The World Cup is here! For the next month, the summer is going to be dominated by football but while the majority of us wont be lucky enough to actually be in Brazil to experience the fiesta of the tournament first hand, that doesnt mean we cant enjoy one of the most exciting events in the sporting calendar.
A World Cup is one huge excuse for a party or several parties, and at the centre of any good get together is food. Whoever youre supporting over the next few weeks, youre in for an emotional rollercoaster ride, so here are some suggestions for recipes to refuel; party food ideas with a World Cup theme.
BRAZILIAN BARBECUED PORK RIBS
2 x 500g racks British outdoor-bred pork loin rib racks (trimmed)
2 tbsp clear honey
For the marinade
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
100ml chicken stock, made with 1/2 chicken stock cube
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp crushed chillies
120ml cider vinegar
Put the ingredients for marinade in a food processor and whizz until combined. Place the ribs in a roasting tin and pour the mixture over the ribs; cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Removing the cling film, cover the tin with foil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Fire the barbecue up. Remove the ribs from the oven, brush with honey, then finish off on the barbecue for a few minutes on each side, basting with the leftover marinade until cooked through.
THE BIG USA BURGER
12 cream crackers
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
500g minced beef
1 large egg
Salt and black pepper
1 round lettuce
1 red onion
6 fresh burger buns
6 cheese slices (cheddar or gouda)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (optional)
Bash the crackers to fine crumbs. Finely chop the parsley, add the mustard (if using) and minced beef to the bowl. Crack the egg and add that, together with a decent pinch of salt and pepper.
Mix the whole lot together using your hands and divide into six if you want smaller bitesize burgers, make 12. For more burgers, double all ingredient quantities. Mould each patty into a burger shape 2-3cm thick.
Preheat a large griddle or frying pan on a high heat. Drizzle with oil so the meat doesnt stick to the pan. Place the burgers carefully, lightly press down, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for five to ten minutes on each side, depending on your preference (medium or well done).
Prepare each burger to taste, adding lettuce, tomatoes, gherkins, red onion, and cheese if you like. For variation, dry blue cheese, or a rasher of smoked bacon. Or chorizo!
MINI ITALIAN PIZZAS
250g (8oz) strong white bread flour, extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
Dried yeast (youll need half a small sachet)
½tsp caster sugar
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
150ml (¼pt) warm water
For the topping
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
5tbsp tomato purée
Pinch of oregano
Balls of mozzarella cheese
Grated mozzarella cheese
15-18 cherry tomatoes
10-12 slices of salami
Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl. Mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the warm water, leave for five minutes before pouring into the middle of the flour. Mix with a fork until the mixture comes together.
Transfer to a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes until you have smooth, springy dough. Put the dough in a large bowl and sprinkle the top with some more flour. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm place for about an hour and a half until the dough has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, knead again on a floured surface and divide into six pieces. Roll out one at a time on a floured surface to about 5mm thick, and sit on an oiled and flour-dusted baking sheet.
To make the sauce, place the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée and oregano in a saucepan over a low to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced by about half into a really rich, thick sauce.
Spread some tomato sauce evenly over the pizza bases and then scatter with the mozzarella. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and tear the salami into strips, then arrange them on the pizzas. You can add extra toppings if you like, or make a selection of different pizzas – we’ve pictured one example here!
Put in the oven at 200?C to cook for about ten minutes, until the edges are golden and crisp.
MEXICAN WAVE NACHOS
175g plain tortilla chips
Sliced spring onions
Chunk of cheese
Pinch of chilli flakes
Soured cream or guacamole (optional)
Tip the chips onto a baking tray, pour over salsa and scatter the sliced spring onions. Grate over the cheese and add a pinch of chilli flakes. Put under a hot grill for about three minutes, to melt the cheese, and serve with sour cream or guacamole if you choose.