Food Pairings – A cheat’s guide to flavours that work!

With so many restaurants closed and limited options for takeout at the moment, one could be forgiven for finding variety in food choices right now a bit challenging. Whilst luckily it’s very easy to fall back on the same three or four recipes during this period, don’t be too hard on yourself if you get quite bored with the usual fare. To help you (and us!) out of the repetitive dinner slump, we’ve put together some classic pairings to hopefully motivate you to rediscover the variety of flavours in food using everyday ingredients that can be found at home!

So lets start with the proteins. When it comes to red meat, Lamb works well with Garlic, Basil, Cardamom, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Paprika, Rosemary, and Turmeric. Lamb works great for barbeques, curries and stews. Or make a beautiful rich sauce or gravy to go with your roast.

Beef pairs beautifully with Bay Leaves, Cayenne Pepper, Chilli Powder, Curry, Ginger, Mustard, Paprika, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, and Thyme. Use it minced to make delicious tacos or pasta sauce, or make flavourful roast beef sangas and amazing home-made pies.

Now we all know Pork and Sage are a marriage made in heaven. But Pork also pairs beautifully with Basil, Cloves, Ginger, Mustard, Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, Rosemary, and Thyme. Pork is wonderful in curries, stews, sausages and stir-frys, or try it slow cooked with some Chinese Five Spice and Soy Sauce for an Asian twist.

Chicken is super versatile and pairs well with nearly anything. Some of our favourites are Chipotle Chilli Powder, Ginger, Mustard, Nutmeg, Paprika, Parsley, Pepper, Sage, and Thyme. Roasted, grilled, minced, or in pies, salads or stir-frys, the sky really is the limit with Chicken.  

Duck and other richer meats are magnificent with Star Anise, Cinnamon, Cloves, and Fennel. Try it marinated in Chinese Five Spice and Honey for a deliciously warm and rich meal.

Fish works really well with Basil, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Oregano, Fennel, Ginger or Turmeric. You can have it in a pie or curry, or mix some of our amazing Italian Herbs blend into your bread crumb and fry it for an incredible mediterranean taste.

Eggs work particularly well with Basil, Dill, Garlic, Parsley and Curry Powder. Bake them in a frittata or make some spicy omelettes or scrambled eggs by adding some Chipotle Chilli Powder to your mixture.

When it comes to rice, they really are the ‘chicken’ of grains and legumes. Unbelievably versatile, and can be used for both savoury and sweet, rice pairs really well with Cumin, Garlic, Nutmeg, Parsley, Saffron, Chilli Powder and Turmeric. Use it to make a risotto or paella, or add some Cinnamon to your rice pudding for a tasty spin on an old classic.

When it comes to veggies, green beans pair well with Garlic, Dill, Marjoram, Nutmeg and Oregano, were as Broccoli also works with Mustard and Sage. Carrots and Zucchini are amazing with Rosemary, Parsley, Oregano, Marjoram and Thyme. Mushrooms are incredible with garlic and Oregano, and Potatoes go with nearly everything, from Cumin, Fennel, and Garlic, to all the Italian Herbs such as Rosemary, Basil, and Oregano. Pumpkin’s natural pairing is with Cinnamon and Nutmeg, but also don’t be scared to use it with Cardamom, Rosemary or Ginger. Then there’s the humble tomato, which pairs beautifully with Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Basil, Cloves, Cumin, Fennel, Marjoram, and Oregano. Try it roasted, or fresh and seasoned in a salad. It can also be used in sauces and marinades, or mixed with your favourite herbs served on crusty bread as a beautiful and tasty bruschetta.

With Fruits, you can’t go wrong with Star Anise, Basil, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Mint, or Nutmeg. Try studding apples, pineapples or oranges with Cloves and baking them, or making a “Super-Jam” such as Strawberry and Basil, or try mixing rosemary and blackberry for a deceptively delish compote.

So now that we’ve told you ours, what are your favourite pairings? We’d love to hear from you!

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