Match Day 4: Argentina
When you work for a food magazine, you're tastebuds are privy to a smorgasbord of new experiences, most of which are pleasant and delightful. I'd never had panko before starting here, and now this Mississippi born fried-food fanatic will sing its praises from the mountaintop until the end of days. But not all foods are created equally. So when I was forced to eat crow following my botched prediction of the Spain-Netherlands game, I was determined to have something different for breakfast this morning.
And different it was. Cooking Light is now 2 for 3 in predicting the outcome of World Cup matches. I feel like "we" (read: royal we) should get some love from the sporting world at large, but getting to watch more World Cup is reward enough. Hopefully today's matches prove as riveting as day three, when a Costa Rican squad shocked the world with arguably the upset of the tournament, a substitute—a world-class substitute, natch—sparked the Ivory Coast to second half glory over Japan, and Andrea Pirlo was three inches short of jaw-dropping awe. Today's matches feature a stout French squad and the world's greatest little player, so get the popcorn ready and enjoy World Cup day four, y'all!
Match to Watch: Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina
This one should be fun. Argentina and Brazil are border buddies, so expect to see the Estádio Maracanã in Rio packed to the brim with La Albicelestes's (The White and Sky Blue) fervent fan base. Boznia-Herzegovina's team is the feel-good story of this World Cup, and have a world-class striker in Edin Dzeko. But that won't mean a thing when Argentina takes the field. Led by otherworldly Lionel Messi, Argentina has the most offensive firepower of any team in this tournament (and are my pick to win it all). Look for Angel Di Maria to provide Messi and Co. assists galore, as Argentina win this one comfortably. My Pick: Argentina 4, Bosnia-Herzegovina 1
Player to Watch: Lionel Messi
Not since this guy has a soccer player given me the goose bump-inducing giggles that Messi conjures up. He plays as if the soccer ball is glued to his cleats. He's won the FIFA Ballon d'Or, awarded to the world's best player, an unprecedented four times. They call him La Pulga, Spanish for "the flea" because of his small size (5'7"), but he's a giant on the soccer field. He's spent his entire record-breaking club career playing in Spain for Barcelona, making him somewhat of an outsider in his native country. Messi's also underperformed for Argentina in tournaments past, so look for him to play with a huge chip on his shoulder this World Cup, scoring goals in bunches and thrilling spectators with his physics-defying speed and ball control.
Match Day Dish: Argentinean Pork with Chimichurri
According to our Global Kitchen cookbook, "Chimichurri is like a loose herb pesto spiked with vinegar. It probably originated in Spain, but has since become the preferred condiment for grilled beef in Argentina and Uruguay." It gets nice heat from red pepper and ground cumin, and is delicious smothered over grilled pork tenderloin. I'm making this one for the match—pictures to follow—and suggest you add it to your grilling wheelhouse. And don't forget to send your World Cup cuisine pics in for our Instagram contest (details here). Have a great match day four! Cheers.
Hands-on Time: 20 min. Total Time: 1 hr. 30 min.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided