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Jan 15, 2002 01:33 PM

Unususal food combinations

  • s

We were discussing at lunch today what we had for dinner last night. My colleague grilled hamburgers for her and her beau and then watched in horror as he slipped the hamburger into a chocolate chip bagel and smothered it w ketchup. He explained that thats how he can have supper and dessert at the same time. Yuk! What are some of your favorite unusual food combinations??

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  1. Kosher and dill pickles are great with pizza...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Karl S.

      I'm on record as not being a huge pizza guy but I enjoy canned pickled jalapenos (I think la nortena brand, they have to be the whole ones) or more recently homepickled ones with pizza.

      I also like doing a cuban-chinese thing with my yellow rice and black beans, throwing in some chinese sausage.

      1. re: zim

        In Miami, mixing your black beans and rice with chicken, sausage, cheese, etc is called "Chop Chop." I add mango chutney to mine.

    2. Twenty-five years ago I used to enjoy pizza with blueflish chunks on it at a little tavern in Hyannis, MA. I was skeptical the first time I went in there, but it was delicious.

      23 Replies
      1. re: Deven Black

        While studying in Austria 10 years ago I noticed with some distress that Germans tuna fish and corn were common pizza toppings.

        1. re: Seth Ditchik

          I also studied in Austria 10 years ago and was revolted when they mixed tuna in oil with spaghetti sauce. I know ground beef was expensive but that was just too much for me.

          1. re: bacardi

            We tried this at home once, long ago, reasoning that if shrimp, clams and squid were good in tomato sauce over pasta, why not tuna? So much for reason. We dubbed the dish Tuna Dismay, and haven't repeated it.

            1. re: C. Fox

              Spaghetti with tuna isn't unusual, it's classic. Of course, it depends on what else you add.....but there are recipes for Spaghetti al Tonno in many Italian cookbooks, including, e.g. Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cookbook.

              1. re: Peter

                Yes, I learned that later. Just not our cup o' pasta, I guess. I think it's the tuna-tomato combo that put me off. I like tuna-noodle casserole, tuna in pasta salads, etc.

            2. re: bacardi

              If it's italian imported tonno packed in good quality olive oil I don't see what the problem would be. Sounds delicious to me.


              1. re: bacardi

                My wife tells the story that her mother, seeing a recipe for Turkey Divan and not having any turkey in the house, thought "gee, I'll make it with tuna." Needless to say, the recipe for Tuna Divan will not be passed from generation to generation.

            3. re: Deven Black

              I've always like the rules that people have about eating bluefish. My sister's father in law says only if you catch it yourself and eat it in less than 4 hours. Once a friend's brother and wife came to visit us in NH, from Connecticut, and she brought bluefish her father had caught (we had a good laugh because her father was Big Rocco and her son was Little Rocco, and my sister's father in law is Big Flint and her son is Little Flint). When I wondered about the age of the bluefish (they got there at noon, and unless her father was up at dawn....) she told me she had a great recipe, which basically involves slathering the fish with mayonnaise and baking it. Sounds weird, but you scrape off most of the mayo and somehow it freshens the fish.

              I suppose in Hyannis you would have been safe it the pizza parlor was ethical about its bluefish.

              1. re: annieb

                I am surprised that you thought it was odd to slather the bluefish with mayo. That's how I always do it. Maybe it's a Connecticut quirk. How do they cook it in other states?

                1. re: Janet F.

                  I've only had bluefish once -- over the summer in Chatham, Mass., where I gather it's considered something of a poorman's dinner -- but it was some of the best fish I've ever eaten. My friend prepared it with his family recipe -- slathered with anchovy butter and grilled over a fire. Somehow the fishiness of the anchovy counteracts the fishiness of the bluefish. He also said it had to be super-fresh or bust... At home, I tried the same preparation with sea bass that cost about 10x as much per pound as the bluefish and it wasn't near as good... Go figure.

              2. re: Deven Black

                Bluefish is my vote for the most underrated fish that I know of. I am hesitant to talk it up too much for fear it will no longer be $3-$4 per pound. It is true, however, that it ought to be as fresh as possible. It does not have to be eaten the day it is caught, although it is best that way, but it needs to be kept well (cold, on ice, etc) otherwise.

                I catch them all the time in the summer. Easy to clean, bake with lemon, onions, garlic, herbs. Grill with same. At a restaurant I worked at, we ran a special of bluefish, sandwiched between ruffled potato slices and caramelized onions, seared then roasted. God it was good. Also, fun as hell to catch.


                1. re: jake pine

                  When the fisherfolk in my family are lucky enough to bring in bluefish, we grill them up right on the boat - no mayo, no nothing. Just fabulous. If we are indeed fortunate and bring in a few, my hubby smokes 'em and makes pate of the extra. Too good.

                  1. re: jake pine

                    the key to cooking blues is as soon as you catch it, bleed it !. Cut behind the head about 3" into the body and bleed that sucker. Cuts the oily taste that some people complain about. If you buy blues, cut the dark part of the fillet off (on the top?), that is the blood vein and will definitely be stronger than the rest of the fish.

                    1. re: jake pine

                      what is your point on price? $3-$4 a pound is the high end for fish; i can get salmon for that range.

                      i'm not talking about any cheapo fish mart here, just the local safeway. fish prices tend to be $0.89 up to $1.99 or $2.99. i would have thought they'd be even lower in boston?

                      so...bluefish is expensive, and bluefish is good. no surprise about that!

                      1. re: basil
                        Caitlin McGrath

                        May I ask where you live? All places I've lived (in northern California and NYC--which are pricy places to live), $3-4/lb. is the low end for fish. Farmed salmon is twice that, wild 3-4 times that. I don't buy fish at supermarkets, but their prices are comparable.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                 that u mention it, i did notice during a recent visit to L.A. that the prices there (ralph's, von's, albertson's) were exceptionally high. which rather surprised me, since here (seattle) has a reputation for being far more expensive.

                          i did, however, think that SALMON was cheaper there than here. which i found ironic, since most of them had seattle suburbs stamped on the tags!

                          btw, i might point out that steak/roast beef ranges from 59 cents to $4.99 here. in any given week, you can always find one or another type of actual steak (not pot roast-type cuts) on sale at 89-99 cents. i sometimes grab one when the fish prices shoot back up over 3 bucks.

                          1. re: basil
                            Caitlin McGrath

                            Your post is proof positive that Seattle is much cheaper. There's no way you'd find fish or beef that cheap at a Safeway in SF. And yes, fresh tuna surely costs $8-12/lb in Manhattan--but a lot of factors (e.g., high real-estate costs) contribute to price inflation here.

                            1. re: basil

                              I've never found many deals in Seattle aside from slightly lower restaurant prices. Fish in all of my Manhattan markets starts at $6.99 for Catfish to the higher teens for top quality Tuna. Salmon is universally 8.99 a pound for Atlantic. Bluefish is about 4 dollars at the Farmer's market though. Where do you shop for these prices?

                              1. re: iron frank

                                "Where do you shop for these prices?"

                                sigh...doesn't anyone READ my posts?!


                                every round someone asks me the same 2 questions!

                                FWIW, the prices at QFC or larry's are generally in the same ballpark (not sure about fred meyer or albertson's); i've been saying safeway only bcoz i figure more people know the place, such as y'all posting from SF. but they tend to be in the same range. thriftway is the one exception, with significantly higher prices (ironic, given the name!).

                                i've never seen salmon go over $4.99 except at thriftway (and maybe at larry's $5.99 once). usually $3.99; sometimes $2.99. i'm sure a scan of various website/archives would confirm it has NEVER been $8.99! gawd, you could get crab or lobster in THAT range!

                                and farmer's markets are notoriously dear. i see their appeal for "freshness", but certainly not for price. in fact, the most famous one here (pike place) is a notorious tourist trap. you can easily pay 3-4 times the price of safeway there.

                          2. re: basil

                            I dont know where you buy your fish, but in NYC if you are not buying wholesale quantities, tuna is $9-12, mahi-mahi is $4-6, salmon (cleaned) is $5-8, flounder is $8-10, striped bass is $8-10, bluefish is $3-5. That is cheap. The thought of buying fish in the grocery store is a little repulsive, so I dont even know if it is cheaper than a fish store.

                            I know down in chinatown, prices are a little cheaper, so a whole salmon which might cost $2 per pound, when cleaned is about $4 per pound, but IF ANYBODY ACTUALLY KNOWS A SPECIFIC PLACE WHERE THE FISH IS BETWEEN $.99-2.99, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT.

                            Also, for what it's worth, salmon is on the cheap end also.

                            1. re: jacob pine

                              i told u the first time around, SAFEWAY. or any of the similar chains here.

                              i have never thought about supermarket food as being any better or worse than in some small mart. i tend to buy at the cheapest place, and go into yuppie fish marts or butcher's shops only when i am looking for something hard to find. not out of some vague sense that the stuff there is "fresher". might be; just never occured to me.

                              however, as my other posts will attest, i spend more time in asian food marts/chinatown than anywhere else. sauces, veggies, rice, noodles, etc. but i don't generally find fish or meat there to be as cheap as in any chain supermarket. i did, however, buy a whole salmon there last week. 69 cents/lb. meanwhile cleaned filets at safeway were $2.99 (last week; back up slightly this week).

                              and tuna at $9-12?! dear god!!!!

                              1. re: basil

                                Basil -- But WHERE are you? Here, in the San Francisco Bay Area, the prices are even higher than Jake listed.

                      2. This is actually a bit common - I know several people who enjoy this...... but Kim Chee & Peanut Butter Sandwiches do sound a bit weird.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: KirkK

                          as the single person who is constantly posting about kimchi on these boards (as well as a pb fanatic), i am headed straight to my kitchen after reading your post!

                          i regularly toss kimchi into bowls of cereal, btw.

                        2. Wendy's fries dunked in a Frosty. I started doing that in high school and now EVERY time I go to Wendy's I *must* get a frosty to dunk the fries in. Something about the combination of hot and cold, salty and sweet is perfect. BTW if you're driving, don't even try it. You'll be covered in Frosty. I know. I've been there.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: JK Grence

                            I had a girlfriend, originally from Michigan who eats her Wendy's fries with her Frosty the same way, dipping the fries. She says it is common up on the upper peninsula of Michigan.

                            1. re: JK Grence

                              Also works very well with McDonald's fries and vanilla shake! Used to make trips to McDonald's just for this combo!

                              1. re: JK Grence

                                I was about to post this combination. But you beat me to it. Did we go to high school together???

                              2. j
                                Joann Creekmore

                                A grilled cheese sandwich, slathered with mayoniase, a slice of american cheese and topped with dilled pickle slices, toasted on buttered wheat bread....and then of course I have to dunk it in whatever soup i've made to accompany it at the time....ummmm