Who ate all the pies?

My name is Tony, and I am a foodaholic. I love seeking out and cooking recipes and sampling new taste experiences.

I also love football, which is where the idea for this blog first came about.

Every two years around this time of year a major football tournament comes round, either the World Cup or the European Championships (or the Euros for short, though I personally think that title devalues them). Since 2002, June in an even-numbered year has been the cue for me to “start cooking like a beast” to quote Number Two daughter.

The aim was to try a new recipe for the family from each of the participating countries – some I cook myself, others I try from restaurants and cafes. I never quite achieved this, but I did find get some excellent recipes out of it which are still family favourites to this day – including…

Gallo Pinto
Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto, literally “Spotted Rooster” although it contains no meat, is considered the cornerstone of a nutritious breakfast across much of central America. I cooked it in 2002 in honour of Costa Rica’s last appearance in the World Cup finals (so far). They beat Scotland in 1990, which many English people laughed at, although the Scots have had plenty of chances to get their own back down the years.

Coq Au Vin
Coq Au Vin

This coq au vin, while a lovely recipe based on a warming French peasant classic, is forever tinged with memories of England outplaying France for 90 minutes in 2004 only to concede a goal late on from a free-kick just outside the penalty area. A happier French memory is the fantastic French Onion Soup recipe I made for the 2002 World Cup – both because it’s a great meal and also because that was when the holders France were beaten by Senegal in the first match. I had a tenner on it at 9-1, which remains my most successful bet ever. I was THIS happy :

Tony Feb 2012
Tony Feb 2012
Senegalese chicken with peanuts
Senegalese chicken with peanuts. Mine didn't look quite as nice as this.

Emboldened by this and regarding it as an omen I then, later in the tournament, went on to cook Senegalese chicken with peanuts. It was horrible. No reflection on the recipe or the country, more my cack-handed attempt to reproduce it, but a major disappointment.

Finally, Trinidadian chicken with chilli and lime – served with rice and peas, this is in the top five best meals I have ever cooked. But I’ve lost the recipe! I’ve searched that internet many, many times and come up with alternatives that aren’t quite right… sigh…

So, Euro 2012 is upon us and it’s the last tournament to feature 16 teams before expanding to 24 in four years’ time, so this is probably my best chance of covering each of the nations involved. I’ll try and include a bit more for each country than just the recipe though – and if anyone has any suggestions or potential improvements or additions, then I’d love to hear them.

I’ll be putting the recipes here:


and you can also follow me on twitter here for food-related nonsense:


And if anyone can find that recipe for Trini chicken then please let me know.

There were bite marks on the plates afterwards. Bite marks.


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