salad dressings and to season dishes; it will keep refrigerated for 1 week.) Process prawn heads in a food processor or blender on high speed with 3 tsp sea salt to a fine powder, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until required. This recipe makes more prawn salt than you need here, but will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a week.
- 4Barbecue corn, turning occasionally, until scorched and tender (8-10 minutes). Set aside until just cool enough to handle, then cut off kernels with a serrated knife and place in a bowl. Add a few tablespoons bay butter and the ground chilli, stir to combine, then serve topped with extra bay butter, season with prawn salt to taste and scatter with remaining chopped bay.
Note Ask your fishmonger for prawn heads; otherwise buy whole uncooked prawns for the heads, and cook them on the barbecue to eat as a snack while you cook the corn, or chop them and add them to the salad.
Drink Suggestion: Ochota Barrels “Weird Berries in the Woods” gewürtztraminer. Drink suggestion by Taras Ochota