Tuesday, June 24

Food World Cup - Group D

More recipes to enjoy from this World Cup. 

This time, since today is an important day for Group D, let's see who is going home..along with England, to enjoy their beautiful dishes. Obviously not Costa Rica, since it is first in a group but it will be decided between Italy and Uruguay.

My favorite here is, currently the best in this group - Costa Rica, with an amazing soup. But I offer you to taste others as well, while I enjoy today's matches.

Olla de Carne - Costa Rican Beef Soup

This is an absolutely delicious Costa Rican staple dish,that used to be served at every evening meal. You will find it on the menu at many "sodas" (small diners) and "restaurantes". It is a stew-like soup with large chunks of beef and vegetables. The broth isn't as thick as the broth found in a typical American stew.

½ pound of yucca
½ pound sweet potatoes (camote)
½ pound of taro (tiquisque)
½ pound carrots (zanahoria)
½ pound of potatoes (pappas)
½ pound of calabaza squash (ayote)
1 chayote squash
1 green plantain (platano verde)
2 corns sliced in 1½” rings (elote)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro (culantro)
1 cup diced celery (apio)
1 cup coarsely chopped onion (cebolla)
3 cloves minced garlic (ajo)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
2 cups of chicken or beef stock (or 2 bouillon cubes dissolved in water)
1 teaspoon of achiote paste (annatto)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds bone-in beef, cubed beef or rib pieces cut into about 2 inch pieces

Place the meat in a large pot with the onion, garlic, cilantro, oregano, celery and salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover everything and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer until the meat is almost tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Cut all of the vegetables into large chunks, about 1” to 1½” thick. Put the vegetables and chicken or beef stock in another large stock pot in the order they take to cook. Reserve the potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash until later because they need less cooking time. Bring the vegetable to a boil over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Then add the remaining vegetables and lower the heat to a simmer, transfer the meat to the vegetable pot and continue to simmer until everything is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Olla de carne is usually served "family style" with a bowl of plain broth (or caldo) for everyone. The cooked meat and vegetables are placed on a large platter in the center of the table with a large bowl of white rice. Everyone adds a little rice to their broth and then tops it with some meat and their favorite vegetables.

Italian Minestrone

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 celery sticks with their green leaves, stringed and cut into small pieces
2 carrots, cut in 12 mm / 1/2" cubes
2 medium potatoes, cut into 12mm / 1/2" cubes
110g / 4oz shelled peas
110g / 4oz French (green) beans, topped and tailed and cut into 2.5cm / 1" pieces
110g / 4oz cooked beens
2 medium-sized zucchini cut into 12mm / 1/2" cubes
225g / 8oz ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and coarsely chopped, or tinned plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 litres vegetable stock or water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g / 5oz tubular pasta, gluten/wheat free if required
freshly grated parmesan (optional)
30g / 1oz fresh basil leaves
30g / 1oz flat leafed parsley
1 garlic clove, peeled
30ml / 1fl oz extra virgin olive oil
Put the oil, all the vegetables, garlic and stock in a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Cook uncovered for 11/2 hours or so over a very low heat. The soup should just simmer, not boil.
Taste and add salt, if necessary, and the pepper.
Add the pasta and continue to cook until ready. The soup should be very thick (the Genovese say you should be able to stand a spoon up in it, but if it is too thick add a little water before you add the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, put the basil leaves, parsley and garlic in a mortar and pound with a circular movement. Add the oil and pound to a paste. Alternatively make the pesto in a food processor.
When the pasta is cooked al dente, turn off the heat and mix in the pesto. Add pepper to taste and leave the soup to rest for about two minutes.
Serve, with shaved parmesan, in a bowl.

Uruguayan sandwich - Chivito

1.   Chivito is the name of a sandwich-style national dish in Uruguay, and consists primarily of a thin slice of filet mignon (churrasco beef), with mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise, black or green olives, and commonly also bacon, fried or hard-boiled eggs and ham.

the basic parts of a chivito:
• Steak
• Mozzarella
• Mayonnaise
• Bacon
• Olives
• A fried egg (just to, you know, top it off...)

"Chivito" means "little goat" in Spanish, and according to the story, the dish was created in the 60s when an Argentine asked a restaurant owner for a dish of roasted goat like the one from back home. The chef had no goat, but he created a sandwich and topped it with a little of just about everything. It was a hit!

4 sandwiches:

4 ¼-pound steak fillets, ¼-inch thick
Salt and black pepper to season
1 tablespoon oil
4 slices ham (optional)
8 slices cooked bacon
½ pound sliced mozzarella
4 ciabatta style buns, cut in half
½ cup roasted red pepper
4 lettuce leaves
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons mayo
Fried egg at the top

1. Season steak with salt and pepper on both sides. In a fry pan, heat oil and sear steak until medium rare, about 2 minutes each side.
2. Heat broiler. Place steak on an oven sheet with ham (optional) and cooked bacon;  cover with cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbling.
3. To serve, place steak with melted cheese and cooked bacon on bottom of bun. Top with roasted red peppers, lettuce, onion, tomato, and top with mayo.
Fry the egg in a pan and add ata the top. Close with other half of bread.

English Shepherd’s pie
(got the recipe from real English - Jamie Oliver's web site)

Shepherd’s pie is a classic British dish which pretty much everyone I’ve ever met has their own way of making. This is my way which I’ve kept really simple and I reckon you can’t go wrong with it. Make sure you buy the best quality mince you can afford, as it really makes the dish.

serves 6

• 1 red onion
• 2 carrots
• 2 sticks of celery
• 2 cloves of garlic
• a small bunch of fresh rosemary
• olive oil
• 500g good-quality minced lamb
• 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
• 250ml lamb or vegetable stock, preferably organic
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1.5kg Desiree potatoes
• 100ml semi-skimmed milk
• a large knob of butter

To prepare and cook your mince

• Peel and roughly chop the onion and carrots
• Trim and roughly chop the celery
• Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves
• Pick the rosemary leaves, discard the stalks
• Heat a large pan on a medium heat
• Add a good lug of olive oil and onion, carrot, celery, garlic and most of the rosemary leaves
• Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened
• Turn the heat up, add the lamb mince, and brown for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
• Use a sieve or slotted spoon to drain away any excess liquid from the pan, then tip in the tinned tomatoes
• Pour in the stock, season with a good pinch of salt and pepper and stir well, then bring to the boil
• Reduce to a low heat, pop the lid on slightly ajar, and simmer for 1 hour

To make your mash topping

• Peel the potatoes, cut them into halves and quarters depending on their size, and put them into a pan of salted, boiling water
• Boil for about 10 minutes until tender
• Stick a knife into them to check they’re soft all the way through
• Drain in a colander and return them to the pan
• Add the milk, butter and a pinch of salt and pepper
• Mash until smooth and creamy

To assemble and cook your shepherd’s pie

• Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5
• Transfer the lamb mixture to a large ovenproof baking dish
• Spoon the mash evenly over the top and poke the remaining rosemary leaves into the top
• Drizzle with olive oil, then cook in the hot oven for 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbling
• Serve with broccoli (see Brilliant broccoli) or some lovely peas

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