Monthly Archives: June 2018

ICELAND- Bakaour Porskur

“More food mama, give us more food mama
Give us prawn ring mama, give us anything mama
Thank god,……my mum has gone to Iceland.”

So said obscure 90s brit-pop pseudo-legends Bennet, though it is debatable whether they were singing about the far-northern Scandinavian country who have just sadly exited the Russia 2018 World Cup, or the chain of cleverly named British freezer shops.

ICELAND- Bakaour Porskur-001

Iceland (the country, not the shop) were making their debut at World Cup finals this year, having never managed to qualify before! Their emergence on the world football stage has been led by players such as Everton’s  Gylfi Siggurosson, and forward Alfreo Finnbogsaon.

Their footballing rise has coincided with a culinary ‘golden generation’ of chefs from the world’s northernmost capital Reykjavik. Spearheaded by Gunnar Karl Gislason in his Michelin starred Dill restaurant where he marries nouvelle cuisine techniques with traditional Icelandic ingredients.

For my Icelandic World Cup Dinner I decided to keep it simple for a mid-week meal, with a recipe I found on the Iceland Tourist board website. It’s a baked cod dish which focusses on simple cooking of tasty ingredients.

ICELAND- Bakaour Porskur-002

 Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cod fish fillets
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 slice emmenthaler cheese ripped into bits.
  • 1 tsps mustard
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°
  2. Pour olive oil into a baking dish.
  3. Put the fillets into the baking dish.
  4. Season the fillets with salt, pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  5. Cover the fish with shredded cheese.
  6. Mix mustard with cream and pour it over fish fillets.
  7. Cover with breadcrumbs.
  8. Bake the fillets for 30 minutes.
  9. Serve with new or mashed potatoes

 

POLAND- Kutlet Schabowy

Poland tasted bitter defeat this evening with a whacking 3-0 loss against a rampant Columbian team who have really bounced back after the disappointment of their shock defeat to Japan in their opening Group H match.

The Bialo-czerwoni are now out of the tournament with one match remaining, so the Polish fans may need some comfort food like tonight’s fried World Cup Dinner to softern the blow!

Originally I had planned on making ‘Bigos’ for my Polish World Cup Dinner. It’s a hearty Hunter’s Stew, which sounds really tasty, but I thought it sounded a bit heavy, so instead decided to go with a more everyday meal Kotlet Schabowy, a breaded pork cutlet which is found in almost all Polish Restaurants.

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It’s super tasty, and probably my favourite World Cup Dinner so far, though I really love Eastern European food, so always happy to try some out.

I got a lot of the ingredients at the See Woo supermarket up at Saracen Street in Glasgow, which has a really great Polish section with great stuff like polish bread and pates.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup golden bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Method

  1. Pound the pork flat, about until they are around 0.5cm thick
  2. Season the flattened chops with salt and pepper
  3. Set up three plates- plain flour in the first, beaten eggs in the second, and breadcrumbs in the third.
  4. Cover pork cultet with flour, then dip both sides in egg, then bread crumbs
  5. Repeat with the remaining cutlets
  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat
  7. Add cutlets to the pan.
  8. Cook about 5 minutes and then turn to cook the other side

POLAND-Kotlet Scabowy-001Serve with potato salad, sauerkraut and a wedge of lemon.

 

 

SWEDEN- Brolin Balls & Dahlin Gravy

This is a super exciting day for my here at World Cup Dinners towers- I will be making an amazing Swedish Meatball Recipe which has been specially created by ‘the Bowler‘ himself- the incredible Jez Felwick– star of the UK food truck scene, and author of The Bowler’s Meatball Cookbook.

Inspired by Sweden’s amazing 3rd placed (yes, you read that right, 3rd!) showing at USA ’94 these balls are named after the Blågult’s dynamic duo at that tournament Tomas Brolin and Martin Dahlin!

I started the day by heading off to that most Swedish of stores- IKEA, to pick up a new dining table for the flat, and also some Lingonberry Jam for this recipe!

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After the stale soccer served up at Italia ’90, USA ’94 presented a feast of football over an amazing American summer, and is definitely my top ever World Cup.

Sweden went in to the tournament with a bunch of outstanding players from the erratic Thomas Ravelli in goal and striker Kennett Anderson, but it was Thomas Brolin and Martin Dahlin who really made them tick.

Qualifying second in a tough group which contained Brazil, Russia, and Cameroon, they defeated Saudi Arabia 3-1 in the next round, before going on to defeat Romania on penalties in the quarter finals. The swedes eventually lost out against their group stage opponents Brazil, the schedule of games, and heat of the American summer proving too much as they went down 1-0 to a goal from Romario in the semi-final.

One match remained though, the third place playoff, where they signed off with a storming 4-0 victory against a brilliant Romania side with Brolin opening the scoring.

You can read a more indepth article on Sweden’s exploits at USA ’94 in this excellent article by Lawrence Ostlere:

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup/world-cup-usa-94-sweden-thomas-brolin-kennet-andersson-henrik-larsson-martin-dahlin-a8403776.html

Another dynamic duo are Jez’s Swedish godsons Sammy & Noel, who this recipe is dedicated to.

Jez says “I have great friends in Sweden so am lucky enough to regularly go to one of the meatball capitals of the World. There is a lot of discussion about what makes a traditional Swedish ‘köttbullar’. This recipe contains a gravy made with a slug of Swedish beer, so you can enjoy the rest as you watch the match!”

 

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INGREDIENTS (Serves 4-6)

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 300g minced beef
  • 300g minced pork
  • 100g dried breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon Swedish Beer (Eriksberg is good) https://carlsberggroup.com/products/eriksberg/eriksberg-original/
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons salt

 

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF), Gas Mark 7 and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
  2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onion and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. At this stage, I would always add a few pinches of salt and grinds of pepper so the onions are seasoned from the start, meaning that you don’t have to add so much later.
  3. Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the minced beef and pork, onion, the breadcrumbs, milk, ale, allspice, ground nutmeg, ginger, pepper and salt and mix with your hands until well combined.
  4. Heat a small frying pan over a high heat. Break off a small amount of the mixture, flatten between your fingers and fry until cooked. Taste to check the seasoning and add more if necessary. Form the mixture into about 18 balls each 5cm in diameter, packing each one firmly, and place them on the prepared baking tray.
  5. Bake for 18–20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through – the balls should begin to brown on the top. Keep an eye on them to make sure that they don’t get burnt underneath. Let them rest for 2 minutes and they are good to go. Alternatively, brown the balls in olive oil or butter over a high heat for 8–10 minutes, then drop them into a pan of simmering Dahlin Gravyto finish cooking.

Traditionally, Swedish meatballs are served with boiled or mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam (if you can’t get hold of lingonberry, use cranberry), cream sauce, sliced pickled cucumber and fresh dill, but they taste great with almost anything.

 

Dahlin’s Gravy  (Serves 4–6)

This is my take on the Swedish cream sauce that like the namesake goes particularly well with the Brolin’s  Balls.

It uses a basic roux – a thickening agent made by combining flour and butter. You can make a batch and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, so it’s on hand for dropping into gravies and sauces.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 100ml Swedish Ale (or local equivalent)
  • 1 tablespoon lingonberry jam, or cranberry jam (optional)
  • 120ml double cream, or soured cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

  1. Heat the butter in a large heavy-based pan, then add the flour and stir for 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavour, making a roux. Turn up the heat and add the lemon juice and the stock gradually, stirring constantly as you go, so the roux gets incorporated.
  2. Stir in the jam (if using), which will make the sauce go a creamy orange colour.
  3. Once the liquid reaches boiling point, turn the heat down and add the cream. Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, uncovered, to reduce it until it thickens and will coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Add the chilled Brolin Balls to the sauce and cook with a lid on for 20 minutes, turning them until warmed through. If the sauce gets a little too thick, add more stock.
  5. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

SERBIA- Pljeskavica & Prebranac

Serbia take place in only their second World Cup finals as an independent nation following the break up of the former Yugoslavia. Although they played with Montenegro at the 1998 tournament, they actually made their solo bow at South Africa 2010.

Their first ever goal scorer at a finals therefore was the wing wizard Milan Jovanovic, who was surprisingly declared ‘one of the best players in the world’ in the Australian soap opera Neighbours! A good winger for sure, but I think one of the Neighbours script writers must have been a big Serbia fanatic!

SERBIA-Pljeskavica-001For my Serbian World Cup Dinner, I must admit I was rather tentative…….the national dish of the young nationa is Pljeskavica which is effectively a burger pattie, accompanied by Prebranac (baked beans) and chips. It had some connotations of an underwhelming childhood midweek dinner!

But as an intrepid World Cup cuisine explorer, I decided to give it my best go…..

Pljeskavica (Burger)

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 150g minced beef
  • 150g minced pork
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for frying.

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix minced beef and pork, salt, paprika, black pepper.
  2. Form into patties- try to get them as thin as possible- around 5mm is ideal.
  3. Coat with sea salt each side before frying- this will give a nice ‘crust’.
  4. Grill or fry your patties for about 3-4 minutes per side til its cooked medium.

Prebranac (Beans)

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 1 white onion roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cans of haricot beans
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200ml water.
  • Salt & pepper to taste.

Method:

  1. Drain and rinse the beans and add to a casserole dish.
  2. Top with garlic, onions, paprika, and bay leaf.
  3. Pour oil over the mix, and then top up the casserole dish with water, til it reach top of the beans.
  4. Bake in oven at 200C for around 45 minutes.
  5. Spoon out beans with a slotted spoon.

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To Serve:

Serve with chips, and sliced raw onion. I enjoyed this along with a nice green chili sauce as I felt it was a bit ‘bland’. But a nice mayo would be good too.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT- WCD X The BOWLER

EVENT POSTER

I’m super excited to announce a very special event for this year’s World Cup Dinners.

Tomorrow for the Sweden vs. Germany match, I will be making an amazing Swedish Meatball Recipe which has been specially created by ‘the Bowler‘ himself- the incredible Jez Felwick– star of the UK food truck scene, and author of The Bowler’s Meatball Cookbook.

Jez has created a special World Cup inspired Swedish meatball recipe, and I will be making it for the very first time for tomorrow’s dinner, so be sure to check it out!

Skål!

FRANCE- Champagne et Fromage

France are one of the tastiest looking teams at Russia 2018 with an abundance of young talent and strength with their dynamic team containing talents such as Pogba, Greizmann, Mbappe.

They are my pick to win the World Cup, so it will be interesting to see how Les Blues fare during the tournament.

In 2014, I went out for a French meal rather than cooking something specific, so this year I had to make amends with two ultimate forms of French indulgence- Champagne and Cheese.

FRANCE-Champagne et Fromage001

When visiting London last year we discovered a cracking place- Champagne et Fromage  http://www.champagneplusfromage.co.uk.

It is a small Bistro at 22 Wellington Street in Covent Garden which specialises in authentic French food. When we were there, we had a baked Camembert with Garlic & Herbs, which we washed down with a couple of glasses of Champagne.

It was absolutely fantastic, so for this World Cup Dinner, I decided to re-create it at home.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole bulbs garlic with tops sliced off.
  • 20g butter
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tsps Rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250g camembert

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To serve:

  • 1 French baguette warmed in the oven then cut into slices.
  • 6 sticks celery washed and trimmed.
  • Red & Green Grapes
  • Peppery salad leaves
  • Cornichons
  • Cocktail Onions

Champagne:

I went for a couple of glasses of Taittinger which we were given recently as a wedding present- yum! What will you have with yours? Let me know in the comments.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ Gas 6
  2. Place the garlic cut side down in a baking tray lined with foil. Add the butter, bay leaves and salt and pepper to the tray. Drizzle the olive oil over the garlics and put in the over for 40 minutes.
  3. With 10 minutes to go make a cross in the top of the camembert, sprinkle with rosemary and add to the oven.
  4. With 5 minutes to go, rub the French baguette with water and bake in oven.
  5. Remove everything from the oven and serve on a platter along with the other bits.

Have a lovely big dollop of camembert on the bread, celery or leaves, and then a onion, cornichon or sip of champagne to cleanse the palate!

Bon Appetit!

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THROWBACK- Uruguay- Chivito

After a subdued opening match where a last minute winner from Gimenez snacked a victory for the Uruguayans, will they rediscover their bite today in this afternoons match against the toothless looking Saudi Arabia?

For today’s World Cup Dinner I am going to re-create one of my favourites from the 2014 tournament the Chivito sandwich.

20140711-231727-83847495.jpgFully loaded with sliced steak, mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise, black olives, bacon, fried eggs tomatoes, lettuce, and ham, even Luis Suarez might struggle to get his gnashers round it!

https://worldcupdinners.com/2014/07/11/uruguay-chivito/

Highly Recommended to try at home!

 

THROWBACK- Columbia- Bandeja Paisa

Oooft! The shocks keep on coming!

Columbia became the first South American nation to lose an asian side at the World Cup, going down to Japan in a upset which saw them a get off to a chaotic start, finding themselves a goal and a man down inside six minutes.

Today’s World Cup dinner is a THROWBACK to one of my favourite Dinners of the 2014 tournament, the fantastic Bandeja Paisa- a platter containing a selection of famous Columbian specialities including polvo (powdered beef) , frijolespaisa, and arepa.

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Pretty different, check it out here:

https://worldcupdinners.com/2014/07/05/columbia-bandeja-paisa/ 

ENGLAND- Fish & Chips

England- Fish&Chips- 001After a bit of a wait England finally made their Russia 2018 debut tonight with a last gasp 2-1 win in their opening Group G match against Tunisia in Volgograd.

With a squad of largely new players making their World Cup debuts England may be less inhibited this time around than their previous ‘Golden Generation’ who were held back by having tasted defeat on too many occasions.

In 2014- I made Shepherd’s Pie in honour of their star striker Gary Lineker, which you can see here:

https://worldcupdinners.com/2014/06/24/england-shepherds-pie/

This time around when deciding on a World Cup Dinner for England, I decided to mix things up a little. Thinking that the quintessentially English dish of Fish and Chips might be a good option, I was interested to see that it shares a common origin with the Football Association- both first appeared in 1863!

The Football Association was formed at a meeting to establish the rules of football at The Freemason’s Tavern of Great Queen Street London on 26 October 1863, while it is believed that a northern entrepreneur called John Lees was selling the original fish and chips in his stall at Mossley Market in Lancashire. Who could imagine England without football or chips?!

Rather than attempt a home made Fish & Chips meal, I thought I would take a visit to a local Chippy. Although there were a few good options near me, I decided the place to try was ‘Prego’ on St George’s Road- where better for England right?

England- Fish&Chips- 002We got a tasty fish supper, mushy peas and pickled onions.

I washed it all down with a glass of ‘Sleeping Lemons Export’, a tasty lemon flavoured beer from English brewer the Wild Beer Co. that I picked up earlier at Valhallas Goat at Kelvin Bridge. It went perfectly with the Fish & Chips!

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Cheers!

THROWBACK- BRAZIL- Feijoada

It’s throwback time again today, and this time we are going waaaay back to where it all began with the Brazilian national dish of Feijoada!

This was my first ever World Cup Dinner for the 2014 tournament, and I must admit, it is one of my favourites. Nice and savoury with a bit of citrussy flavour coming through.

Why not try making it today to accompany Brazil as they get their tournament off to a start against Switzerland.

https://worldcupdinners.com/2014/06/12/brazil-feijoada/

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Peru- Lomo Saltado

World Cup fever is boiling away in Peru, with ‘Los Incas’ qualifying for the tournament for the first time in 36 years. Their last outing was in Spain ’82, where they got knocked out in the first round, despite a memorable draw with eventual champions Italy.

I shared the Peruvian excitement in qualifying as I recently had one of the all-times best meals of my life in a Peruvian restaurant in London, and this offered the perfect opportunity to make some of their dishes.

Lima Peru (https://www.limalondongroup.com/fitzrovia) is the Michelin star awarded restaurant of world-renowned chef Virgilio Martinez where contemporary and gastronomic Peruvian cuisine is the order of the day.

When I went there I tried some dishes such as Sea Bream Ceviche, Corn Hot Ceviche, and Lamb Seco from the Lunch Menu which you can view here:

https://my.propcom.co.uk/data/media/pdf/A3%20Lunch%20Menu.pdf?zoom=fit

It was amazing- the Seafood Ceviche was my first thought for the World Cup Dinner, but it’s a pretty complex dish, so rather than mimic the Lima Peru meal I decided to go down a simpler, beefier, route with Lomo Saltado which is a popular traditional Peruvian stir-fry typically consisting of marinated strips of steak, chips, onions, tomatoes and chillis.

Some recipes call for home made fries, but it seems to be more ‘authentic’ to go with premade McCain type chips fried at home, so I thought I would go for that too.

PERU-Lomo Saltado-001

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the marinade:

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vingar
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste

For the Lomo Saltado:

  • 1 fillet steak/ per person cut into 1cm thick, long strips.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 large red onion cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 vine tomatoes cut into 8 wedges each
  • 2 red chilli cut into slices
  • 240g fries (60g portionper person)

For Garnish:

  • Some fresh coriander and parsley finely chopped.

Method:

  1. For the marinade, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with two tablespoons of water until well combined.
  2. Add the meat to the bowl and mix so that it is well covered in the marinade. Put in a ziplock back and leave as long as possible, at least 2 hours.
  3. Cook the chips in the oven per instructions on the chip pack.
  4. Also put the tomato and onion wedges in the oven with a drizzle of oil and salt and pepper.
  5. When the fries are ready remove from oven and add to a frying pan with 2 tbsp of oil to ‘finish’ them with a nice crispy coating.
  6. Remove fries, but keep the oil in the pan.
  7. Dry the fries on some kitchen roll.
  8. Remove fries from pan, and add marinated steak. Cook for around 3 minutes, then add the sliced chillis and cook for a further minute.

 

To serve:

Dish up white rice on each plate, then portion the steak, chips, onions and tomatoes.

Garnish with the parsley & coriander.

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Russia 1982 Retro Shirt!

Just got this amazing retro shirt through from Danny and the team at 3Retro!

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It’s a rather splendid looking version of the  Russian shirt which was famously worn by Oleg Blokhin at the 1982 World Cup.

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The shirt is made by Score Draw who do all sorts of retro shirts for international teams and club sides.

The quality is really amazing with heavy cotton and the CCCP emblazoned across the front in stitched lettering, so if you fancy getting kitted out for the World Cup in some retro style be sure to check out their range online!

Throwback! Australia- Aussie Burgers

Good morning World Cup Dinners fans.

I’m mega excited by the mouth watering weekend of football action that lies ahead with the big guns of Argentina, Germany, and Brazil all making their debuts in the tournament!

What better way to kick off your World Cup weekend than with some real deal Australian style burgers topped with pineapple, beetroot and egg to accompany the Socceroos match against a pretty tasty looking French team!

Check out this 2014 throwback recipe here:

https://worldcupdinners.com/2014/07/03/australia-ridgy-didge-aussie-burgers/

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EGYPT- Kushari

Wow! What a sensational match with Ronaldo scoring an amazing free kick to seal his hat-trick and clinch a draw against Spain- what a guy!

If you are feeling like a Spanish meal after that- you should check out my recommended Spanish Tortilla recipe from the 2014 World Cup Dinners here:

Spanish Tortilla

For today’s World Cup Dinner however, I head to the African nation of Egypt to celebrate the Pharaohs’ match with Uruguay which ended disappointingly for them with a late defeat.

Even thought their star man Mo Salah was missing due to injury, the Egyptians seemed to be the better team, though there was a sting in the tail when Gimenez scored a late winner for the South Americans.

This is the Egypt’s first appearance at the World Cup since Italia ’90, and to celebrate I made their national dish Koshari- a pretty crazy concoction consisting of Rice, Macaroni and Vermicelli topped with a spicy tomato sauce, chickpeas and crispy onions!

The immensely popular street-food dish has found some international recognition recently as the hyped-up Egyptian king of foods, making a grand entrance in the super popular London eatery Koshari Street.

I enjoyed the meal, though it is mega carb-y, so not one to have too late at night.

Enjoy!

Egypt-Koshari-001

Ingredients (Serves 4): 

  • 1 cup small macaroni
  • 1 cup broken up vermicelli (or spaghetti)
  • 1 cup medium grain rice, soaked (I used basmati).
  • 1 cup brown lentils (I used a micro pack of Puy Lentils)
  • 1000ml chicken stock

For the Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 can unseasoned tomato sauce.
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • Spice blend ( ½ teaspoon of cumin, black pepper, coriander, clove, cardamom, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg)
  • Salt to taste

For the Garnish:

  • Crispy onions
  • 1 Can Chickpeas (boiled)

Method:

Kusahri:

  • Boil the rice in the chicken stock, as per instructions on pack.
  • Boil the macaroni in salted water till cooked al dente.
  • Cook the vermicelli by adding boiled water for 2 minutes.
  • Microwave the brown lentils.
  • Once cooked, fry the rice and lentils in a pan with a tablespoon of oil.

Tomato Sauce:

  • Heat 1 tbsp cooking oil, add the garlic and spice blend, and cook briefly, being careful not to burn. 30-45 seconds should do it.
  • Add tomato sauce to the pan and cook for a further 15 minutes or so to thicken the sauce.
  • Stir in the juice of 2 lemons, and some salt to taste.

To serve:

  • Fluff the rice and lentils with a fork, then transfer to your serving platter.
  • Top with the vermicelli, and then the macaroni.
  • Top that with the tomato sauce.
  • Finally add the crispy onions and chickpeas.

Enjoy with a nice green salad and glass of mint tea!

Egypt-Koshari-002

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RUSSIA- Borscht

At last the big kick off has arrived for Russia 2018!

One match in and we have already seen the sublime (Russia’s storming 5-0 display) and the ridiculous (Robbie Williams peacocking around in the super short opening ceremony).

I’m really looking forward to the tournament- with some real stars on show. Will it be a last hurrah for Messi or Ronaldo, or will we see the next generation led by Neymar, Dele Alli or Mbappe step up to the plate?

One thing is for sure, the prospect of some top-level international football for the next month is certainly mouth watering.

For my first World Cup Dinner of 2018, where better to start than the host nation of Russia.

Last time out I made some Zakuski Plates, a sort of Russian tapas-come-smorgasborg, which were really tasty, bu this time I thought I would go for something more homely in the shape of the traditional Russian beetroot based soup Borscht.

I noticed a lot of recipes online called for a beef stock, and thin sliced beef in the soup, but I had a really nice bowl of Borscht in Singl-End café here in Glasgow a few months back which had a nice smokey ham flavour, so I thought I would try and replicate that in my recipe.

It turned out really great, and this is one World Cup Dinner I would really recommend you to try at home.

Nostrovia!

WCD-Russia-Borscht-001

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 medium-sized beetroot (about 450g/1lb, unpeeled weight), diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, diced
  • 3 new potatos, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1500ml ham stock
  • 4 smoked bacon medallions cut into bite size squares.
  • 2 cups of green cabbage, finely shredded
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

To Garnish:

  • Dollop of sour cream
  • Heavy sprinkle of finely chopped dill

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a large soup pan.
  • Add the beetroot, carrot, celery, potato, onion and garlic, then fry until the vegetables start to soften up.
  • Add in the stock and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for around 15 minutes.
  • Add the chopped bacon and cabbage, then simmer for a further 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

To serve:

  • Divide the soup between bowls, then add a dollop of soured cream and sprinkle with chopped dill.
  • Serve with sourdough bread and a green salad. A shot of vodka is nice too!

WCD-Russia-Borscht-002

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World Cup Dinners 2018!

Back in 2014, I undertook a project to make 32 meals from each of the 32 countries participating in the World Cup in Brazil over the course of the 32 days of the tournament.

It was a super-successful campaign which included my project being featured on BBC Radio Scotland, in the Sunday Post and Metro newspapers, and also on the football fan-blog Follow Follow.

Now, for the upcoming tournament in Russia 2018, World Cup Dinners is back!

For my second round of World Cup dinners I will be doing things slightly differently with a mixture of new meals for the 10 news teams who didn’t make it last time round, some throwbacks to previous dinners, and also a few special entries for teams from countries with some of my favourite cuisines.

I first thought of the project in the summer of 2006, giddy at the prospect of the impending World Cup finals in Germany, I hatched a plan……for each match day I would eat the cuisine of one of the countries playing a match that day.  My attempts that year faltered somewhat, after fajitas, pizza, and burgers, I ran out of steam…. but the potential was there…..

Every four years since then I have attempted to eat World Cup Dinners for the duration of the tournament,   and this website marks my first attempt to record the process.

Join me here from 14th June 2018 as I kick off this project to go around the world in 32 meals…….

Cartoon Graphic

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