June 21, 2010

6/21: Portugal v North Korea, Chile v Switzerland, Spain v Honduras

We spice up a traditional Portuguese grilled chicken today with gochujang, a thick hot sauce that forms the flavor basis for many Korean dishes. 
A deep, red paste, gochujang is made from chili powder, fermented soybeans and other seasonings such as rice, sweet potato or honey. You can find it at your local Korean market or order online. A common dinner in Portugal, this grilled chicken is basically a dish of foul glazed with a spicy sauce. You can use a roasting chicken or even chicken breasts, but we chose to use cornish hens for their rich flavors.
Asado is popular in Chile, where it is usually accompanied by pebre, a spicier equivalent of the Argentinean Chimichurri and represented in today's dish by the Korean gochujang. The dish would go phonomanally well with any number of Chilean Cabs in honor of today's Chile vs. Switzerland game. 
To represent Switzerland, chose a wine with the most neutral flavors you can find.
Korean Spiced Frango Piri Piri

1 T sea salt
4 cloves garlic, halved
1 T sweet paprika
2 T finely chopped cilantro or parsley
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 C red wine vinegar
~3/4 C olive oil as needed
1 roasting chicken or 4 small cornish hens
Use a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic with the salt into a paste. Add paprika, parsley and pepper. Drizzle in the vinegar and then add oil to make a mushy, spreadable paste. Stir in the gochujang.
Butterfly the hens and coat generously with seasoning. You will have left over paste to use for basting. Place skin side up on a hot grill and grill, basting generously, for ~15 min. Turn over and repeat. The birds are done when they reach 165 F.  Photo: Flickr: kattebelletje

Ample Tres Leches left over from last Wednesday's Honduras vs. Chile match, we're representing Honduras once again today with their most widely known national dessert. To accompany our Tres Leches and honor Spain, we're also poaching a few spicy pears.
Peras al vino
3 pears, pealed and cored
1/2 C sugar
1 cinnamon stick (add more if your sticks are not fresh)
1 C dry Spanish red wine
1 C water
Whisk together the sugar, wine, water and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the pairs. Turn down to low and simmer until pears are soft and have absorbed most of the liquid.
Slice the pairs and arrange atop the Tres Leches for a beautiful plate, or serve a pair whole on the plate with a side of cake.

HEY! We've seen that cuisine before! 
Cook the foods of today's competing countries using other recipes: Feijoada from Portugal, Korean BBQ Ribs or Kimchi or Spanish Fondue! As we get deeper into the tournament, it's time to bring out the leftovers, mix and match, and let the fusion menus run wild like a frenzied North Korean defense.
Prefer to eat out instead? Our Dining Guide tells you where and why.

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