Confessions of a hot dog addict

February 28th, 2011 § 1 comment

After a week of extreme eating in Joburg for my new gig as restaurant reviewer on SABC3’s early morning Expresso show, I’m back on the farm and yearning for a bit of home comfort. I love the tomato and onion stew of my youth, prepared by tannies in massive pots for athletics meetings. To me running and hot dogs were synonymous. I ran for the sheer joy of the hot dogs on sale at every athletics event. Let’s face it, school athletics is fascist. Round and round the field you go… how could they be certain an 8 year old would not have a heart attack?

So today, before I blog about some of the delicious food I enjoyed in Joburg,¬† I decided to have a hearty old school breakfast…. toast with tomato and onion smoor (stew) and eggs. When I left home and started cooking for myself, I tried to recreate the smoor of my childhood. It seemed simple enough. Chop and fry onion, add tomato, season and let it stew for a bit. Time and again I was disappointed and tried to remedy the situation by adding more stuff…. Eventually I phoned my mom. “How do I make tomato and onion smoor that tastes EXACTLY like the stuff we had on our hot dogs at athletics meetings?”

She had a good giggle but the answer was quite simple: you have to blanch the onions in a bit of water first, then add a tablespoon or two of plain old cooking oil before the water completely evaporates, add the tomatoes, pinch of sugar, salt and WHITE pepper, cover and let it do its thing over a low heat. The onion takes on an orange hue as the tomatoes release their juice, and the whole lot combines to a plain goodness that ensures a great nostalgic tastebud trip. I love the stuff. I Fosbury flopped for it…

Smoorverlief op smoor....

With all the fantastic¬† and incredibly accomplished food out there (for which I’m most grateful and inspired by) nothing beats the childhood gems. I could go on forever about the perfect PURRRFECT cheese and tomato sandwich – which I am completely fanatical about – but that’s a story for another day. Besides, a great sandwich is all about air and water… you know.

§ One Response to Confessions of a hot dog addict

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *