This has been, so far, a World Cup full of surprises and excitement. last minute wins, powerhouses eliminated, first-timers advancing to the next round, amazing goles, and new heroes. Everything we always expect, and more! I am thrilled with this weekend’s matches, and I am already making my shopping list for tomorrow. On the futbol front, I really hope Aguirre forgets his ridiculous strategy -whatever it is cause he’s not talking- and plays the players that are effective and really want to win. If I see Guille Franco in there at the start, I’ll panic. Unfortunately can’t do anything about “Maza” Rodriguez and I am afraid he’ll be there regardless. But Cuahutemoc and Chicharo need to be in there as long as possible. This is no schoolyard match, Javier. It is Argentina after all.
So here’s what’s on the menu:
Saturday June 26
This is a delicious pastry sell filled with quince paste. It’s traditional in both Uruguay and Argentina, and I love it. I was going to make it last time Argentina played but forgot to buy the quince paste…doh! So I am making it now in honor of Uruguay. They make a fabulous one at Buenos Aires Cafe in Austin, but that would be cheating, no? Let’s see how many people are coming and how much time I end up with…
S. Korea: Bi Bim Bap
The classic one-bowl-meal of Korea, it’s rice topped with a variety of pickled and stir-fried toppings such as beef, bean sprouts, and spicy cucumbers, topped with a fried egg. Excellent for breakfast!
USA: Hot dog bar, garden potato salad, pimento cheese-stuffed peppers from the garden, Live Oak beer
No brainer. I wanted to have hot dogs last time but wasn’t feeling too good. This time I am going all out with Chicago-style fixings, chili (so we can also make my other USA favorite, Frito pie), grated cheddar, homemade relish, and my favorite new local product discovery: Cousin Leroy’s mustard mop. I will make potato salad from the potatoes I harvested from the garden today, and I will use some of the hundreds of yellow wax peppers I have to stuff as a snack. There will be Live Oak growlers from Whip-In.
Ghana: Tropical fruit salad w/ groundnut dressing, fante kotokym (crab & shrimp stew), South African wine
Cooking from Ghana has been incredibly rewarding, everything I’ve made has been fabulous. Tropical fruit and a spicy crab and shrimp stew over rice should be a good counterpart to the hot dogs. I found this recipe online, haven’t tried it but it sounds great. Go Ghana!
Melt the butter in a pan and use this to cook the onion and tomatoes on low heat until the onions have softened (about 8 minutes). Add the crab or lobster meat, cut into bite-sized pieces along with the ginger, pepper, salt and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 15 minutes. Serve immediately on a bed of rice.
Sunday June 27:
England: Bangers, Mic’s mushy peas
I will buy the bangers since I still don’t have my sausage attachment for the KitchenAid, but I’ll make my friend Mic Carpenter’s recipe for mushy peas, which he gave me for the 2006 World Cup. They are traditional, delicious, and great for breakfast. Here it goes:
Mic’s mushy peas
8 oz dried marrowfat peas (or substitute dried green peas)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, or to taste
Put peas in a large glass bowl. Cover with 2 to 3 times their volume of boiling water and baking soda, and balsamic vinegar if using. Stir, cover and leave overnight. Next day, drain and rinse peas. Place in a saucepan and cover with enough fresh water (or chicken stock, for a richer recipe) and bring to a boil. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes. Should be really thick, but you can loosen it a little with a splash of water or stock. Add butter and salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh mint.
I found this recipe for a German omelet and thought that would be tasty. I didn’t want to do the cheese and meat table again, although I know that’s what my German friends REALLY like for breakfast!
4 medium potatoes
4 strips of bacon, chopped
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup ham, cubed
2 medium tomatoes, peeled
1 Tbsp. chives, finely chopped
Boil unpeeled potatoes 30 minutes. Rinse under cold water, peel and set aside to cool. Slice potatoes when cooled. In a large skillet, cook bacon until transparent. Add the potato slices; cook until lightly browned. Meanwhile, blend eggs with milk and salt. Stir in the cubed ham. Cut the tomatoes into thin wedges; add to the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes in the skillet. Cook until the eggs are set. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.
Mexico: Ceviche, enchiladas tricolor, Riazul tequila, sangrita, beer
I will make my favorite ceviche and enchiladas in green, white, and red sauce! Gotta call my mom for that one, she can do it so well! I am thrilled to have Riazul tequila, a new tequila in the Austin market that a friend of mine is marketing. I tasted it with him a couple of times and it is one of the best premium tequilas I have tasted lately. It’s amazingly smooth, with a hint of sweetness from the extra ripening of the agave hearts. I am making my homemade sangrita to accompany it.
1 lb. firm fleshed fish, cut in cubes
Lime juice to cover
2 large or 3 small tomatoes, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
1 fresh jalapeño or serrano chile, chopped
1 pickled jalapeño, chopped
1 cup pimento stuffed olives, chopped
Salt to taste
Juice of 2 large limes or 5 key limes
Extra virgin olive oil
Dried Mexican oregano
1 avocado, peeled and diced
Place fish in glass bowl or shallow glass dish and top with enough lime juice to cover. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or more, depending how firm and cooked you like it, stirring every now and then so all fish is in contact with the lime juice. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the next six ingredients and add fish, tossing to combine. Add salt to taste. Add the rest of the lime juice, oregano, and olive oil and mix well. Just before serving add avocado and toss lightly. Serve with SALTINE crackers, nothing else! Oh, wait, a shot of tequila and a beer!
Argentina: Lengua a la vinagreta, Argentine wine & beer
I gotta make this exciting so I am cooking something I’ve never tried before: pickled tongue, a classic appetizer from Argentina. Thankfully the Whip-In carries Quilmes beer, and Argentine wines are plentiful. I think a light to medium bodied red will be perfect.
There we go, let’s enjoy today’s fabulous games and get ready for an explosive weekend! Remember to send in your predictions by the end of the day to enter the contest!