Friday, June 18, 2010

Spain, Portugal, Italy and Pork

Mad about Meat, Mad about Football

There are two very good reasons for not cooking today. One, its Friday, it rained like crazy all week and you deserved a break. Two, three football matches! Oh wait, and three more on Saturday and three more on Sunday. (Yes, I too am salivating as I write this and for many reasons as well). So yes, why cook when there’s so much football (and eye candy) on tv? My suggestion is that you stock up on beer or juice if you don’t drink and as many cold cuts are your fridge will allow. For those supporting European teams, here are two particularly delectable possibilities and the ways you can have them.
Chorizo enjoys pride of place in every Spanish and Portuguese kitchen (Spain/Portugal fans are you listening?). Pork meat coloured a deep maroon by the paprika added to it and embedded with fat, Chorizo is dry and chewy bursting with intense sweetness before tapering out into a spicy, salty aftertaste. It works (I am told my trusted beer drinking friends) fabulously with beer.
Or try Parma Ham (the more fancy name is prosciutto) from Italy, which is traditionally thinly sliced (the Deli should do that for you) and served as an accompaniment with drinks. Or try this easy salad recipe that will take one commercial break to whip up.

(Photo Courtesy:
50g Parma Ham slices
20 Fresh Spinach leaves, washed, cut into bite sized pieces
1 packet of Oak leave lettuce, shred into bite sized pieces with hand
4 Figs, slice each into 6 pieces
1tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp any dry white wine in your kitchen
2 crushed sage leaves
In a bowl, place ingredients, pour dressing on top. Add salt to taste and grind dried green peppercorns and toss. Serve with forks .

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