It’s inevitable—whenever we’re toasting or cheers-ing before a meal, my grandfather slips in the obligatory, “Here’s to looking up your record.” I can guarantee you that after yesterday, Brazil’s hapless team, and the country as a whole for that matter, want no part of a meal with my grandfather.
Everyone from Pôrto Alegre all the way to Boa Vista woke up this morning hoping it was all a bad dream, that they had somehow only imagined Germany destroying [SEE ALSO: obliterated, crushed, steamrolled, smashed, shattered, demolished] their World Cup hopes in a 7-1 rout. It was a beating unlike any the World Cup, or possibly any sport, has ever seen. For a comparison, I found it necessary to turn to fiction. Not since that time Tom Cruise the gaijin was somehow the last samurai has there been such a lopsided defeat.
Seriously, you guys. That game was so terribly sad for the host nation. I’ve seen a lot of professional fútbol matches in my day, but I have never seen a team roll over and play dead like the Seleção did after Miroslav Klose scored Die Mannschaft’s second goal (becoming the highest goalscorer in World Cup history in the process). It was like [Author's note: PETA, avert your eyes] watching a pod of killer whales toying with a seal pup. Hard to stomach, harder to watch.
That being said, props to ze Germans. As bad as Brazil played, Germany played a near-perfect game. They will assuredly be the favorites entering the final against the winner of today’s contest. Hellooo, segue..
Match of the Day: THE ONLY ONE ON
Europe vs. South America: Take two. Hopefully today’s match will be more hotly contested than yesterday’s. Magical Messi meets dominant Dutch. Argentina will be looking to impress in their first semifinal in 24 years, while the Oranje are itching to get back to the final for the second consecutive Cup. Both teams had their confidence shaken in their respective quarterfinal matches, so there’s really no telling how this turns out. Argentina will be without a major weapon in midfielder Angel Di Maria, so they’ll need Messi to flip his superhuman switch and lead them to victory. Like the little engine that could, I think they can. I think they can. My Pick: Argentina 3, Netherlands 1
Player to Watch: La Pulga
Yes, I’ve featured him here already. But Lionel Messi is IMPOSSIBLE. Literally. Editor Scott Mowbray sent me this link which outlines just how impossible Messi is. Read that, and be amazed. Plain and simple, the little guy from Rosario was put on Earth to make us appreciate The Beautiful Game. Not since Michael Jordan have we been privileged enough to see one man so thoroughly dominant his craft. And Messi wants to win today. Needs to win. He lives ever in Diego Maradona’s shadow, and only a World Cup triumph will grant him his place in the sun (at least in Argentina’s eyes). Expect him to have the game of his life, or the Dutch will win.
Match Day Dish: Argentine Black Bean Flatbread with Chimichurri Drizzle (Argentina)
Chimichurri is divine. This World Cup was actually my first run-in with this Argentinean grilled meat complement, but I can assure you it won’t be my last. The flavor is second to none. Cook this recipe up and be amazed. After your amazement subsides, take pictures of your dish and send them into our Instagram account for a chance to win prizes (details here). Have a happy World Cup semifinal day! Cheers.
Argentine Black Bean Flatbread with Chimichurri Drizzle
Total Time: Not too long
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°), divided
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups Black Bean Spread
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and cut into 16 strips. Set aside.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 450°.
4. Sprinkle cornmeal over a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
5. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add remaining 1/2 cup water, flour, and salt to yeast mixture, stirring until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).
6. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Roll dough into a 14 x 11-inch rectangle; place dough on prepared baking sheet. Spread 1 1/2 cups Black Bean Spread over dough. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 13 minutes or until crust browns and cheese is bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes.
7. Combine parsley and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle parsley mixture over cheese. Cut bread into 16 squares; garnish each square with 1 bell pepper strip.