Can Cook, Must Cook

The food adventures of Franka P, a Trinidadian journalist living in London, UK. I'll write about my forays into all types of food and cooking, particularly Caribbean food. I'll also review books and recipes by the leading food writers and talk about the issues making headlines in the gastronomic world.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Food and Football - Part One

For the last month my life has been dominated by the 2006 World Cup and Trinidad and Tobago's participation in that esteemed tournament.
I was consumed by writing articles, doing interviews and making radio features about the saga of the
Soca Warriors, but that's not to say my mind wasn't on things gastronomic.
Since Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the World Cup last year, the crew's been planning to party hard in Germany - how could we be living in England and not hop over to Germany to wave the red, white and black?
I didn't think it would be right for the crew to head over to Germany without a warm-up so I got the ball rolling with a small bram a couple of days before football's biggest party kicked off.

A nice bunch turned up at my place for the lime, including a few honorary Trinis. It was really great to see the folks who came from Trinidad, excited to be going to the World Cup and bearing gifts of rum and homemade pepper sauce.

I had a really hard time deciding what to cook for the evening. Initially I thought about doing something elaborate like baking a whole salmon and cooking chicken with tequila, but as the day drew closer, I started to scale down my ambitions.
It wasn't until the day before that I decided to go with the theme Trinidad and Tobago versus England, a nod to the football clash that we Trinis were eagerly waiting for.
I cooked Soya Pelau, Toad in the Hole and Roast Beef which was complemented by a mighty tasty Pasta salad from Carrianne and her mom. Lisa and Wendy provided the chocolates, cheese and crackers for dessert.
Everyone loved the pelau but no one could figure out what kind of pelau it was, they were really surprised to hear it was made with soya which usually tastes quite bland.
I told them the secret to making soya taste so nice is to season it as you would meat. I used a basic marinade of parsley, coriander, garlic, lemon juice and a bit of salt.
The soya pelau was actually a good match for the Toad in the Hole, a traditional British dish based on a batter that's also used for
Yorkshire Puddings. The 'Toad' is sausage and I used the most traditional of British sausages, the Cumberland sausage.
I got the recipe for Toad in the Hole from Gary Rhodes'
New British Classics, an excellent cookbook that clearly debunks the myth about the paucity of British cuisine.
It was a lovely evening, great food and generous lashings of premium rum. I was wearing my red Trinidad and Tobago t-shirt and my
Trinidad and Tobago Patriot cap (designed by the charming Jay Mahabir) with a glass of Angostura 1919 singing 'I am a Soca Warrior!' priming up for the real party in Germany!

Check out the photos from the lime.

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