Until this week I don’t think my mother had ever in her life watched a football game. Wednesday changed that, marking the start of her new-found frenzy and puns about England’s 'Sterling effort!' (to squeals of laughter from her female friends gang). Now they’re in a state of hysterical excitement and are busy planning their match day. Football really is coming home.
With nobody – including mum – minded to spend all day slaving away in the kitchen, food for Sunday’s game needs to be quick, easy and ideally unhealthy. Here are some ideas.
A baked brie or camembert – or even better a British cheese like Baron Bigod or Tunworth – is one of the very easiest and most satisfying things you can make. Simply stick a few garlic slivers and sprigs of rosemary into a couple of whole cheeses and bake until bubbling. Eat with crusty bread, or these homemade rolls.
It’s hard to beat a sausage roll. Tom Kerridge shows how it’s done (and even manages to add some veg into the filling). They take a little time to do, but then Greggs is often closed on Sundays.
Just because we’re all wishing the Italians cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment on the pitch doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy their food. Ripe tomatoes atop bruschetta is the perfect summer snack.
Buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce
The Americans know how to do ‘game day’ food. In fact, gastronomically speaking, that’s about all they’re good at. These classic buffalo wings use read-made hot sauce and honey as a coating so they are quick to make. Pair with a blue cheese sauce.
Loaded potato skins
Something about potato skins feels very suited to a big television-centred event. Load them with bacon and Cheddar, and dip them into sour cream and chives.
Everyone likes guacamole. Jamie’s South American version with black beans is as interesting as it is easy.
Homemade pizzas are great but you don’t want to be stretching dough when the players are warming up their hamstrings. Pitta pizza is the answer. Stupidly easy – just top pittas with some tomato purée and then throw on top anything you like and grill.
Pay homage to Sterling’s Jamaican roots with some proper jerk chicken. The chicken can be marinated ahead of time. Then all you need to do is cook on top of the barbecue or in the oven.
Loaded nachos feel like the archetypal TV food. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with just salsa, avocado, jalapenos and cheese but there are three more variations to consider here.
Devils on horseback
It’s hard to think of a quicker, more delicious food to pick at with a beer. They are so retro they almost feel sophisticated. Get a prune, wrap it up in a bacon rasher, impale with a cocktail stick, and grill. That’s it. The Vintage Chef Olivia Potts's recipe will have you mastering them in no time. Some interesting ideas for twists are here.
We happily gorge on popcorn at the movies, so why not for the footy? Serving up this popcorn glazed with brown sugar and cinnamon also handily removes the need to serve a dessert. And it won’t go cold if the game ends up going to penalties…