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An Asian-Inspired Dinner Party or Anyone Can Cook Anything!

Yeah, that’s my take on cooking food outside your ethnicity. All it takes is knowing what you like, a few good seasoning agents*, a dash of confidence and access to google for recipes or to answer any last-minute questions. It may not be “authentic”, but it could (should) be tasty.

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The Best Rice Salad Ever!

Just look at that mise en place — and it only partially reflects all the ingredients. The finished dish had 3 different rice varieties, pork loin, cranberries, dates, walnuts, a variety of lentils, herbs, raw vegetables — and a chocolate and orange dressing!! Yes, you read that correctly: chocolate and orange!!

Great for a party or a one-dish meal for the family. Continue Reading

I’m Going on a Picnic and I’m Bringing … Foie Gras!

There’s a word game played during long car trips called “I’m Going on a Picnic …”. It’s also a drinking game played at parties. I’ve played both, though not recently. Perhaps you have too?

And, it’s this month’s Creative Cooking Crew challenge … a virtual picnic. Continue Reading

A Really Good Dressing for Slaws and Sandwiches

Short Post: It started as a dressing for slaw and then I realized it made a really good sandwich spread too. Continue Reading

UMAMI: What is it? And how to get it.

Umami is a loanword from Japan that has become a global buzzword in recent years. The accepted definition is ‘a pleasant savory taste’, said to be one of the 5 basic tastes; the others being sweet, sour, bitter and salty. The ingredients in this tube, which I bought in Williams Sonoma ($10), are: tomato paste, garlic, salted anchovy, sunflower seed oil, black olives, balsamic vinegar, Porcini mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, citric acid, olive oil, wine vinegar, sugar, salt.

I think I’ve been creating umami food since long before I ever heard the word. The ingredients are familiar, individually and in combination, to the FOODalogue kitchen so I doubt I’d buy a second tube (though it’s good). Like many other things (flavored salts, sugars, vinegars, oils, etc.), once you know the ingredients, it’s easy to make your own. However, it is convenient to have it all in one tube and I wanted to share the product and also take the mystery out of umami.

More information about this product here.

Really ‘Cool’: Watermelon Soup with Cilantro Drizzle

Fruit soup is a delicate balancing act — you want the sweetness of the fruit but you also want to balance that sweetness with a little acid and piquant heat. I think I accomplished just that for this month’s 5 Star Makeover Challenge: chilled soup. Continue Reading

Braised Pork Chops and Fennel with Sambuca Sauce

I hardly ever open my liquor cabinet anymore. There was a time when everyone drank mixed drinks and cordials (you can tell how long ago that was by the usage of that word). Yeah, I know ‘cocktails’ have made a comeback but, somewhere along the line, I became a wine purist (white, red or sparkling, but no hard liquor) — and most of my guests did too. Oh, there’s the occasional scotch drinker who visits, but that’s pretty much it.

So what to do with all that inventory? Continue Reading

Breakfast Grilled Cheese

Yum, yum, yum! Continue Reading

How I Turned Ham, Cabbage + Beans into…Pasta Cavalo con Polpette di Proscuitto Cotto e Fagioli

OK, who has leftover ham squirreled in the freezer from the holidays? This one’s for you!

There was an article in the food section of The New York Times this week about using leftover meat mixed with raw meat to make meatballs. I don’t know about that, but the idea of meatballs made from leftover meat lingered. And, somewhere in the recesses of my brain, it met up with all the pork and cabbage dishes I’d seen around the blogosphere New Year’s weekend — and the idea for this dish was born. Continue Reading

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