Icelandic pancakes

22 Jun

Icelandic pancakes

Iceland brings these delicious, crepe-style pancakes to our World Cup cook-off table.

They couldn’t contrast more with the Japanese fluffy pancakes, but once again the judges awarded them a perfect score.

Thin, light-yet-crisp, Icelandic pancakes have a welcome lack of sweetness. There is no sugar at all in the batter, just a little sprinkle of caster sugar after they are cooked. Continue reading

Lamingtons

21 Jun

lamingtons

Australia looks a strong contender in this year’s World Cup cook-off with their offer of lamingtons.

A delicate chocolate-coconut exterior conceals a substantial cake centre. Kind of like Giggs and Beckham on either side of Roy Keane, back in the day…:-)

The first time I made lamingtons was for an Australia Day celebration. I didn’t notice the advice about baking the cake a day in advance, and had a torrid time of the dipping and rolling.

There was much language and attrition, but the lamingtons I managed to produce met with our Aussie friends’ approval. Continue reading

Al kabsa

20 Jun

Al Kabsa

Al kabsa is made by patiently cooking meat, vegetables and rice with an array of spices in a slowly simmering stock until it reaches a flavoursome tenderness.

Widely considered to be Saudi Arabia’s national dish, al kabsa is an obvious choice to represent the Saudi team in our 2018 World Cup cook-off.

There are many varieties of al kabsa and I looked at a number of recipes. It can be made with chicken, beef, lamb, goat, camel or seafood. (Chicken seemed the obvious choice there.)

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Japanese fluffy pancakes

19 Jun

Japan’s inventiveness and attention to detail might take them all the way in this year’s World Cup cook-off.

According to my older daughter, these fluffy Japanese pancakes “are practically perfect in every way”.

They certainly look impressive, and have a lovely, soft (and fluffy) texture. Apparently, the mayonnaise is what makes these pancakes so moist.

I did find them a bit fiddly to flip, but I’m sure it’s a matter of practice. (Which I’m certain to get, as everyone loved them so much.)

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Lablabi (Tunisian chickpea soup)

18 Jun

lablabi

I didn’t want to handicap Tunisia’s chances in our World Cup 2018 cook-off by serving lablabi for breakfast, as is customary (see Oto with boiled eggs, World Cup 2014).

Personally, I quite like the idea of hot, spicy breakfast soups, but the girls would have punished Tunisia severely for the affront.

Instead, we enjoyed it for dinner, where it went down a storm. Continue reading

Picadillo de platano verde

17 Jun

Picadillo de platano verde reminds me of the hamburger mince gravy my dad made each week.

A colourful, exotic Latin cousin perhaps, with its chunks of red pepper and golden plantain, spicy with cumin and paprika.

I found it interesting that Worcestershire sauce turned up in most of the picadillo recipes I looked at.

Like great-uncle Arthur’s chin or great-aunt Nellie’s hooded eyelids recurring across the generations. Continue reading

Soparnik

16 Jun

soparnik

I’ve yet to visit Croatia, but I’ve heard wonderful things about the food. So I feared my version of soparnik had done the Croatians a disservice in our World Cup 2018 cook-off.

In this Dalmatian classic, a simple filling of chopped greens, onions and garlic is pressed between two thin layers of pastry and baked until golden and crisp.

It sounded lovely, but the first bite was a little underwhelming. But as it sat a little longer, pastry and filling merged into a more cohesive whole, the pastry softened and the flavour emerged. Continue reading