Cooking books are so boring yet inventing your own recipes is hard. But not if you know what flavors taste great together and that's where FlavorHunt steps in.
Simpy choose a category to find a flavor and click through to find matches made in heaven.
Liven up your cereal, create a killer pizza or design the perfect stir-fry - cooking will never be the same again.
An easy way to experience these two together is to boil up some white beans and in another pan add some generous glugs of oil and a few finely chopped cloves of garlic. When the garlic is cooked add chopped rosemary and cook gently to release the flavors. Then add the beans and turn off the heat once warmed up. Simple as that.
Think salads are boring? Then try sticking some fruit in it... hoooly moooly this stuff is off the hook!
The basic idea behind using fruit in salads is to keep it simple. Pick your fruit first then slowly build up a combo of matching greens, nuts or cheeses. You want the fruit to be the star of the show so don't bother trying to invent some clever dressing. Instead use a simple home made vinaigrette of olive oil, vinegar, salt and if possible mix in a little juice from the fruit.
One great fruit to use in salads just so happens to be oranges. One, they add much needed color to a boring limp green salad; two, they taste bloody amazing.
They do need to be lovingly prepared however. No one wants to start eating a salad only to take a bite into that horribly bitter stringy white crap that oranges are covered in. So do a google on how peel an orange first.
When you have done that, add them to a plate of thinly sliced red onion and black olives. Just imagine all their colors - yummmy! Finish by drizzling your dressing from above and shazaaam!!!
"Euuwww that sounds disgusting!". I know, I know, but hear me out. It may sound disgusting but they really do match and the crew behind Thug Kitchen have got my back with their cabbage peanut slaw. Since it is dead simple to make you don't really have an excuse not to try it out now do you?
Their recipe calls for a peanut dressing made of peanut butter, rice vinegar, lime juice, minced ginger, asian-style hot sauce and soy sauce. MIx them together and then add to a bowl of thinly sliced red and green cabbage. Job done.
This simple Thai stir fry will show you how good eggplant and basil are together. Fry some chopped chili peppers and garlic in cooking oil and when the garlic browns and fills the room with it's lovely smell add some chopped eggplant.
Fry the mixture together for a minute and then add water to the pan and cover and simmer. Check the eggplant to see if it is done and if not add more water and cover again.
When it is cooked add some nampla or soy sauce and sugar to taste. Then add chopped basil and turn off the heat immediately. Stir and serve.
OMG these kebabs are so goooood.
Flank beef marinaded in a fragrant yoghurt mix of ginger, almonds, ground coriander, mace, nutmeg and peanut oil. Notice there is no garlic in this recipe? It's all about the ginger.
Don't worry about exact measurements - just get a mixing bowl, add your beef and let your eyes and nose guide you into how much of each you should add. Don't be shy with the peanut oil and make sure you grate the ginger to get the most flavor out of it.
Rub the marinade in and leave for at least 24 hours to really make the meat tender. In the fridge please. We don't want flies.
Now the difference between "meh" kebabs which your peasant friends make and the "Holy **** did you make this" variety is down to one simple thing - yoghurt.
Most people know that. But what they don't know is that it's the consistency of the yoghurt which really matters.
Since yoghurt is what helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with the marinade's flavors it makes sense to want the yoghurt to cling to the meat as much as and for as long as possible so it can work it's magic.
The problem is most yoghurt actually contains a load of water. If you use it as is, your marinade will slowly slide off the meat and form a paddling pool at the bottom of the bowl before it even had a chance to work.
To avoid this, grab a clean kitchen towel and place the yoghurt in the middle. Wrap the towel up and start squeezing the excess water out ( over the sink would be best unless you want yoghurt juice on your feet ). Then, unravel and scrape the thick yoghurt paste with a spoon into your dish and mix in your spices. The difference is instantly recognizable.
This stuff is like freakin' crack! Banned from diet clubs around the world and the scourge of Atkins. One scoop of this delicous dip is all it takes for you to get sucked in to this bean crack den. And please don't try to rationalize your dirty habit by saying chickpeas are a good source of protein - they're still a carb.
Take a couple of tins of chickpeas, A cup of tahini paste, 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 4 cloves of garlic and salt. Pulverize in a blender, adding 5~6 tablespoons of cold water to help things mix.
Boom! Homemade crack!
The idea of overcooked broccoli is hardly appetizing but Roy Finanmore argues you're simply not overcooking it enough with his surprising recipe which was so good it was featured in the book "The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks".
His recipe calls for anchovies, peppers and garlic to be friend in a skillet with a whole cup of olive oil. He then adds pre blanched florets of broccoli to the skillet and then cooks it covered on a very low heat for 2 whole hours (hence the name "forever") so the florets soak up the anchovy flavored oil.
Amanda Hesser, the author of the book, writes:
... when you push beyond that disappointing just-too-done state (and throw in a whole lot of olive oil bubbling hazily with garlic, anchovy, and hot peppers), you find yourself with a miraculous substance.
Describing the end result, she says:
I want to call the result broccoli butter, but it's more appropriately broccoli confit. The florets trap all the oil's richness, and the stems melt away. Amanda Hesser - "The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks".
This buttery soul food is great spooned onto fresh bread, layered over pasta or as a topping for pizza.
A common partnership in many Mexican dish such as tacos, tortilla soup and fajitas. They also work well together in salads such as the classic Cob salad.
Whilst it doesn't have a short memorable name like Caesar or Cob, this salad is still popular (google is your friend here) due to how well it's three primary ingredients work together.
Light chicken is surrounded by the creamy rich tastes of avocado and papaya and a simple fresh lime dressing accents their flavors. To add some crunch, the salad is topped with crushed walnuts.
If you haven't made your own homemade pesto you should. Pounding fresh basil in a mortar, smelling it's fragrance as it fills the room and tasting it as you go is an extremely satisfying sensory experience. What is better is that making it so easy; a basic pesto is nothing but basil, parmesan, olive oil and pine nuts pulverized into a paste.
It's not just for pasta sauces either. Beyond pasta you can also use it to liven up fresh tomatoes, as a vegetarian lasagna filling or as a dipping sauce for vegetables and grilled meats.
In this American take on a traditional Chinese dish, chopped chicken is coated in batter, fried and then coated in a thick, sweet and spicy orange flavored sauce and stir fried until it caramelizes.
Unlike the Chinese original that called for dried citrus zest, an ingredient sold everywhere in China, the western version uses the more readily available fresh zest of oranges or tangerines and their juices.
In Galicia in Spain they have a soup called Caldo Gallego which literally means "Galician broth".
White beans are boiled with a bone of ham, chopped bacon and chorizo and a little pork back fat to add extra flavor. Potatoes are added to thicken the soup and fresh greens such as kale are added near the end of cooking.
Rick Stein describes the dish:
If you're even unsure what to choose for a starter in Galicia, go for the caldo, as it's always good. In the genre of comforting soups this is one of the best.Rick Stein "Rick Stein's Spain"
This traditional Iranian stew combines chicken, walnuts and pomegranate molasses together to create a gravy that is sweet, tart and thick with flavor.
This is definitely one pairing you should try. As the minimalist baker said
This dish a must. If not for Thanksgiving then today, tomorrow or the next. The combinations of ingredients is pure genius; and its the flavors, textures and complexity are absolutely stunning. The minimalist baker
The most simple example of these two in action would be aioli sauce which is basically mayonaise made with garlic!
Try deep frying some potato wedges, seasoning with good sea salt and dunking them into aioli sauce. Wash down with a crisp lager or IPA.
Another notable mention the Spanish omelette.
Commonly found in soups, stir fries and salads.
This classic American salad demonstrates these two flavors perfectly. Shreds of tender broiled chicken throw together with torn crunchy pieces of red, nappa and chinese cabbage and brought together with a fragrant dressing of sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, almonds and cilantro (corriander leaf).
To add more crunch, crackled pieces of deep fried wonton are scattered on top.
Yotam Ottolenghi shares his recipe in the guardian for a freshly made polenta made by substituting the main ingredient cornmeal for fresh corn. The result is a much softer and sweeter polenta.
To balance this sweetness he combines savory ingredients like egg plant. However, it's the feta cheese which really delivers the salty sour contrast required to keep the dish in check.
Yotam Ottolenghi is willing to bet his lentil recipe will become one of your favorites.
Roasted celery, onion, tomatoes and fresh herbs are combined with cooked puy lentils and the smoky flesh of slowly grilled eggplants.
Michael Ruhlman creates fancy scrambled eggs by adding goats cheese, butter, finely sliced chives and seasoned with good quality salt and pepper.
I like the creamy acidity that little dots of goat cheese bring to gently scrambled eggs, and I like to finish the eggs with the oniony notes and bright green color of sliced chives. You can also try small chunks of fresh mozzarella with a chiffonade of basil, for instance, or you can finish the eggs with a little more butter and torn tarragon, or some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Michael Ruhlman - “Ruhlman's Twenty”
Bacon makes anything taste better. Even Chocolate. That's what the organizers of the Minnesota State Fair found out when they serverd "Pig Lickers", sticks of bacon dipped in chocolate, to amazed attendees.
A famous UK department store also discovered this strangely wonderful pairing when they stocked a luxorious chocolate bar mixed with bacon. It became an unexpected big hit with customers and sold out within 48 hours.
Dayna Macy takes us through her first experience with the pairing
I put a small piece in my mouth. As the smoky bacon melds with the slighly sweet chocolate, I break out into a huge grin. It's strange and fabulous. Such audacity! I don't know what I love more: the taste of the bar or the inventiveness of the entire enterprise. I start to laugh and can't stop: two of my food obsessions - pork and chocolate - in one complicated bit.Dayna Macy - Ravenous: A food lover's journey from obsession to freedon
If I were to ask you to name a few ingredients popular in french cusine you probably wouln't think of lentils. Yet in France, puy lentils are a popular ingredient in many stews and soups.
One common ingredient you will find paired with these lentil dishes is bacon whose smoky deep flavors are used to season the stew.
As David Lebovitz explains...
Bacon is more often used as a seasoning in French cooking rather than crisped up and served the side. David Lebovitz - "My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories"
However, you are not only restricted to puy lentils as Bacon will work great with the indian varieties as well.
Take bacon and lentils, throw in another meat, a good stock, onions and some red wine and you have yourself a hearty stew for any autumn or winter.
When infused in water, Cardomon, especially the more pungent black variety, emits a bacon like property.
In his book "Fresh Spice", Arun Kapil recounts his introduction to Bacon on his move to Ireland
When I moved to Ireland, pork (and particularly bacon) jumped into my cooking repertoire ... The group of spices I use ... are about lifting porcine tastes, elivening sweet fat with an aromatic buzz and mellowing saltiness
He then describes how he loves to use Cardamon when poaching bacon
Next time you poach a joint of bacon or gammon, simply add a mix of green cardamon and tumeric to the water: they balance and counteract the salty cure taste sensations. "Fresh Spice" by Arun Kapil
Of course you don't have to use these to poach bacon. You could quite easily combine the two in any stews you make. Simply add a couple of cardomon pods to the water as your ingredients simmer.