Mickey and Minnie. T-shirts and shorts. The sun and the sea. What do all of these things have in common? They’re perfect pairs, that’s what! Just as some people were always meant to be together, so too were certain inanimate objects. Today I would like to write specifically about perfect culinary pairings. I can think of a trillion examples but I’d really like to hear your ideas on what the perfect matches are when it comes to what we put in our gobs.
To me, Vegemite without butter is enough to make me cry for days. Okay, that’s obviously a joke, (well, depending on whether I have my period or not) but you get what I mean. Lamb without mint sauce? Soft boiled eggs without toast soldiers? Beetroot without Goat’s cheese? Yes, I absolutely would still eat them all separately but when served alongside their partners in crime, they are without doubt taken to the next level.
On the flipside, there are certain foods that should NEVER be put together; Ice-cream and tomato sauce, chicken breast and strawberry jam, and chocolate cake and pesto are just a few examples of what I’m talking about. Further, there are pairings that are apparently “matches made in heaven,” yet you will find people who vehemently oppose them. For example, lots of people love pork with apple sauce, or apricots with chicken, and chunks of pineapple in curries, but not my friend Jane. The thought of fruit being served with meat is so wrong to her; she can barely discuss it without feeling nauseous.
But back on to the matches made in heaven. Extending on from the perfect pairings, sometimes food taste even better when it’s part of a ‘triple threat’ group. You know, when three delicious items are perfectly suited and thus served together causing your taste buds to go crazy and party like it’s 1999!? Take pancakes with ice cream and maple syrup, for example. I mean what’s a ‘B’ without the ‘L’ AND the ‘T’? Pavlova with cream and strawberries, anyone!? Yes, puh-lease!
Below is my recipe for Bacon, Corn and Avocado salad. A classic combination that works a treat! Enjoy!
PHOODIE’S Bacon, Corn and Avocado Salad with Sour Cream Dressing
INGREDIENTS (To make a VERY large salad i.e. serves 12 as a side)
– 600g bacon / ham diced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 bunch spring onions
– 2 large red capsicums
– 2 large yellow capsicums
– 2 large green capsicums
– 1 medium red onion
– 4 x 420g tins of Corn
– 3 x 310g tins of 4 bean mix
– 400g whole egg mayonnaise
– 200g sour cream
– Juice of 1 lime
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 4 medium Avocados
– Juice of 2 limes
– Juice of 2 lemons
1. Dice your leftover Christmas ham (or leg ham from any time of the year) into 1/2 cm cubes. Alternatively dice bacon. Add it to a pan on medium heat with the olive oil and pan fry until crunchy and delicious. Note: this could take a while so be patient, also, be careful of spitting fat!
2. Once done, remove and place on paper towel to drain the oil. Set aside.
3. Finely chop spring onions, capsicums and red onion and mix together in a bowl.
4. Add drained corn and drained bean mix and combine. Set aside.
5. In a bowl, whisk together Mayo, sour cream, juices of 1 lime and 1 lemon. Set aside.
6. In another bowl squeeze the juice of 2 limes and 2 lemons and the dice the avocados. Place diced avocado in juice and make sure all pieces are coated. Set aside.
7. It’s now time to bring everything together, I do this in a layering manner. First some corn mix, then some dressing, then some bacon, some avo and some more dressing. Repeat until you have a mound of delicious salad. Top with lots of crunchy bacon bits. This is how the salad should be presented to guests. It should only be tossed carefully the minute prior to eating.
Your turn now. Favourite food pairs. Go.