World Cup Party Food!

A medley of various national dishes to get you in the cross-cultural spirit as you enjoy this amazing global event!

With the World Cup coming up this week, I decided to do something a little bit different. Rather than one single recipe, I’ve created this post so that you can pick and choose from a variety of national dishes and finger foods to delight your friends and family, as you all cheer on your favourite players! The full list of recipes listed below includes:

  1. Argentinian Beef Empanadas with Chimichurri Dip
  2. Portuguese Salad
  3. Russian Shashlik Kebabs
  4. Fish Goujons & Chips
  5. Tartare Sauce

If you’re expecting a lot of company, you can make them all, or simply choose your favourites. It’s all up to you!

 

1. Argentinian Beef Empanadas with Chimichurri Dip

Ideal for: Perfectly spiced party food, empanadas bring an Argentinian or Spanish feel to your World Cup gathering!

Auds’ Tip: Serve with chimichurri, which is an infusion of fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar. It’s very quick to make if you have a blender, and complements the Empanadas perfectly.

You can make the pastry as detailed here, but if you’re short of time then shop-bought shortcrust pastry will work well too. I use a combination of both diced and minced steak as it gives a more interesting texture. If you struggle to finish them with a traditional twisted edge, then you can seal them by pressing the edges gently together with a fork instead.

At A Glance:

  • Ideal for Intermediates
  • Preparation: 45 minutes, which includes 25 minutes resting time
  • Baking/cooking time: 25/30 minutes
  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • Serves: 6/7 (Makes approx 14 small empanadas)

You’ll Need:

  • Baking tray
  • Frying pan
  • Pastry brush
  • Ideally, a blender to make the Chimichurri sauce (although it can be made by hand too!)
  • Rolling pin, bowl and weighing scales (if you’re making the pastry yourself, and not using shop bought)

Ingredients:

(tsp = teaspoon, and tbsp = tablespoon)

Empanadas:

  • 450g of beef – either all mince, all steak (diced small) or a combination of both, but the final quantity needs to be 450g
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 fresh red chilli, or 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • ½ tbsp of sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 20g of black olives (stones removed)
  • 1 tbsp of tomato purée
  • ½ a beef stock cube
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, for glazing

Pastry:

  • 500g Plain Flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten together with 200ml cold water
  • 2 tsps of baking powder
  • 150g of butter (cold)
  • ½ tsp of salt

Chimichurri dip:

  • Small bunch of parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Squeeze of Lemon
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

  1. It’s always a good plan to start with the pastry. First combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Chop or coarsely grate the butter, then rub into the dry mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix in just enough of the egg & water mixture to bring it all together, then wrap in clingfilm and pop into the refrigerator for 1 hour. It can also be made in a food processor – but take care not to over mix!
  3. Using 1 tablespoon of oil, fry off the diced onion and garlic over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Then, add all the beef and increase the heat a little so the beef gently browns.
  4. Take the finely deseeded and diced pepper and chilli and add to the pan, then reduce the heat back to medium and stir in the paprika, cumin, oregano, and chilli powder. Fry the mixture for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped olives, tomato puree, chopped spring onion and crumble in the stock cube to 100ml of boiling water, and add to the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid has almost evaporated. Taste and check for seasoning, and then leave to cool completely.
  6. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (190 degrees Celsius, 375 degrees Fahrenheit)
  7. Divide the pastry into 14 equal pieces. Roll each portion into a 14cm circle that’s about the thickness a pound coin. Use a large biscuit cutter or a small plate if this is easier.
  8. Divide the mixture between the pastry discs, and place the beef mixture (approx 1 dessertspoon) in the centre of the disc. Be careful not to overfill it, or it will leak out when cooking!
  9. Brush the edge of one half the of each disc with the remaining egg and water mixture, Quick tip here: don’t brush all around the edge, otherwise the pastry edges tend to slip on each other rather than stick to the dry half of the pastry!
  10. Fold the pastry over the filling to make a semi circle. The traditional way to finish an empanada is to twist the pastry between your fingers to create a rope effect along the edges, but equally you can press the edges together with a fork to seal.
  11. Brush the empanadas with the beaten egg, and then rest them for 25 minutes in the fridge. This rests the gluten in the flour and prevents shrinkage in the oven, while also allowing the seals to fully stick to prevent the filling from leaking out.
  12. Take them out and glaze them once more for an extra glossy finish, and bake for approximately 25 minutes and until they’re nice and golden brown.
  13. Now for the Chimichurri dip – this is the easiest bit! Simply place all the ingredients in a small blender or food processor and pulse until they combine into a saucy consistency. Alternatively, finely chop the herbs, garlic and shallots and stir in the rest of the ingredients.

 

2. Portuguese Salad

portugese salad

Ideal for: This salad is super simple and has clean and fresh flavours, making it the perfect accompaniment to BBQ meats and fish!

Auds’ Tip: Once all the ingredients are combined, leave for 30 minutes in the fridge to allow the flavours to combine. After that, though, let it stand out for another 30 minutes as it is best eaten at room temperature.

At A Glance:

  • Perfect for Beginners!
  • Preparation: 20 minutes
  • Baking/cooking time:  N/A
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Serves: 6/8

You’ll Need:

  • Bowl
  • Enthusiasm

Ingredients:

(tsp = teaspoon, and tbsp = tablespoon)

  • 500g vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ a red pepper, diced
  • ½ a cucumber, peeled, with the seeds removed, and diced
  • 100g whole olives, with the stones removed
  • ½ an onion, (or one shallot), finely diced
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp each of fresh coriander and mint, chopped

Method:

  • Enthusiastically combine all the ingredients together, cover and leave covered in the fridge for 30 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle it with chopped coriander and mint. That’s really all there is to this one!

 

3. Russian Shashlik Kebabs

russian skewers

Ideal for: celebrating the World Cup with a classic dish from the home country – which goes great on the BBQ!

Auds’ Tip: These mouth-watering kebabs taste particularly lovely if you can marinade them overnight. Serve with the sour cream dip, and a little salsa in the pitta goes nicely too! If you don’t like pork, then beef or lamb also work well.

At A Glance:

  • Perfect for Beginners!
  • Preparation:  20 minutes, plus minimum 4 hours marinading time
  • Baking/cooking time: 5 to 6 minutes on a hot BBQ or pan
  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • Serves: 6

You’ll Need:

  • BBQ or large frying pan
  • Bowls

Ingredients:

(tsp = teaspoon)

(tbsp = tablespoon)

Marinade for the kebabs:

  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 4 aromatic cloves
  • 1 tsp of black peppercorns
  • 1kg of pork loin, diced suitably to thread onto the skewer

Sour cream dip

  • 200ml sour cream
  • 1 tbsp each of chopped dill, coriander and parsley
  • 1 tsp of cider vinegar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of paprika

Method:

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and add the diced raw pork. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, although it’s best to do so overnight if possible. The longer you marinade the pork before you cook it, the tastier it is!
  2. Once you’ve marinated the pork, take it out and thread the meat onto long skewers. Then cook it on a BBQ or very hot pan for 5-6 minutes, until it’s cooked through.
  3. Prepare the dip by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl, then serve the lot with salsa, fresh salad and pitta bread. Lovely!

 

4. Fish Goujons & Chips

fish and chips banner

Ideal for: a traditional meal to eat as you’re watching England compete in the World Cup. You can serve it with tartare sauce just to introduce an element from the French Team!

Auds’ Tip: Coating fish in flour, egg and breadcrumbs in known as a Pané, which is a lighter option than traditional batter and therefore a much healthier way of cooking the fish.

At A Glance:

  • Perfect for Beginners
  • Preparation:  10 minutes
  • Baking/cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Suitable for vegetarians? Pescatarian
  • Serves: 6

You’ll Need:

  • Bowls
  • Oven Tray

Ingredients:

  • 450g fish (either cod, haddock, salmon or any firm fish)
  • 100g plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 150g natural breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Oil for lightly greasing the tray
  • Enough chips for 6 people

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Then, cut the fish into finger size strips (this is known as a goujon of fish.) Season the flour well with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat the fish in the flour – ensure that each piece of fish is well coated, and knock off any excess.
  3. Place the goujons into the beaten egg. Again, make sure they are well coated. Finally, coat in the breadcrumbs. If you’ve done it correctly, there should be no gaps in the coating.
  4. Oil the baking tray and place the goujons on it before baking them for 15 minutes. Once the fifteen minutes is up, check to see if they need gently turning. Then, cook for a further 5 minutes and they are golden brown.
  5. Serve with crispy cooked chips and tartare sauce for a bit of a French flavour!

 

5. Tartare Sauce

Ideal for: a brilliant accompaniment to any fish in a crisp crumb or batter. This is quick to make and you will find it far superior to anything you will find in the supermarket. It’s definitely well worth giving it a go to eat with any coated fish.

Auds’ Tip: Tartare Sauce is originally from France and is really quick to prepare. Plus, it keeps well in the fridge and with any fish a spoonful of this sauce and a squeeze of fresh lemon is all you need!

At A Glance:

  • Perfect for Beginners
  • Preparation: 10 minutes
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Serves: 6

You’ll Need:

  • Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 100g Mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tbsp (level tablespoons) capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp gherkins, drained and chopped
  • 1 small shallot or quarter of a small onion
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Flaked sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

  • Simply mix together all the ingredients, and serve right away alongside your fish!

Audrey Spencer, owner

My passion for cooking stems from my childhood growing up on my family's farm. Mealtimes would often involve being joined by friends, family and neighbours, all eager to enjoy the wonderful farmhouse fayre. As a professional chef I’ve worked in award winning restaurants, boutique country house hotels, and even the Royal Palace! Today, I hope my recipes can help you to enjoy good food, and good company, in style.