Turkey vs Croatia

June 21, 2008

rose water

The Turkish Cup
Rose sherbert

turkish pizza

The Turkish Plate
Lahmacun – Turkish Pizza

Score

little m
3.5 stars

Once again, we were a little uncertain and unplanned for what dinner would be! Lahmacun is also know as Turkish pizza – and it’s usually topped with minced meat (lamb or beef). You roll the pizza up in to a tube and eat it that way – some times it will include other fillings, like vegetables or kebab meat. If you don’t have time to make the dough from scratch you could use pita bread or tortilla for the base.

The turkish bread we bought was very thick – I’d prefer a thinner base next time, which I think is more authentic. There was no way you could roll this version, and the mince topping kept falling down my sleeves and on the floor!

The rose sherbet we actually had the next day, as the flavours needed to infuse overnight. A refreshing change to soft drink. Although I can’t see many footballer fans drinking this one!

Big M
N/A (cup)
3.5 stars (plate)

I could have had Efes as the cup for this one. Efes is a Turkish lager and although its not a great beer I can’t bear the thought of another cup-less country!

The Lahmucan was a good Friday night pizza dish. To improve this I would drizzle with garlic yoghurt and hummus.
3 and half stars.


Portugal vs Germany

June 21, 2008

potuguese wine

The Portuguese Cup
Quinta Das Seten Costas Alenquer 2005

prego

custard tart

The Portuguese Plate
Prego no pao – Portuguese garlic steak burger
Pastéis de Nata – Custard tart

Score

little m
3.5 stars

This morning we didn’t know what we having for dinner, so it was a bit of panic when we arrived home and quickly had to agreed on what to eat and then buy the appropriate groceries! Fortunately, I’d found a low effort recipe for Portuguese burgers, that contain a steak “nailed” with garlic (garlic inserted into holes in the steak) and red wine. The garlic may be a little overpowering for some, but I really enjoyed these.

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that the Pastéis de Nata (custard tarts) are from Nandos! Although I’m pleased to report that they weren’t too sugary. Just right.

Big M
3.5 stars (cup)
4 stars (plate)

If you prefer the French and Spanish wines to Australian then you will love this Portuguese bottle. This is what I like to think as a red wine rather than a purple wine. It tastes of the earth rather than a plum. This would go well in a Sangria too.
3 and half stars.

The simplicity of the steak burger really worked for me. No soggy tomato or lettuce, just meat garlic and onion. The garlic does not cook so I recommend taking the garlic out of the steak, unless you love raw garlic. I think adopting the garlic into the Aussie BBQ’d steak sandwich is a winner.
4 stars.


Russia vs Sweden

June 19, 2008

salmon and potato salad

The Russian Plate
Salmon and potato salad

Score

little m
2.5 stars

A simple dish which I’m tempted to call a Russian Caesar salad. OK maybe that’s going a bit far – as a salad it’s quite good. Throw together in a bowl – salmon, boiled potatoes and eggs, (cooked) red onions, and then garnished with mayo and parsley. Serve cold and it’s all too easy.

The potato may be humble but I’m starting to miss having rice based dishes for dinner.

Big M
N/A (cup)
3 stars (plate)

Again we have had to miss the cup out. I thought that Dan Murphy’s would sell something Russian other than vodka but to no avail. Please send in your Russian drinks.

I would be happy to eat this salad for lunch but it’s not quite fancy enough for dinner. I took a leaf out of the Swedish book and again poached the salmon in wine, which was good.
3 stars.


France vs Italy

June 18, 2008

e.guigal 2003

The French Cup
E.guigal Cotes du Rhone 2003

coq au vin

The French Plate
Coq au vin and boulangere potatoes

Score

little m
3 and half stars

I loved the crunchy tops of the potato side dish. The chicken was also good. It was just missing a bit of omph to rate it any higher. Am I being too hard? Perhaps. For a Tuesday night dish, when we both work full-time I really can’t complain. There’s also left overs for lunch which will hands down beat anything edible within a block of work. Next time, I’d probably add some honey carrots?

Big M
2 and half stars (cup)
3 stars (plate)

The Guigal was a little dissapointing. I do drink french wine quite often and have had better bottles than this. Of course Guigal has $50 and $75 bottles from the same region so at $24 this was probably the cheap stuff!
2 and half stars.

The Coq au Vin also did not work out, a bit like the French football team at the Euro finals. The hint of red wine through the chicken is a nice, however did not improve the tenderness of the meat. The boulangere potatoes were a winner with nice contrast between crisp and soft potato. I like pommes Anna better though!
3 stars.


Croatia vs Poland

June 17, 2008

karlavacho

The Croatian Cup
Karlovacho

minestrone

The Croatian Plate
Istarska minestra – Istrian Minestrone

Score

little m
3 stars

I must confess I deliberately had a large lunch because I knew we were having soup for dinner. I was surprised to discover that this minestrone wasn’t heavy handed in the tomato base. The pork was very subtle and it allowed the vegetables to shine through.

The Silver Spoon describes minestrone as a “pleasant winter dish” containing fresh garden vegetables and herbs, along with pasta, rice and pulses, and the essential fat (butter, bacon fat or oil). Of course, it has a whole chapter on different versions from some of the Italian regions, and yet, none of them are quite like this Croatian recipe.

Big M
3 stars (cup)
3 and half stars (plate)

Another lager and another 3 star cup. Karlovacho aroused no emotions, however i was pleased to find a Croatian beer. The bottle shop is near ‘era’ South Brisbane on Melbourne Street if anyone wants to know. They have a lot of international beer and wines.
3 stars.

The maximum this plate was ever going to get was 3 and half stars. Sorry, but a soup will never rate high on my list of meals to have for dinner. Having said that it was a fulfilling soup and I am happy there are plenty of leftovers for lunch.
3 and half stars.


Czech Republic vs Turkey

June 16, 2008

zlatopramen breznak

The Czech Cup
Zlatopramen
Breznak lager

czech goulash

The Czech Plate
Czech Goulash with Bread Dumplings

Score

little m
3 stars
The elephants out there may remember we had Czech Goulash for The World Cup and Plate. To recap for all the other mere mortals – Big M gave the dish a 9 out of 10 and thought is was fantastic. Littlem, the self-confessed fussier eater of the two, gave it a measly 6.5.

This dish suffered from following too closely behind a very memorable Dutch beef stew with beer and dumplings. It was less flavoursome and the meat wasn’t as tender.

I’m starting to get worried we will miss out on eating Italian, as they aren’t doing so well on the scoreboard, and we were anticipating them easily getting through to the finals.

Big M
4 stars (cup)
3 and half stars (plate)

These were 2 fabulous Czech lagers. Flavoursome and complex, the way beer should be not like the Australian excuse for gnats wee. I got these from Dan Murphy’s who seem to carry the imported versions rather than the versions made for exporting which i think are not as good. Let’s face it if you produced fab beer would you ship it to Oz? No, you would keep it for yourself like the French do with their wine.
4 stars.

This plate was not as satisfying as it was in 2006 when we had it for world cup and plate. The grating of potato in just before the end was a nice touch to thicken up the gravy. The meat had not taken on the flavours adequately though.
3 and half stars.


Greece vs Russia

June 15, 2008

mythos

The Greek Cup
Mythos

Greek salad

chicken and lamb souvlaki

The Greek Plate
Chicken and Lamb Souvlaki with Greek salad

Score

little m
4 stars
These are two tried and tested dishes from Greece. The souvlaki is always a winner and was nicely complemented by the fresh flavours of the salad. Warm up the pita bread just before serving to wrap your meat and salad around. This is a great meal for the weekend or a summer BBQ on holidays.

Big M
2 and half stars (cup)
4 stars (plate)

Mythos was the only Greek cup I could find and assume that it is not the best lager Greece has to offer. It would be like only being able to get your hands on a VB in Greece and calling all Australian beer rubbish.

We fired up the Weber for this one, like the Greeks we cook the souvlaki over hot coals. This is nothing new to us we do it all the time so it was expectantly grand! We used Dodoni fetta for the Greek salad and is authentically Greek. It was very good and only $6.