In something of a departure for the blog, but to satisfy my, ahem, many followers on twitter, I intend for the next month to occasionally post detailing my World Cup 2014 Food Odyssey. For previous tournaments I have attempted to tie in a themed meal with the various games during the tournament, with a mixed domestic culinary reception if I am honest. With the wall chart up, and with my first article about WC 2014 published in The Justice Gap yesterday, I posted a tweet of my proposed pre Opening match meal. My intention is that this would be the first in an attempt to theme a meal for every day a match takes place throughout World Cup 2014. It's a journey that hopes to take in Bosnia, Iran, South Korea, the Ivory Coast and others, and is sure to cause me some culinary nightmares and food provenance issues. Of course this is compounded by the fact that I am also a vegetarian to add a further dietary complication into the mix. Never one to shirk a challenge, the first match, pitching hosts Brazil against the wily Croatia, proved fairly easy to deal with. Whilst some fusion cooking will take place on certain days, especially during the group stages where up to four games are taking place offering me any number of permutations, my opening gambit was for an adaptation of one of the classic Brazilian dishes, Feijoada, and the recipe appears below.
2 tins of black beans (of course I am one of those lentil-loving sandal-wearing types, so I boiled some up the previous day myself - feel free to do this if you can think of nothing better to do)
1 onion chopped
1 tin tomatoes
1 yellow, 1 red pepper
1/2 medium butternut squash
50g chipotle paste (use any chipotle based sauce or seasoning to add the flavour)
3 crushed garlic cloves and some garlic paste (adapt as you wish)
Assorted herbs (see what you have, but thyme is good, maybe some coriander although perhaps less authentic)
1) Fry onions, peppers, tomato and garlic in small amount of oil until starting to soften
2) Add beans, squash, and around a tomato tin full of either cooking liquid if you are one of nature's bean boilers like myself, or some stock if not. Cook for around 30 minutes, stir occasionally
3) Add salt, and herbs to taste, cook for 5 minutes more
4) If like me you like it hot, look in fridge or cupboard for whatever your sauce of choice is. I like chilli puree or maybe Nandos extra hot. Note instruction 4) is not in the least bit authentic
5) Serve with some rice. I went short grain brown, but hey, I'm not going to tell you how or what to cook in the rice stakes.
I have to say I thought it was excellent, and in fact had some for my lunch today too. My thoughts have now turned to this evening, and I'm focussing upon the Spain Holland game and it may be my first attempt at fusion cooking. My caipirinha requirements for this evening have been slightly stymied by a lack of cachaca in local outlets, although I am being contacted as soon as it arrives with my local man tomorrow lunchtime. If you are looking for drinks to have with this, or indeed drinks for any occasion, you could start by taking a look at the perhaps slightly tenuous, and dare i say bandwagon jumping collection put together by Worth Brothers - the Paul McGrath of wine merchants. Their wines are reliably excellent and great value, and you should also read the excellent column in tomorrow's Derby Telegraph by Tim, one of the Worth Brothers, entitled Drinking outside the box.
Who knows where this will end, my own television programme or perhaps a best selling cookbook, but for now, back to planning tonight's menu.