Tag Archives: Football food

Euro 2012 Football Food – Deep Fried Brie

So Greece is out of the Euro – what’s new? Tonight’s game looks to be good; Spain vs. France. I’m going all out for France for a few reasons:

  • Spain beat Holland in the last World Cup final (bastards)
  • I speak better French than Spanish
  • I love the country – I spent a lot of glorious summers at our farmhouse in the Lanqedoc region in the South of France when I was a kid/young teenager and I remember the place and people fondly, not to mention the food.
  • My first crush (who wasn’t a member of Duran Duran) was on a French boy – Olivier. He was quite a bit older than me (I was about 13 or 14!) and he never really noticed me, except for saying “bonjour” cheerily when he arrived to work on our property in the morning but I remember him very well 😉

Don’t get me wrong I have been to Spain and love the country and its people too (even dated a lovely Spaniard for quite a long time) but today “je suis Francaise”.

Food of France
Food of France

French food is great. Really what more does one need than a baguette, a chunk of creamy brie and the odd frogs leg or snail thrown in for good measure. I really don’t know why people make such a big deal about eating frogs legs and snails…they are very tasty and in my view no worse than eating beef, chicken or mussels. But for the food purists out there I will give you one of my favourite vegetarian recipes from France today…also perfect for a snack during the football match.

Deep Fried Brie

Warm melted brie oozes out of a crispy breadcrumb coating when you bite into these pieces of heaven. Serve with cranberry sauce and a small side salad and you have the perfect starter or snack.


  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) wedge Brie cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (shop bought is  fine)
  • 3 cups good olive oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup of cranberry sauce (shop bought… you can get it at Nebula Supermarket in Sri Lanka and in good supermarkets in Colombo)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with some salt and pepper using a fork. Place the bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip the cubes of Brie into the egg, then roll in breadcrumbs until evenly coated and well covered. Place the cheese cubes on a tray, and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, to firm up.
  2. Heat oil in deep-fryer or frying pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry the cheese cubes for 3 to 5 minutes, until deep golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with cranberry sauce for dipping.
Deep fried brie with cranberry sauce - heaven on a plate
Deep fried brie with cranberry sauce – heaven on a plate


Euro 2012 – Football Food – Boxty

My hunger has returned after the Dutch humiliation of yesterday but the less said on that the better. Friends and family tell me we are still in the championship – I think they are hugely deluded.

So  today some Irish flavours to complement the calm enjoyment of watching a football game when “almost” completely neutral. I would like to see Ireland win. Why? Because I have a soft spot for the underdogs that’s why…simple.

Boxty, or bacstaí in Irish, is a quintessentially Irish potato cake. It’s open to various regional interpretations but I’ll stick to this recipe which is tasty and simple.

Boxty was a popular dish during the Irish Famine
Boxty was a popular dish during the Irish Famine

Some recipes are based primarily on leftover mash. Others on raw potato instead. But for the best results, for the smoothest of textures, with a dish that doesn’t fall apart in your pan, I recommend an equal mixture of raw and cooked potato.

Boxty ingredients:

The main ingredients of this recipe are simplicity itself – equal parts of cooked potato, raw potato and flour:

  • 250g mashed potato
  • 250g raw potato ( a floury type)
  • 250g plain flour

The other bits and pieces are store cupboard/fridge staples:

  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Up to 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • Pinch of pepper (optional)
  • 1 large (or huge) knob of butter
  • Some milk (about 120 ml) – buttermilk if you can get hold of it

You’ll also need:

  • A couple of fairly large bowls
  • A cheese grater
  • A tea towel
  • A heavy frying pan


Put the mashed potato into a large mixing bowl and leave it to one side.

Next, grate the raw potatoes into another basin lined with a teacloth or napkin. Wring them very tightly in the cloth over the basin, to squeeze out  as much starchy liquid as possible.

Put the dried grated potato in with the mashed potato.

Melt the butter in your frying pan, very gently so that it doesn’t burn. Pour it into the potato mix.

Add the flour (which you’ve already sifted if you are fussy) and the baking powder, and salt if you’re using it. Then add some milk in small amounts until there’s just enough to form a soft dough.

Spread the dough ball out onto a floured work surface. Knead the mixture lightly or, better still, mix it well with a knife and do a minimum of kneading at the end.

The final bit is to cut the ball up into about four smaller balls and shape them into flat round cakes, then gently make them into smaller cakes or cut them into triangles.

Pop them into your frying pan and fry them in the remaining butter.

Boxty on the griddle, Boxty in the pan, If you don’t get boxty, You’ll never get a man.
Boxty on the griddle, Boxty in the pan, If you don’t get boxty, You’ll never get a man.

So versatile – you can also add onions, cabbage, cheese or bacon bits.

Serve with sour cream to be traditional, mayonnaise if your Dutch, ketchup if your English, lunu miris if you’re Sri Lankan and sprinkle with chopped chives if you’re posh! Enjoy.

Euro 2012 Football Food – Battered Prawns

After the humiliating defeat of the Dutch by the Danes on Saturday (and made worse by the press having a field day with the poor Dutch players) I’m staying (a little) quieter. Whoever you are supporting these Battered Prawns are yummy as a snack to eat with your football beers. They are not really Sri Lankan but this recipe is by a Sri Lankan cook – Chef Duminda.

Battered Prawns:


500 g prawns
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp’s baking powder
1 cup Cornstarch
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
3/4 cup soda (or water)
4 cups oil


Wash, shell and devein prawns, leaving the tails on. Sprinkle with salt and mix well. Refrigerate for two hours.

Mix flour, baking powder, cornstarch, eggs, oil and soda (or water) to make a batter.

Heat wok. Add 4 cups oil and reheat. Holding the prawns by the tails, dip into the batter, then drop into hot oil. Fry until golden, turning once. Drain. Serve hot.

TO MAKE IN ADVANCE: Deep fry, cool and freeze. Then when required preheat oven to 350F. Place frozen prawns in single layer on a baking sheet and heat for 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve with cocktail sauce, aioli, chili sauce or sweet and sour sauce for dipping.

Battered Prawns - courtesy of Chef Duminda
Battered Prawns – courtesy of Chef Duminda

Euro 2012 Football food – Bitterballen

All football fans the world over will know that Euro 2012 kicked off yesterday (this football tournament is second only to the World Cup in the football world) and you may or may not know this but I am Dutch. Yes, from Holland, country of canals, tulips, windmills, cheese and FOOTBALL. And there is absolutely nothing else in the world that makes me more patriotic than watching the Dutch football team compete in the Euro or World Cup’s.

During these games I usually laugh (often hysterically), swear (a lot), cry (usually when we lose, a Dutch player gets injured or sometimes because a particular shot or pass was just sooo beautiful) and drink a lot of beer. Often I will dress up in orange and attempt to paint the Dutch flag on my face. I have also been known to hide behind the sofa or simply walk out of the room because I couldn’t bear to watch anymore.

So tonight is Holland’s first game in Euro 2012 against Denmark. I am nervous. Not just because Denmark are quite a strong team but also because some members of the Holland team were subjected to racial abuse during a training session in Krakow, Poland and I fear some of the players may have lost some of their morale. Still they are professionals so fingers crossed they take it in their stride and play their hearts out tonight.

HUP Holland HUP!
HUP Holland HUP!

A typical Dutch snack is bitterballen, which are golf ball size meat croquettes popular in bars and pubs across Holland. The name bitterbal, literally “bitter ball”, does not indicate that its taste is bitter, unlike the fabulous bitter gourd I posted about earlier. They were originally meant to be served with a “bittertje” (a small glass of Dutch Jenever (like the famous Bols), similar to but not quite the same as Gin).

They can be quite time-consuming to make (3 hours to stew the meat then letting the meat mixture chill overnight in the fridge etc etc.) but I will give you a simpler and quicker version today.

Dutch Bitterballen


  • 5 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 250g (half a pound) minced (ground) beef or veal – veal is preferable but use beef if you’re funny about eating veal. Sorry there are no real vegetarian alternatives for this dish.
  • 1 or 2 small carrots, very finely diced
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 celery sticks, very finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg (this is the key ingredient here to get that bitterbal taste!)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon (or lime) juice
  • 2 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • 11/2 cup beef stock (1 cup for the roux but have a little extra beef stock available to fry the meat mixture)
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • Oil for deep frying


  1. Heat two tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the meat, carrots, onions and celery with some beef stock until the meat is cooked and the carrots are tender. Add water if the mixture becomes too dry or starts to crisp.
  2. Drain the meat mixture in a colander, then place in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice, and parsley and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook this for 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the beef stock. Continue heating, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils and becomes quite thick.
  4. Combine the sauce with the meat mixture, stirring to combine them thoroughly, and chill this mixture for at least two hours in the refrigerator, until it has become solid.
  5. When the mixture has solidified, roll it into balls about 1 inch in diameter, using your hands.
  6. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs, then in the beaten eggs, then in the bread crumbs again.
NOTE: You can freeze the bitterballen at this point for frying at a later time.
  1. Fry a few at a time in a deep fryer or a wok with at least 2 inches of oil until golden (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  2. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with some mustard.
Bitterballen - courtesy of awesomeamsterdam.com
Bitterballen – courtesy of awesomeamsterdam.com