Flavor combinations that make you swoon?
- nooodles Oct 21, 2005 09:35 PM
In this world, there are a few flavor combinations that are shockingly delicious to me.
cardamom/ginger (especially in cookies and ice cream)
candied walnut/goat cheese
I love all kinds of food, but these are some of the combos that make me salivate even when I'm already filled to the brim with food. I know they aren't particularly unusual, but I do believe that they have become classics for a reason. They're just shockingly good!
What do others find irresistable? I'm wondering about flavors that just seem to be made for each other, which together suddenly become so much more than the sum of their parts (ex: I love candied walnuts, and goat cheese is good, but I can control myself until you put them together--then I can't stop til I've eaten a pound of each).
Chocolate and citrus of almost any kind. BLTs, or bacon and damn near anything else. And when I was a kid I really did not like hard-boiled eggs, but developed a deep passion for sandwiches of braunschweiger, egg and Swiss cheese, welded together with lashings of mayonnaise.
As one gets older, I think it's harder to pick out exactly which combos blow your skirt up, just because so many do and they've all been absorbed into your routine. I know that when I walk through the door of a particular sort of eatery, the combined whiff I get of everything in there sets me up to fall in love with the place, and the reason for that is so inextricably intertwined with my entire life's history that I couldn't begin to explain it to myself, much less anyone else.
A few drops of aged balsamic vinegar, so thick it is like syrup on a small piece of really good Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The salty sweet combo is divine.
And on the low end of scale I love fresh popped kettle corn. The kind you get a fair. The smell of popcorn and hay and fried dough, the sweet and salty taste on your tongue when its really hot and the noise of the barkers and rides surrounds you. That is what summer is all about. It can not be duplicated in microwaved bag.
If you ever have the chance, there are monks in Quebec who make delicious chocolate-covered wild blueberries. If I recall correctly the blueberries are just left fresh & uncooked, at least they are not overly cooked or sugared. Of course these are very seasonal and probably not exported anywhere but I bought mine in Montreal and they were amazing.
LEMON with so many things...ginger, raspberry, blackberry, bitter greens...
BACON with so many things...sherry vinegar, maple syrup, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, prunes...
I am NEVER without either of these in my kitchen.
re: Val Ann C
Fresh sage is much better, but I hang dry whatever I have left over and use it in a pinch. It's not too bad dried, either.
My favorite recipe for butternut squash is Deborah Madison's winter squash galette from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Here's a simplified, tweaked paraphrase:
1 butternut squash, 3-4 lbs.
1 large onion, diced or sliced thinly
lots of fresh sage leaves. I use a handful, sliced
1 cup pecorino or parmesan cheese
your favorite pie crust (she uses a galette dough, but frozen pie crust, tart crust, or whatever vehicle you want to use is fine. I've even just made it as a mash and served it like potatoes)
Half the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, and roast in a 400 degree oven until very soft. Scoop out the meat. Meanwhile, sautee the sage and onions in some butter. Add the squash and mash well. Stir in the cheese. Taste, because you might not need salt if your cheese was pretty salty. Add pepper to taste, and fill your crust. Bake at 350 until the top is a little burnt.
A perfectly ripe pear with a wedge of Gouda cheese.
Thin slices of salami wrapped around a small chunk of
really great sharp cheddar.
Crusty sourdough baguette with Maytag blue cheese.
Fresh spring asparagas showered with shaved Parm. Reg.
ginger and scallions
peppermint and chocolate (W-S peppermint bark or peppermint stick ice cream with hot fudge are both divine)
salty and sweet
dried prunes stuffed with english walnuts, enrobed in milk chocolate
gorganzola and carmelized onions
baked yams and fresh basil
vanilla ice cream and cheerios
candied orange peel and dark chocolate
steamed asparagus (hot or cold) with a dollop of mayonaise and a sprinkle of black pepper
dark chocolate & fresh oranges
ketchup on burgers
Thick sliced smoky bacon with a slice of aged sharp cheddar. Yum! Even better when grilled between slices of sourdough and adding a sliced tomato!
Now that we're embarking on the South Beach Diet, I've remembered quite a few that I'm just gonna have to do without for a while, like anything with potatoes. I adore nice fatty pork braised with sauerkraut - butt, ribs, belly - but one of the best parts is how potatoes tie all the flavors together. And then just think of all the other combinations that potatoes can elevate from merely good to sublime...sigh.
I believe I would... ;-)
I was served choucroute on New Year's Day 1974 by my boss's wife, who was from Strasbourg. From that point on, I have made it every New Year's Day (as well as any other time I get the urge), and I must say I've gotten pretty damn good at it. But I will happily eat it wherever and whenever I can find it, if I'm at all hungry and the ambient temperature is below 90º.
Marguerite served it, BTW, with pommes de terre Alsacienne, which were boiled potatoes with a sauce made of finely-chopped onion cooked in butter, then combined with sour cream. OMG...!
Albacore sashimi (not seared) with ponzu sauce.
Butternut squash and cinnamon.
Pedestrian, but yams and brown sugar.
Bagel with cream cheese and butter.
Does cinnamon streusel and vanilla ice cream count?
Whole kernel corn and pinto beans, a little hot sauce. Preferably fresh corn off the cob, but canned will work in this combo.
Corn with chili, beans or not.
Corn in chicken soup.
Corn fritters with syrup.
I had new corn ice cream once...oh, my.
But I'll go bacon with pancake syrup, too.
so many already mentioned, but also hard boiled egg and high quality canned tuna in oil in a salad or on a sandwich
Caramel and Grand Marnier
Good New Mexican flour tortillas, butter, and cinnamon sugar
Dark chocolate and coconut
Chipotle and sweet potatoes
Rusty Nail -- Drambuie and Scotch. Can't stand either one neat, but together, they're sublime.
In Nicaragua, against many warnings, I ate this street food called "bigaron" (sp?) which was boiled yucca with meaty and crispy chicarrones topped with pickled cabbage. The refreshing tartness of the cabbage cut through the richness of the salty chicarrones, while the soft blandness of the yucca pillowed every bite.
On the hour-long bus ride back to Managua, I prayed to every saint that I wouldn't get sick, and I was blessed with a peaceful stomach.
Liverwurst and Progresso fried sweet peppers in oil on a mayonnaise-slathered toasted english muffin - eat them open-faced so you can have two!
Mmmm,there are too many to list. Right now, I am obsesssing over apple butter mashed with home-made ricotta, pistachio butter in crepes, and chocolate and raspberries.
Nooodles, have you tried putting cream cheese with the squash? it's another great squash combo.
Not sure if it's too late to post this, but this is exactly the list of things I have been looking for. Thanks to all who added to my repertoire.
In return, here is my list:
Vanilla and Rosemary (used to flavour lots of things!)
Tomato and Basil (absolute classic)
Pork and Basil
Mushroom Soup and Basil (okay, I love basil!!)
Fennel and Orange
Pork and Apple
Apple and Cinnamon
Spinach and Marjoram
Black Olives and Oregano
crepes and lemon juice yummmm
cottage cheese and tuna again yummm
whomeal pita and vegemite mmmm
roast pumkin and cinnamon
chocolate and mint mmm
apple pie and ice cream
pita bread and hommus
avacado on toasted rye bread (added flavour options include lemon tomato or cottage cheese tuna in oil etc depending.)
cottage cheese and olives
cottage cheese, or/and tomato on wholegrain thick toast mmmm
honey and toast or bread period.
fruit cake and butter and a cup of tea.
chicken breast, lettuce toamto sandwhihes on thick white bread mmmm
bannana and yoghurt oooh and bannana smoothies too
bannana and bran muffins
spinach and ricotta or any cheese in many forms spanikopita pastisse etc.
vegemite and cheese on thick white bread or toast.
smoked salmon and cream cheese on rye toast with cucumber and pepper.
oh and my faaaavourite msubi with ume! YUM ;-)
i can honestly say these make me swoon!
peanut butter, banana, and chocolate, and any separate duo combinations thereof
scallops and cauliflower
There is a recipe out there for butternut squash ravioli with a sage browned butter sauce (crisped sage) that is out of this world.
I have to add to your list:
sesame and orange
coconut (as in rice) and cilantro
lime and ... lots of things
Sharp cheddar and orange (marmalade is particular favorite, on a croissant, cheese a little melted - yum)
anchovies and raisins
beer and chocolate
spinach and melted cheddar (in an omelet, or just by on a plate!!)
potato pancakes and homemade applesauce
organic heinz ketchup and hot salty french fries