The World Cup gives the summer an extra touch of vibrancy and excitement, with the landmark event only coming round once every four years. Even for those who aren’t big football fans, it’s the perfect opportunity to rustle up a dinner party feast for friends and family.
In the spirit of the World Cup and its global reach, we’ve drawn up a list of dishes from each continent. From vibrant South American dishes to barbecued delicacies and rich Oriental flavours, take some culinary inspiration and you’ll be ready to entertain your guests this summer.
A tagine is a Maghrebi dish common across North Africa and traditionally well-known for being cooked in cone-shaped pottery dishes. Tagines are typically slow-cooked meat and vegetable stews, flavoured with spices and dried fruit to provide a sweet and sour marriage of flavours.
For a classic tagine, try diced lamb shoulder in a spiced tomato sauce with some dried apricots or prunes. Tagines are commonly spiced with ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron and served with cous cous or flat bread. Take a look at this recipe for melt-in-your-mouth lamb.
Leave it to slow-cook whilst the football’s on and you’ll have a stew packed with bold flavour and tender meat. For vegetarians, the hearty earthiness of sweet potatoes and chickpeas are a fantastic alternative to meat.
Korean barbecue ribs
Barbecue is a popular cooking method in Korean cuisine and there aren’t many better ways to spend a warm summer’s evening than tending to a smoky, sizzling barbecue. Marinating the pork ribs and slow cooking them in the oven, before glazing and transferring to the BBQ will ensure perfect tenderness along with an intense grilled flavour.
Sweet and spicy notes are key to Korean food, so hoisin, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar and garlic are common staples for the marinade. For that added authentic kick, try sourcing gochujang red chilli paste. Serve with fries, and if you’re feeling adventurous, kimchi, a fermented vegetable side dish.
Grilled king prawns
A refreshing tipple and some fresh seafood is a match made in heaven for summer evenings. Raw king prawns might seem a little daunting, but they’re really simple to cook and are a great centrepiece for dinner party cooking.
Humble ingredients go a long way when flavouring prawns – try marinating in olive oil, chilli and garlic before grilling on the barbecue for around 5 minutes until the prawns are golden.
One of the most recognisable Spanish dishes, paella is strongly linked to the city of Valencia and many versions of it are common throughout Europe. For the Valencian purists, paella should consist of white rice, white beans, green beans, chicken, rabbit, saffron and sometimes snails.
Whilst meat and seafood may seem like the stars of the show, it’s actually the rice which should be given the most attention. Short-grain rice and a wide-based pan should be used, whilst stirring should be avoided in order to give a crisp layer on the bottom of the paella known as the ‘socarrat’.
Chilli con carne
A Tex-Mex classic, chilli has truly travelled the globe and is enjoyed by many of us in the UK as if it’s an invention of our own – for a hassle-free dish to serve up to a party of guests, you can’t go wrong. Such is its wide-reaching status, there’s no single chilli con carne recipe above all others, which leaves plenty of room for experimentation. If you feel like upgrading from beef mince you can use chuck steak, and some recipes omit the tomatoes. Plenty of chillies and kidney beans are essential, whilst sour cream and guacamole are good additions, especially if you need to cool off some of that spicy heat!
A World Cup-related blog wouldn’t be complete without a nod to one of the most famous footballing nations, Brazil. In this case, we’ve landed on a one-pot stew, perfect for big crowds – feijoada. This meaty Brazilian casserole is the country’s national dish and packs a deeply-flavoured punch. The dish is traditionally served as a weekend lunch and is meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace throughout the afternoon.
Black beans, pork or beef, bacon, smoked pork ribs, and smoked sausage are typically found in feijoada. To try your hand at this South American delicacy, check out this recipe.
When you’re entertaining guests, it can be very easy to get distracted and take your eye off the ball. This could be disastrous if you’re meant to be carefully roasting meat or vegetables in the oven. Our innovative Hoover Vision oven will help you banish any mishaps and let you put your feet up whilst keeping an eye on your food with its integrated HD camera. For more information, watch our Vision video.
And don’t forget the washing up. Hoover’s WiFi-enabled dishwasher will let you start the programme from the comfort of your sofa so you don’t have to miss a second of the football!