World Cup Match Day 1: Brazil
If you're reading this, I've been awake for 24 hours, pining for Thursday, 3:oo PM CST. Much like a small child on Christmas, I knew if I just closed my eyes and went to sleep I'd get what I wanted much sooner. But alas, anticipation is clearly sleep deprivation's bestie. And it was sooo worth it, because today is...THE FIRST DAY OF THE 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP!
Okay, I'm calm. I'm collected. I'm ready. Are you? Without further ado, I give you the first post of Cooking Light's World Cup Blogstravaganza!
Match to Watch: Brazil vs. Croatia
The Canarinhos (Brazil's nickname) are a heavy favorite to win their unprecedented sixth World Cup trophy, and not just because they'll enjoy the luxury of playing in front of the home crowd. They are loaded with talent top-to-bottom, and should easily make it to the tournament's knockout round. Make no mistake, though—Croatia is considered by many to be a dark horse, led by phenomenal midfielder Luka Modrić and forward Mario Mandžukić. This will be an incredible opening match, but there's no way Brazil loses. My Pick: Brazil 3, Croatia 1
Player to Watch: Neymar
The host country's talisman, Neymar (Brazilians have always been big fans of the one name thing) is looking to carry the weight of Brazil's title hopes on his diminutive 22 year-old shoulders. Even though he's still young, he's really, really good. Look for him to have a hand in the scoring today and lead Brazil to its first victory.
Match Day Dish: Shrimp in Bahia Sauce (Brazil)
A Brazilian recipe in homage to the tournament and host team's first game. Although Feijoada is probably more popular throughout Brazil, I opted for a dish that takes far less time. Make this recipe for dinner to celebrate the end of match day one, and don't forget to take pictures for our Instagram contest. Happy World Cup! Cheers.
Hands-on Time: 56 min. Total Time: 1 hr. 21 min.
- 8 ounces fresh or frozen yuca (cassava), thawed
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons annatto (achiote) seeds
- 1 large onion, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise (2 1/4 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise (1 cup)
- 3 cups diced seeded peeled tomato
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped seeded Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges