As promised… a guest post by the Dutchie. 🙂 Bitterballen Bruid was drinking cocktails in England this weekend (on her hen do) so I had the weight of a nation on my shoulders creating a Costa Rican meal for the match. And making sure we progress in the World Cup…
The first thing I saw when looking at traditional Costa Rican food is that almost every dish is rice and beans. Apparently there’s a bit of variation between the recipes but it’s all rice and beans… and I’m not a big fan of the combination. Luckily, there was one other thing I found which caught my eye: Olla di Carne, a beef soup/stew with a lot of vegetables, some I’ve never heard of, so that’s always nice to try some new ingredients.
Unluckily for me, I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard of taro root. The local Greengrocer and two supermarkets (of which one has won a prize for their fruit and veg) had no idea what I was talking about. So not only could I not get them, neither could anyone tell me an alternative.
Once I got home, I found out that the things I did buy – parsnip & sweet potato – are good alternatives. (BBruid: score!!) So no real problem, I just didn’t get the joy of some new ingredients. I had less success on the plantains though, no one had any. 😦
The base of the stew is beef stock so I bought some bone marrow and other stuff to make my own stock. I only made it on the day itself so it did have some taste in it, but wasn’t very strong. So, when I put the beef in, I decided to leave the fat on to give some extra oomph… and was planning on removing it when I served it. (BBruid: what a dingbat! ;-))
But I didn’t remove the fat afterwards as there wasn’t any left to remove… My first spoon tasted like taking a sip from a deep-fryer. So apparently all the fat had dissolved and made my soup inedible.
Enough about food. They have some nice drinks there. Not wine though. Quoting a website about Costa Rica: “there is one farmer in Costa Rica who makes wine, but that’s more physics than actually being a farmer” 🙂
They do make a type of rum and I found some beer brands… but of course, I couldn’t buy either in Holland. (Well, the 3 places I tried anyway.) Luckily I saw they just like beer in general, so I joined in with that tradition!
Fail is a strong word (BBruid: I’d say that was exactly the right word ;-)) but I can’t say I managed to cook a decent Costa Rican meal. Not a good omen for the match… And Holland struggled. Only in the penalties after extra time came the difference and Holland only just won. So on Wednesday I get the chance to redeem myself with some nice Argentinian food and wine… Luckily I will have Bitterballen Bruid with me, so it should go a lot smoother!