Confession - I’m not the biggest World Cup aficionado. In fact, I started reading sport’s magazines right before the event so that I could “sound like” I knew what I was talking about should I accidentally end up in conversation about football.

But I never miss an opportunity to explore world cuisines, and I thought the World Cup’s round of 16 would be the perfect time to tackle the foods of all 16 nations (a bit ridiculous, I know, especially because I started planning yesterday and certainly wouldn’t have enough time to do these dishes justice, even if I had enough time…but alas, here I go)

This will be a classic 8-Course dinner with all the trimmings. I’ll be blending the cuisine of one team with that of the other, so for example, for Brazil and Chile, I made a “Brasilia Sour” - a play on the Brunswick sour, which has rum, lime, sugar - (a daiquiri) and merlot. For the Brasilia Sour, I used Cachaca, gum syrup, lime juice, and floated a Chilean Malbec on top of it. Let me tell you, it was yummy! You have the sourness from the daiquiri side, but the Cachaca was mellowed out by the sugar and lime. At the same time, you always get a little bit of a cinnamon-y flavor from the Malbec.

The trick to the drink though was floating the Malbec on top. You can pour the Malbec slowly over the back of a spoon to achieve this. If you can get a spout to pour the Malbec out of, it is even better.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Cachaca
  • 3.25 oz lime juice
  • .5 oz gum syrup
  • 1.5 oz Chilean Malbec
  • strip of lime zest (garnish)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a shaker, put in Cachaca, lime juice, and gum syrup over some ice cubes. Shake until combined. Pour in coup glass.

2. Using the back of a spoon, slowly pour Malbec and float on top of the Cachaca, lime juice, and syrup.

3. With a zester, zest a strip of lime peel. Use as garnish.

My second course is a Colombia and Uruguay appetizer slider - if you will. I combined Colombia’s arepas, which are these cornmeal style cakes with Uruguay’s choripan, which is like a chorizo sandwich with chimichurri sauce. I honestly did not think the arepas would turn out that good because of how simple the recipe was, but man did it! The arepa choripan tasted like this really delicious and slightly spicy sandwich enveloped by these corn chip - like bread buns. The flavors really blew me away, and although I’m sure I didn’t do the foods its due justice, I know I’ll be trying Colombian and Uruguayan cuisine again.

A note is that the cooked corn flour used in the arepas, masarepa, can actually be found in the international or Latin section of most grocery stores.

For Arepas:

** Ingredients**

  • 1 1/2 cups masarepa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons butter (1 teaspoon reserved for frying)

1. Combine masarepa, water, vegetable oil, salt, and butter into a bowl. Knead for 2-3 minutes until dough ball is formed.

2. Divide dough into 10 even pieces and roll into ball. Between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, roll dough out into 1/4 inch thick disks.

!

3. In a non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat, melt a pad of butter with several tablespoons of vegetable oil. Put in arepas and fry for 3-4 minutes each side until golden and slightly charred. Remove and drain on paper towel. Place on cooling rack.

For Chimichurri Sauce:

  • 1 Bunch parsley
  • 1/2 cup oregano
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 seeded hot red peppers
  • 1/5 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until all ingredients reach desired texture.

To Assemble:

1. Place arepa on bottom of the plate. Next, top with chimichurri sauce.

2. Slice a grilled chorizo in half horizontally. Place on top of chimichurri. Top off chorizo with more chimichurri sauce.

3. Top off everything with another piece of arepa.

Ingredients

For Arepas:

  • 1 1/2 cups masarepa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons butter (1 teaspoon reserved for frying)

For Chimichurri Sauce:

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 cup oregano
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 hot red peppers, seeded
  • 1/5 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt