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New flavor combinations you really enjoy

At the risk of having everyone respond with, "You've never had THAT before?!" I will say that in the process of making some corn salad last week I squeezed a lemon over some freshly-sauteed corn and was simply delighted with the combination, even before adding the other ingredients.

When you cook corn you think of emphasizing the sweet aspect or deepening the flavor with some butter, but putting something tart on it gave it a different dimension. What a treat.

Anyone else have any other chance food epiphanies you'd like to share?

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  1. I am madly in love with nectarines or peaches on peanut butter toast. Adding marionberries will drive you up a wall. It is the best.

    1. I just had seared foie gras with strawberries. Yes, it sounds odd. Yes, I was skeptical. But my philosophy is, "leave no foie behind!" I was out to dinner with a group tonight and the chef sent out that, and another seared foie with figs, which I had had before. I tried the strawberry one first and was delightfully surprised!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Non Cognomina

        often foie gras is parired with a rich fruit--I just had blueberries and corn puree with foie gras. Yummy.

        1. re: Non Cognomina

          Had seared foie with a vanilla sauce a couple of months ago. It was wonderful.

          1. re: Non Cognomina

            fois gras with ruhbarb is pretty good, Vongerichten suggests a reduced OJ/wine/ginger sauce and that is also good.

            1. re: steinpilz

              I was gonna say vanilla. I've seen foie gras with tuna tartare before and also with a "Hibiscus Honey-Soy glaze."


          2. Peanut butter on my hamburger. PB & J, too!

            2 Replies
            1. re: OliveBelle

              My father used to eat peanut butter on his hotdogs and loved it. He said it came from post-depression when they didn't have butter to put on their hotdog bun so they tried peanut butter (he and his siblings were kids at the time) and they all really liked it. He ate it up until the day he died.

              1. re: OliveBelle

                there is a burger joint in missouri that specializes in this dish.... The Wheel Diner serves the world famous Gooberburger.... awesome.

              2. Although not new one combo I was surprised by was watermelon and feta.

                I love sweet with another note such as salty, sour, and savory. So I love things like raisins in sauteed rapini and strawberries with a good balsamic.

                PB goes with any fruit! Especially apples!


                4 Replies
                1. re: j2brady

                  I just started using balsamic vinegar in strawberries and loved it! Now it's the way to go for me, with the addition of honey to soften the tart of the vinegar. Makes the most flavorful and unique taste! I love it over ice cream of angel food cake.

                  1. re: cooknKate

                    Yep, it DOES taste excellent! And the better quality the strawberries and the vinegar, the better it will taste.

                    1. re: TexasToast

                      I love this - I usually add black pepper too.

                    2. re: cooknKate

                      Add some mangoes to the mix! It's great with both ice cream and angel food cake.

                  2. Jam omelettes. Usually with strawberry jam. Maple syrup is good too.

                    Hummus and pickled beets. Wonderful sandwich.

                    1. I've mentioned this before but it bears repeating (and, hey, the NY Times and Gourmet have both raved about it): vanilla panna cotta, basil syrup and passion fruit pulp. See www.chowhound.com/topics/show/310840#... for how to make the basil syrup. It's always amusing to see first-timers reacting exactly the way I once did -- doubt giving way to surprise then astonishment and finally unadulterated delight -- all in the space of 5-10 seconds. However bizarre it sounds, it truly is a flavour combination that makes perfect sense on the palate, as though it has always existed, as though it was meant to be.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: carswell

                        I know this is old but just in case someone is currently reviewing.... Vanilla panna cotta, basil syrup, and strawberries is a great combination. The dish is also visually stunning. You can make it look like a caprese salad becuase of the red/green/white combination.

                      2. honey and goat cheese with some freshly ground pepper. (great on crackers)
                        cilantro kumquat vodka martini.

                        1. Speaking of corn I like to scrape it off the cob - add to sauteed onion and or garlic - cook, and add soy sauce. It makes a delicious sweet and salty dish.

                          1. Grilled cheese sandwiches with grape gam.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: LisaAZ

                              Try it w/a ham grilled cheese. You'll thank me.

                              1. re: bryan

                                Ever had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich spread with strawberry yogurt?? That's pretty yummy too!

                                1. re: bryan

                                  ..which is pretty much a simplified Monte Cristo, that old diner staple.

                                1. re: Dave Westerberg

                                  I like lemon with chocolate (sorbet/ice cream combo, lemon curd/ganache tart).

                                2. Mango, red onion, and fresh tomatoes with balsamic vinegar - makes a great salad and pretty to look at as well

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: takuhead

                                    If you char-grill the mango's first and then glaze them in a balsamic reduction, this tastes even better!


                                    1. re: akp

                                      add caramel for an even more yummy treat

                                        1. re: akp

                                          Had a delicious chocolate tart drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. Fantastic!

                                        2. never thought I would love green apple and celery sorbet with horseradish, sea salt and olive oil--very refreshing after a rich dinner (Wallse restaurant in Manhattan)

                                          1. Whole pickled cucumber dipped in honey.

                                            4 Replies
                                              1. re: kare_raisu

                                                using the honey as a dipsauce is something I picked up in eastern Europe, if you really want to go overboard you add some smetana too :).

                                              2. re: PicklingJessica

                                                it's great with maple syrup too! (Grade B!)

                                                1. re: PicklingJessica

                                                  What type of pickle? Dill? Please specify.

                                                2. drippingly-ripe yellow peaches or nectarines with blueberries (sometimes in a light white wine gelatin!). thinly sliced radishes on fresh-from-the-oven pain ordinaire with unsalted butter.

                                                  1. Not uncommon in Asia, but haven't met someone yet who's tried it is chilli oil/hot sauce with salt on mangos.

                                                    Not to mention it's great blended with a little olive oil as a sandwich spread.

                                                    If you like the lemon on corn bit, you should try corn and strawberries.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: SKing

                                                      I mix cubes of avocado and mango with a squeeze of lime juice, salt, and red chile flakes. Yum! (Tomato and red onion make it more salsa-like, but I like it without.)

                                                    2. tamarind with pork... i don't think it's a new combo in the food world, but i just discovered it for myself and wondered how i've gone on so far without ever thinking to put them together?

                                                      2 Replies
                                                        1. re: kare_raisu

                                                          no, not braised, although that sounds fantastic. i have a filipino tamarind soup base (used for making sinigang) that i just discovered is great for using on just about every meat or fish. i experimented and added it to some brine i used for pork chops and it was amazing. i don't have a whole lot of experience with fresh tamarind, but i'm willing to do more experiments in my kitchen if i do get my hands on some...

                                                      1. Since I wasn't a basil lover until recently except for tomato sauce uses:

                                                        Basil w/corn - thanks to Aaron on this site for that wondeful suggestion
                                                        Basil w/apples - thanks to Restaurant David Drake in Rahway, NJ.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                            Microplaned citrus rind ( especially lime) on ANYTHING. I have it on cottage cheese, yogurt,in salsa, on or in ice cream and in all marinades.Millions of other uses I'm sure.

                                                            1. re: missclaudy

                                                              great on braised meats ... i put microplaned citrus on braised lamb shanks right before serving. It really brightens up the long-simmered flavors.

                                                            2. Lemon juice and tabasco in any cream based soup really really sparks up the flavors.

                                                              1. My supermarket had something called "True Lime" - lime crystals in a shaker jar. I put it on fresh corn that I have ever-so-lightly buttered..........to die for..........
                                                                I've also put a lot of fruit in my salads this summer, especially plums, instead of tomatoes.

                                                                1. crystallized* ginger dusted with a blend of spices that has cinnamon, clove, and cardamom (a pumpkin spice blend works pretty damn well) and topped with a toasted unsalted pecan

                                                                  SO. amazingly. good.

                                                                  * It's very important that the ginger not be candied. Otherwise, the ground spices won't really stay on that well. I'd suggest taking some of the sugar off before spicing it. I swear, have it any sweeter than necessary and the warmth of the ginger and spices will be muted.

                                                                  1. I like rosemary bread toasted with blackberry jam. Parrano cheese is good on it too.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: vanillagrrl

                                                                      Toasted Fennel and Raisin bread with Mango & Apricot Stilton and fresh cracked black pepper.

                                                                      I know, it sounds a bit "busy", but it really works!


                                                                    2. I just made this for breakfast and it was suprisingly better than I thought it would be - a bagel topped with cream cheese, sliced tomato and zucchini (to give it some crunch) and drizzled with some balsamic vinigrette.

                                                                      1. New perhaps to no one but me but steak and yuzu pepper. Tride it the first time last weekend. Damn! That is good. Now I want to white wash the world in yuzu pepper!

                                                                        1. papaya or mango or peach or nectarine cubes with cumin seeds, cilantro, lemon juice and a teeny bit of sugar.

                                                                          1. At my sister's wedding in Spain she served an appetizer (in a spoon) of anchovy and banana in a pool of honey. It was fantastic. Salty sweet smooth chewy...yum. I would never have thought of that!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: lrhr

                                                                              WOW !
                                                                              that sounds awesome - just up my alley!

                                                                            2. V-8 juice with a splash of white basalmic vinegar....like a turbo-charged V-8

                                                                              1. Goat Cheese with Blueberry Jam
                                                                                Truffle Mousse Pate with Red Pepper Jelly

                                                                                And I just made the recipe for Tunapica from Asia de Cuba. It is the weirdest combo of ingredients but sooo good......diced yellowfin tuna, chopped green olives with pimentos, chopped toasted almonds, chives, soy sauce, sesame oil, unsweetened coconut, garlic and ginger.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: jenniebnyc

                                                                                  Them's not the most weird ingredients I've ever heard of. In fact, it sounds similar one of Nobu's signature dishes, Toro Tartare.


                                                                                2. I'm nowhere near where they sell these things - anyone had any experience with something remotely similar?


                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: josquared

                                                                                    They sold them at the Orange County Fair. I found it disgusting but they were doing a land-office business.

                                                                                    1. re: josquared

                                                                                      I've been dying to try this—thanks for reminding me!

                                                                                      1. re: josquared

                                                                                        That is truly bizarre...and fascinating, not to mention intriguing.

                                                                                        Hey vyieort - if you get your hands on one you must report back. I doubt I'll get anywhere near IL in the near future.

                                                                                        1. re: josquared

                                                                                          Ha I saw a clip of Paula Dean making and eating one of those abominations. I could feel my arteries clogging just by watching.

                                                                                        2. panko breaded grilled brie w/ strawberries,peaches and balsamic

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: andlulu

                                                                                            Now that sounds really good! Could you do the same thing with feta, or would that be too salty or tart?


                                                                                            1. re: TexasToast

                                                                                              I think it sounds wonderful, but I would pair it w/ pears & cranberries instead. I might also deglaze the balsamic, make it a little sweeter. In any case, fried/grilled feta is very tasty!

                                                                                          2. Not remotely new, but green olives, cumin and raisins together -- I'm on a big Moroccan kick.

                                                                                            1. recently had a lovely salad of fresh zucchini (sliced very thinly on a mandoline), lemon zest, olive oil, tiny bit of lemon juice and slivers of manchego. it was incredible.

                                                                                              1. My friend taught me the delights of making a peanut butter sandwich with a little Sriracha sauce. The heat of the sauce is mellowed by the peanut butter. It's surprisingly good.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: jillp

                                                                                                    Sort of like a Gado Gado sandwich... A thicker version of Vera's G G in a sandwich would be divine.

                                                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                                                      We must do that, very soon, like maybe next Saturday night. The flavor idea is in my brain and I am out of sriracha and plan to pick some up tomorrow.

                                                                                                1. Sharp cheddar cheese in a date. Tastes like creamy fudge.

                                                                                                  1. For avocado lovers...sliced with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Jennieb

                                                                                                      mmm, yes. sometimes i drizzle a tiny bit of soy sauce instead, the sodium cuts through the creaminess of the avocado and it's strangely good.

                                                                                                      1. re: bijoux16

                                                                                                        Speaking of avocado's - a good one is :
                                                                                                        sliced avocado
                                                                                                        red onion slices
                                                                                                        miracle whip drizzles
                                                                                                        salt & pepper
                                                                                                        squeeze lime over all


                                                                                                    2. Dark pumpernickel toast with cream cheese and sliced tomato, salt & pepper.

                                                                                                      Rye toast with butter, peanut butter, and Cajun spiced bacon.

                                                                                                      Lately I'm loving the rice that's served along entrées at my local Afghan restaurant: savory rice cooked with raisins and carrots, spiced with cardamom, saffron, and I haven't figured out what else yet.

                                                                                                      1. A few that surprised me:

                                                                                                        cocoa and fresh rosemary in a red wine based stew

                                                                                                        cocoa in garlic mashed potatoes - gives it an earthy grounding that is wonderful

                                                                                                        crystallized ginger in garlic mashed potatoes - HUGE surprise how good this was. Melt the ginger slightly and then whip into the potatoes for a wonderful surprise.

                                                                                                        a lovely salad: chicken, honeydew, zuchini, lime, olive oil, mint - i LOVE this salad. Was so surprised how well the flavors go together.

                                                                                                        1. Shrimp (fairly simply cooked is fine) dipped in hummus.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                            Dill pickle dipped in hummous. MMmmm a favourite open-door fridge middle of the night snack.

                                                                                                          2. orange infused olive oil + taragon
                                                                                                            Macadamia nut oil + saffron
                                                                                                            Orange + saffron
                                                                                                            raisin bread + anise + olive oil or walnut oil or macadamia oil

                                                                                                            1. AT the risk of making everyone in here vomit, I'll describe soemthing my mom used to make for us when we were kids: You take a pickle, coat it in cream cheese, and wrap a slice of pastrami around it (usually Carl Budig or something similarly cheap). Something about the tart of the pickle combined with the creaminess of the cheese and the pastrami was just...really...good.

                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: erikka

                                                                                                                I've had that, dill pickle but used ham, SO good. I've also had that, deep fried. Very interesting..

                                                                                                                1. re: andlulu

                                                                                                                  How did that work with the deep frying--the cream cheese didn't leak out? Did they make some sort of ham envelope and plop that in--and how was it held together? This I have to see!

                                                                                                                  1. re: erikka

                                                                                                                    No, real, clue. It had some sort of breading on it,crunchy. No cream cheese leaked out until you bit into it, and that was the RIGHT moment! =P

                                                                                                                2. re: erikka

                                                                                                                  No vomiting here, they're delicious! Hubbies family have been making these for decades but with ham and sliced into rounds. Same concept as a Polish Rose.

                                                                                                                  Dead on with the Carl Budig or other cheap meat. I tried for awhile to break with tradition and use slices of a real good ham but the thicker meat made such a mess when trying to slice them that I went back to the cheap meat, defeated.

                                                                                                                  1. re: erikka

                                                                                                                    Yes. Try it with a hot pickled okra instead of a dill pickle.

                                                                                                                  2. A sprinkle of chili powder plus maple syrup on dessert melons.

                                                                                                                    1. brie and strawberry sandwiches, or nutella on pop pans

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: cityradar

                                                                                                                        for the brie & strawberry sandwich - do you use bread or.. ? sounds yummy.

                                                                                                                        1. re: andlulu

                                                                                                                          for the brie and strawberry sandwich i usually have it with slices of white bread. And a little bit of balsalmic vinegar mixed with the strawberries first makes the flavour come out more!

                                                                                                                      2. Not new at all, but I will love fried chicken with honey drizzled over it until I die.

                                                                                                                        1. My new flavor for last year was pickle and mustard - sweet pickles and yellow mustard. I had to have it on everything - burgers, subs, hot dogs, sausages, etc.

                                                                                                                          Never was a big mustard fan, but, I don't know why, one day something "snapped" and I loved it - craved it and needed it...

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                            I went through a similar mustard binge. Never turned to eating it with pickles but I would eat it plain by the spoonful

                                                                                                                            also, in a fit of empty pantry laziness, I mixed honey and spicy smoked paprika and ate it plain as well

                                                                                                                            1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                              When I lived in the UK I fell in love with thier version of tuna salad: tuna, mayo, and sweet corn!
                                                                                                                              Sounds odd, but it's great!

                                                                                                                              Also try putting a huge dollop of sour cream on an Oreo! It's amazing!

                                                                                                                              I'm still fanatzing about the above post of banana, anchovy and honey!!! Yummmm

                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                Cream cheese on teddy grahams... instant cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                  I love to take a graham cracker and spread with cream cheese and top with strawberry jelly. Taste like strawberry cheesecake.

                                                                                                                            2. Take some bread and slightly butter it, put nutella on one side and brie on the other. Put in panini press or George Foreman and grill. You can also put slices of strawberries or jam on top of the brie.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Jacey

                                                                                                                                Hey Jacey - sounds good!
                                                                                                                                AND did you know that today is actually World Nutella Day!!!

                                                                                                                              2. Harvest wheat Pepridge farm crackers, cream cheese with chives and pepper jelly

                                                                                                                                1. I have kept this as my secret for years but persuaded by all the great suggestion to share it here: cheese omelet (good sharp cheddar is best) with a healthy spoonful of fermented black beans. All the luscious feel and flavor of a cheese omelet with little fascinating taste explosions added.

                                                                                                                                  1. Audacious mixtures of meat, fish, and dairy. Not chance, though; it's the method to the madness of two great chefs whose praises I've been singing for years (well, actually just one of them, who trained the other so now I'll sing his too). I live far away now but I still love just reading the menus.


                                                                                                                                    1. Not really new but lemon wedges squeezed on bread, or baked potato

                                                                                                                                      1. On the menu of a local sandwich shop- turkey and thin-sliced grilled plantain as part of a panini. A little bit of sweet that acts nicely as a cranberry alternative.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: beachmouse

                                                                                                                                          Maker's Mark bourbon and San Pellegrino Limonata in a tall glass of crushed ice. Greatest flavor combination of all time.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: beachmouse

                                                                                                                                            Wow that sounds fantastic! I wonder how a pulled pork & plantain panini would taste?

                                                                                                                                          2. Probably not new but new for me.

                                                                                                                                            Rosemary & cystalized ginger shortbread cookies. The fragrance is amazing and the taste is incredibly refreshing together. Last batch, I added some orange peel dust (from World Spice Merchants) and it was magic!

                                                                                                                                            1. Full fat yoghurt, fresh honey, and sesame seeds -- my favourite dessert at an amazing Tibetan restaurant in Paris.

                                                                                                                                              1. Hi jillp,

                                                                                                                                                Creamy peanut butter on raw carrots—seems to heighten the sweetness of both.

                                                                                                                                                Mango sorbet with raw blackberries (good quality ones in season)—the sweetness and tanginess play off each other quite well.


                                                                                                                                                Glendale is hungry...

                                                                                                                                                1. Sliced banana sauteed in butter with curry powder.

                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: victoriashe

                                                                                                                                                    This sounds really good! Do you slice the banana into circles or long slices? How ripe do you like to have your bananas for this?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                                                        I slice them into circles, and I use bananas that are the same ripeness as if I were eating the banana itself (just a touch of green at the stem is my preference). Melt the butter, stir or whisk in a spoonful of curry powder to taste, add the banana slices, and saute for a couple of minutes -- until banana is warmed through.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Wine/food combo: Frisian Farms Gouda w/cumin paired with Palo Alto Reserve Red (Cab/Carmenere/Syrah blend from Chile). The flavors just come together. FYI

                                                                                                                                                      1. pb on toast but instead of jelly i use mango chutney,awesome!also corn fritters drizzled with honey.

                                                                                                                                                        1. fennel salt and watermelon...mix ground fennel seed with salt and put it on a round of watermelon for an amuse bouche

                                                                                                                                                          1. Thanks to Cherylptw, Sweet Potato, apple and jalapeno peppers! Would never have thought about that particular combination.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Now that it's margarita season again, I've been adding ground cumin to the coarse salt I dip the rim of the glass in. PERFECT, especially with chips, salsa and guacamole.