Love and pairing off doesn’t just apply to humans. There are some really good food marriages too, culinary matches made in heaven.
Who hasn’t heard of peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and tomato sauce, ham and eggs?
As with people, sometimes the pair works well even though one of the partners is more dominant. Think cinnamon and sugar, or hot chocolate, which wouldn’t taste good at all without the gentle grace of a little vanilla. Or a robust English Stilton, tempered by a sweet, more docile pear.
But sometimes it’s better if the partners are more or less equal as they are with sausage and peppers or tomatoes and basil.
Opposites attract, as they do sometimes with people: strawberries (plump and sweet) and rhubarb (skinny and sour) or hot apple pie with cold ice cream a la mode.
But sometimes couples are more compatible if they are more alike: fish and chips (both crunchy) or prune and apricot pie, (both bold and intense).
And of course, some couples endure because they are just plain good for each other and with each other: beans and rice, lentils and bulgur, peanut butter and whole wheat bread.
One of my favorite food pairings is chocolate and orange. This quick and easy fondue recipe is so quick and easy you can make it today even if you haven’t planned ahead for Valentine’s Day.
10 ounces orange flavored bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons orange flavored brandy or liqueur
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
strawberries, pineapple chunks, banana pieces
doughnuts, cake, cookies, macaroons, etc.
Melt the chocolate and cream together in the top part of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Stir until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Remove the top part of the pan from the heat. Stir in the brandy and extract. Spoon the mixture into a fireproof container set over a candle. (Or use a fondue pot). Use cut up fruit, doughnuts, cake etc. to dip into the chocolate. Makes 4-6 servings