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The Euro 2016 winner is…

10 Jul

Turkey with their triumphant pide! Group D was the group of death in our tournament, with Spain’s pinchitos morunos missing out, despite scoring an impressive 8.5.

The four of us rated each dish or meal out of ten, which I then averaged. If I cooked more than one dish from a particular country, I averaged all the dishes into one score. This tended to give single dessert countries like Poland (blueberry mazurka) and the Czech Republic (cherry bublanina) an advantage. Out of twenty-four countries, only six were represented by desserts – and five of these made it to the knock-out stages.

Where two countries tied, I used WordPress likes as a penalty shoot-out. (This allowed Wales to pip Iceland’s no-frills cod with egg and butter sauce before losing on “likes” to Turkey.)

Although there isn’t a third place match in this tournament, if there had been… Wales and their delicious Glamorgan sausages would have prevailed.

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Croque monsieur

10 Jul

Croque monsieur

The croque monsieur is a French café classic. Done well, it’s a toothsome delight of crispy, cheesy deliciousness – too often, it’s a tepid, limp disappointment.

All the more reason to make croque monsieur at home, using good bread, good ham and good cheese, for a great weekend lunch. Continue reading

Apple streusel cake (apfel streuselkuchen)

9 Jul

Apfel streuselkuchen

This yeasted apple streusel cake is less sweet than your typical coffee cake. The cake itself is quite light and is enhanced by the crunch of the streusel topping. I’d intended to make it for an afternoon snack, but the day got away from me and I ended up serving it with dinner.

Turns out that it’s also very nice accompanied by a nip of brandy…

The apple streusel cake recipe I followed comes from the For Love of the Table blog. Continue reading

Pinchitos morunos (little pork skewers)

8 Jul

Pinchitos morunos

There is a lovely brightness to the marinade for these pinchitos morunos. We have enjoyed these many a time in Spain and as Moro is one of my favourite London restaurants, I was happy to see this recipe in their first cookbook.

As long as you avoid overcooking it, pork loin is an excellent meat to barbeque. Served with a tossed salad, this made a lovely, light evening meal, eaten outdoors. Continue reading

Grilled pepper salad (salada de pimentos assados)

7 Jul

Grilled pepper salad

A simple salad of grilled peppers is the traditional accompaniment Portuguese grilled sardines. While some recipes dress the salad with red wine vinegar, I prefer to allow the flavour of the vegetables to come through.

The peppers and onion can either be grilled on the barbeque, or roasted on a baking sheet in a hot oven. If you make grilled pepper salad in advance, be sure serve it at room temperature (or even warm) to bring out the flavours. Continue reading

Grilled sardines (sardinhas assadas)

6 Jul

Grilled sardines

I fired up the barbeque for first time this season to grill these sardines for our dinner. You can fry sardines in a grill pan or in a hot oven, but they are so much nicer cooked over an open flame.

These were delicious served with a squeeze of lemon, some crusty Portuguese bread and the traditional grilled pepper salad. The only possible improvements would have been a seaside table and a chilled glass of vinho verde. Continue reading

Chicken tikka masala

5 Jul

Chicken tikka masala

Chicken tikka masala is one of Britain’s favourite dishes. Believed to be a local adaptation of India’s butter chicken, chicken tikka masala is such a part of the British culinary fabric, it goes by the acronym CTM.

Usually eaten in restaurants, or as a takeaway, I had never actually made chicken tikka masala myself. Continue reading