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The World Cup food winner for 2014 is…

13 Jul

Colombia with their unbeatable barras de limón! Group C was the group of death in our tournament – both the Ivory Coast and Greece would have gone through from almost any other group.

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 Colombia an advantage. Portugal’s pasteis de nata outscored the barras de limón – in fact, they earned the only 10 in the tournament – but scored lower overall, due to averaging with the more wholesome caldo verde.

Where two countries tied, I used Facebook likes as a penalty shoot-out. (This allowed Russia to pip Algeria for second place in Group H, and gave Japan the edge over Italy in the second round.)

Still, Colombia was a worthy winner with an impressive 9.8, and Portugal did win a well-deserved third place.

worldcupfooddraw

Caipirinha

13 Jul

caipirinha

And with this caipirinha recipe, we bring 2014’s World Cup food project to an end. The whole family has enjoyed the variety it has introduced to our family meals – without it, we may never have shared a communal bowl of pounded yam for our lunch, or discovered the amazing deliciousness of those peanut-coated Nigerian suya or Colombian barras de limón.

That’s why we’ve decided that we are going to continue trying new recipes from around the world. Not at the same pace as the last month – more like once or twice a week. I’ll post them here for anyone that’s interested, and maybe by the time World Cup 2018 rolls around, we’ll have eaten something from every country that has competed in the qualifying rounds… Continue reading

Panqueqas de carne

13 Jul

panqueqas

We opened our World Cup food project with this Brazilian meal of panqueqas de carne and cabbage salad on 12 June, and it seems fitting to end on the same note. Actually, the main reason I’ve cooked it again is because I had no intention of creating a blog, and didn’t bother taking any photos. Plus, we had a gas leak that afternoon, which meant unexpectedly cooking dinner on a hot plate, and I started drinking caiparinhas before I’d done any cooking… The recipe is from the Latin Kitchen website, but this time round I modified it a bit and added more spice to the sauce and filling, as we all found it a bit bland. Continue reading

Brazilian cabbage salad

13 Jul

cabbage salad

I served this cabbage salad along with the panqueqas de carne for our Brazilian World Cup dinner – something fresh and healthy to balance out all that meat and cheese. I found the recipe on the Two Little Chefs website. Continue reading

Brigadeiros

13 Jul

brigadeiros

Brigadeiros are little balls of chocolatey deliciousness rolled in sprinkles or shredded coconut. The girls were very happy indeed when I produced these a second time in just over a month. I followed a recipe I found in the June 2014 Waitrose magazine. Continue reading

Baleadas

12 Jul

baleadas

Made baleadas for lunch to represent Honduras in our World Cup cooking challenge. This dish was right up our alley – the tortillas were soft and fluffy, and delicious filled with refried beans, cheese, slices of avocado and topped with chismol – a fresh vegetable salsa. I followed the flour tortilla recipe on the This is Honduras website, but just made my usual refried beans. Continue reading

Chismol

12 Jul

chismol

I was surprised to notice that the recipe I’d found for chismol didn’t contain any chilli. But when I looked at a few others they had little or none, so I stuck with the version on the This is Honduras website. Nova loved this salsa, and polished off the leftovers with a spoon after we’d finished the baleadas. Continue reading

Blini bar

11 Jul

blini

Dinner tonight was what we call a “blini bar” (a meal we usually eat over the Christmas holidays) to mark Russia’s presence in the World Cup. I fry up a batch of blini, which I serve with a range of toppings: smoked salmon, creme fraiche, mackerel paté, chopped egg, pantzarosalata, and maybe some lumpfish caviar (which weirdly, Lyra seems to love). If we get tired of savoury toppings, we eat the rest with jam. They also freeze well. Most blini recipes seem to have yeast in them, but I’ve always been happy with this recipe: Continue reading

Fish tacos

10 Jul

Fish tacos

We celebrated Mexico’s appearance in the World Cup with fish tacos and Coronas. We had this dinner the first time Mexico played on 13 June, but I didn’t take any photos so decided to feature them again.

Actually, we have fish tacos pretty regularly — it being one of the few ways that Lyra will eat fish.  I pretty much follow this recipe I found on the Love and Lemons website. Continue reading

Slavinken with appelmoes

9 Jul

slavinken

It wasn’t that easy finding a Dutch World Cup meal I thought we’d all enjoy eating, especially as a lot of the food seemed more like winter fare. I eventually settled on slavinken — ground meat seasoned with herbs and wrapped in bacon before being panfried – which I served with appelmoes (applesauce). If I make these again, I’ll cook six and freeze six for another meal — Adam ate two, but the rest of us were fine with one. Continue reading

Stamppot

9 Jul

stamppot

There are lots of recipes for stamppot, using different combinations of root vegetables and greens. I opted for “boerenkool stamppot”, mainly because it used up the rest of the kale I bought for the caldo verde. Most of the recipes called for bacon, but as I was serving the stamppot with slavinken, I left it out and added some diced gouda cheese instead. Continue reading

Salade niçoise

8 Jul

salade nicoise

For our French World Cup meal we’re having salad niçoise with chocolate mousse for dessert. We have salade niçoise a lot – quick, healthy and easy to customise each plate for each person’s preferences: extra anchovies for me, no tuna for Lyra, double onions for Adam, pass on the capers for Nova etc. Continue reading

Chocolate mousse

8 Jul

chocolate mousse

This is the first time I’ve ever made chocolate mousse. I looked at a few recipes before deciding on this one by Raymond Blanc. It’s pretty straightforward, though I should have been a  quicker about stirring the egg whites into the melted chocolate, and ended up doing more folding than I otherwise would have (and it was still a bit lumpy). Continue reading

Caldo verde

7 Jul

For our Portuguese World Cup meal, we had caldo verde. I served it with some Ponte Nova cheese, chourico (Portuguese chorizo), Portuguese bread and pastéis de nata for dessert. Continue reading

Pastéis de nata

7 Jul

pasteisdenata

These Portuguese custard tarts were surprisingly easy to make, and delicious to eat when sitll warm. Another Simon Rimmer recipe I found online. Continue reading

Chicken karaage

6 Jul

chicken karaage

Chicken wings Japanese-style – what’s not to like? Continue reading

Cucumber maki

6 Jul

cucumber maki

These are very easy to make — Lyra often does them by herself once I assemble the elements for her. Continue reading

Miso soup with tofu and seaweed

6 Jul

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I sometimes knock together a super quick bowl of miso soup by boiling water in the kettle, pouring it into a cup with a teaspoon of miso paste, then adding some chopped tofu and green onion. But it’s still easy – and tastes a lot better – when I take the time to measure the ingredients. I use a recipe in At Home With Japanese Cooking by Elizabeth Andoh. Continue reading

Lomo asado with chimichurri

5 Jul

lomo asado

Argentina’s World Cup dinner was always going to be about beef. Great quality meat, salted and grilled slowly – what’s not to like? The chimichurri recipe comes from the Hot and Spicy cookbook by Marlena Spieler. Continue reading

Grilled corn

5 Jul

grilled corn

Not sure if this is specifically Argentinian, but apparently it is South American. Continue reading

Patagonian potatoes

5 Jul

patagonian potatoes

When I was looking for Argentinian potato dishes to accompany the lomo asado, this recipe from Argentinian chef Francis Mallman kept coming up. Essentially it’s a quick-cooked potato galette that serves as a base for the grilled meat. Continue reading

Black Forest cake

4 Jul

IMG_2569

Nova asked me to make a black forest cake for her 13th birthday – which worked out neatly as Germany were playing France in the World Cup that evening. Baking is not my strong point, and I found this cake a challenge. For the cake layers, I followed a recipe from The Prawn Cocktail Years by Simon Hopkinson, but went off piste when it cake to filling and decorating. As I didn’t have a 20cm cake pan, I used one that was a little bit bigger. This was a mistake – if I make this again, I’ll opt for a smaller pan, which should make slicing the cake into three layers a whole lot easier. Continue reading

Cevapi with “kajmak” and somun

3 Jul

cevapi

I messed up my timing with this Bosnian World Cup recipe. I forgot to start the cevapi or the kajmak the day before, and had to rush the bread along so Adam could eat with us before going out. In the end, I made a rough approximation of the kajmak by mashing some feta cheese, cream cheese and Greek yogurt together… There is a detailed description of this recipe on the Cooked Earth website, which I had every intention of following carefully, but things didn’t pan out that way. We’d all be happy to eat this meal again – and if I do make a proper kajmak I’ll write about it then. Continue reading

Bosnian ajvar

3 Jul

Making  ajvar to go serve with our Bosnian meal of cevapi and somun was a last-minute decision, when I realised that making proper kajmak took a day and a half (a few hours before dinner).

A flavourful purée of roasted vegetables and garlic, versions of ajvar are made throughout the Balkans. It keeps well in the fridge. Continue reading

Kedjenou

2 Jul

kejenou

 

For our Ivory Coast meal, I went with kedjenou, a chicken and vegetable dish, cooked slowly in a tightly-sealed pot. There’s no liquid added, and you must shake the pot occasionally to keep it from sticking. Apparently “kedjenou” means to shake in Baoulé – one of the sixty(!) languages spoken in the Ivory Coast. I pretty much followed the recipe on the Whats4eats website, but all the ones I looked at were all pretty similar. Continue reading

Albondigas

1 Jul

albondigas

Albondigas, tortilla and gazpacho are on the menu for our Spanish World Cup meal. I don’t remember where I got this albondigas recipe from – I have a vague memory of copying it from a magazine. At any rate, I’ve been making it for years. Continue reading

Tortilla

1 Jul

tortilla

I often make tortillas to use up leftover boiled potatoes or green beans, reheating the vegetables in a frying pan then adding beaten eggs and allowing it to set.

For our Spanish World Cup dinner, I followed the recipe in the Moro cookbook, slowly caramelising the onions, frying the potato slices in olive oil, and turning it half way through to fry both sides instead of just sticking it under the grill.

More work, but a much tastier tortilla. Continue reading

Gazpacho

1 Jul

gazpacho

Expecting better things of  Spain, I put them on day 22 of our World Cup menu plan. This recipe takes about three minutes to make –– about as long as it took Spain to crash out of the World Cup…;-)

Nova has never liked gazpacho much, which dragged the family score down considerably. Continue reading

Beef suya

30 Jun

IMG_2500

Nigerian suya is thinly sliced skewered meat coated in a mixture of spices and ground peanuts and then grilled. Beef suya is common, but goat, chicken, liver, kidney and tripe are also used (and apparently cane rat). After looking at a few different recipes, I came up with my own combination that would work for a family meal. It is typically served with sliced tomato, onion and cabbage. Continue reading

Gallo pinto with sautéed plantains

29 Jun

Gallo pinto is the national dish of Costa Rica, making it the right choice for their World Cup dish. I was originally going to serve it for lunch with a fried egg on top, but we were all feeling a bit egged out. The fried plantains were a good way to go as well. My gallo pinto looks more brown and mushy than the pics I’ve seen. I think this was because I used freshly cooked rice, which was still soft and absorbent, instead of leftover cooked rice. I followed the recipe I found on The Hot Plate website for this meal. Continue reading

Lime-lemon bars (barras de limón)

28 Jun

Lime-lemon bars (barras di limón)

This Colombian recipe was dead simple to make – in fact, Lyra did most of it. I found it on the My Colombian Recipes website. Continue reading

Sweet poppyseed scroll loaf (makovnjaca)

27 Jun

poppyseed scroll bread

I wanted to try this recipe because I remember eating it at our Yugoslavian neighbour’s house when I was little. Kind of a faff to make – you need to start it the day before – but it looked great and tasted pretty good too. Recipe from the Eatori website. Continue reading

Bibimbap

26 Jun

bibimbap

We eat bimbimbap at least a couple of times a month. In fact, Lyra was surprised to discover that her friends don’t eat it at their homes. The name means “mixed rice”, and one of the most satisfying things about the dish is stirring the carefully arranged rice, gochujang, egg and vegetables into a delicious, sticky mess. The only “speciality” ingredient is the gochujang, which is available from Asian grocery stores. Continue reading

Empanadas de viento

25 Jun

empanadas de viento

Made these cheese and onion empanadas for our Ecuadorian World Cup meal. I was skeptical about the idea of sprinkling something savory with sugar, but it works. The recipe comes from Laylita’s Recipes, and goes into great detail about the different types of empanada dough. Continue reading

Ceviche

25 Jun

ceviche

I decided to make ceviche our Ecuador World Cup dinner. I always thought ceviche was Peruvian, but it seems there are versions from around central and South America. Added corn nuts to my usual recipe to give it an Ecuadorian twist. Continue reading

Chicha de piña

25 Jun

chicha de piña

Fifteen years ago, I tried making the drink from pineapple skins in Delia’s Summer Cooking, and it was horrible. This time I followed the instructions on Laylita’s Recipes, and it came out much better. It has a subtle pineapply flavour, and is excellent with a shot of rum. Continue reading

Chivito sandwich

24 Jun

IMG_2445_2

This Uruguayan sandwich is a monster. I looked at a few recipes for chivitos, eventually making it with less than half the meat called for. It still defeated everyone but Adam. This website goes into a lot of detail about how to assemble a chivito. Continue reading

Russian salad

24 Jun

russiansalad

We ate this along with our Uruguayan chivito sandwich. Russian salad is one of those dishes that is served round the world (with the exception of Russia?) Lyra eagle-eyed the small flakes of tuna and took against it, only eating a few bites, and scoring it a measly 3 out of 10. Continue reading

Pastel de choclo (corn pie)

23 Jun

corn pie

I occasionally make the veggie version of Chilean corn pie from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. This original meat-based version turns out to be very tasty as well. Actually, neither of the girls liked it much – I think the relative sweetness of the corn topping put them off. Ideally, the topping should have firmed up a bit more – I added extra milk while blitzing the topping mixture, which was probably a mistake. I made it following a recip on the Quericavida website, which I adjusted slightly. Continue reading

Pebre

23 Jun

pebre

Chile’s version of salsa. Looking at a few recipes, the key elements are tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and vinegar. I stuck with my version of the recipe from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, which I’ve been making for years. It keeps for several days in the fridge. Continue reading