Spain vs Italy

June 25, 2008

ambar

sangria

The Spanish Cup
Ambar
Sangria

bocadillas

tapas

cake

The Spanish Plate

Bocadillas – Iberian ham, Manchego cheese and marinated capsicum on bread roll
Cordero al limon – Lamb with Lemon
Patatas bravas – Potatoes in Tomato Sauce
Pisto manchego – Courgette, Tomato and Capsicum Stew

Chocolate and chestnut cake

Score

little m
4.5 stars(cup)
4.5 stars(plate)

Holy what a huge Spanish fiesta! Luckily it was a Sunday and no one is playing tomorrow so we can recover from this big day in the kitchen. (Sorry the big cook off has meant we are a little behind in posting).

The sangria is a tried and true drink.

The bocadillas were great and we had these for lunch. Actually they would want to be good as the spanish ham cost $15 and so did the cheese! Worth it, as a once a year treat.

The tapas was also very good – we tried to make it a balanced meal with one meat, one vegetable and potatoes for the carb (my favourite).  This worked very well and there were plenty more tapas dishes I’d like to try. We bought the clay pots especially – I had wanted them when we were in Barcelona but couldn’t justify carrying them back home. You need to cure them before use by soaking in water overnight. They made a really strange sizzling noise, which I’m guessing was the air escaping!?!

To top off the very indulgent day we finished on chocolate chestnut cake.  I had seen tins of chestnut puree in the delis and always wanted to give it a try. It’s really thick, a bit like fine peanut butter without all the oil…. sort of. I actually used macadamias instead of the hazelnuts, although you could easily leave out the nuts altogether, as I think they are there to just add texture.

Fingers crossed Italy makes it through, because we haven’t eaten it yet!

Big M
3 stars (cup)
5 stars (plate)

Ambar was a nice malty lager, nothing special however. The Sangria was a good mix of red wine, freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice, contreau, plymouth gin, sugar and orange and lemon slices. Kept in the fridge for the next day is even better!
3 and half stars.

5 stars – I did not think we could make it! Bocadillas was the best sandwich I have ever eaten. The ingredients work together well and the Iberian ‘plack pig’ jamon is why the 5th star come out. The lamb is not slow cooked but cooked on low temperature in the oven for 15 minutes. We did not use the absolute most lean cut of lamb and payed the price. Patatas bravas is my Spanish version of chips with mushy peas – they just work. I can’t see us topping this effort.
5 stars.


Netherlands vs Russia

June 24, 2008

russian cup

The Russian Cup
Black Russian

chicken and sweet potato stew

The Netherlands Plate
Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

Score

little m
2.5 stars

Saturday was a huge day for planning the week’s menus and grocery shopping. I thought we were on the down hill slide now, with a few nights off, but actually we have missed quite a few cups so we’ll try to make them up. The first one is a Black Russian – which technically isn’t even Russian. Oops!

I thought there was orange in the Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew, but there wasn’t. I quite like sweet potato and this dish is okay but I wouldn’t bother with it again.

Talking about dishes – check out these well dressed European men in football.

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

I dunt loike it.
2 stars.


Switzerland vs Czech Republic

June 8, 2008

swiss cup

The Swiss Cup
Gluhwein – Warm spiced wine

swiss plate

The Swiss Plate
Tonno in umido – Tuna stew with polenta

Score

little m
3 stars
A good honest start to the Euro Cup.

Both recipes were from the Swiss Winter in the Alps cookbook by Manuela Darling-Gansser. We have tried the Tuna stew before and it tasted better, so we suspect we may have used tuna in oil the first time, rather than springwater.

I’m dreading waking up at 2am to watch the match, and have asked Big M to tape it for me. He scoffed at the suggestion – I guess it is a long weekend, but still…..

Big M
3 and half stars (cup)
2 and half stars (plate)
Nice hearty winter cup and plate.

I do like a spiced wine. I think it is important to let the wine sit after spicing and then heat up again before drinking.
3 and half stars.

I used 3 minute polenta which makes this plate easy. I did not do this recipe justice though. The photo also does not look as appetising as i would have liked.
2 and half stars.