foodies of the world, unite!
December 31, 2008 6:40 PM   Subscribe

For foodies: please suggest some of your favorite combinations of food. Of course, it's not quite that simple. But it's close.

As I've grown older, I've found that I'm pretty much a red wine drinker, the heartier the better, although a good Suave paired with a seafood risotto is still just ethereal.

I've also always been fond of stouts and porters, and never liked particularly hoppy beers. Wheat beers, brown ales, and anything on nitro gets my love too.

I'm a sucker for hard cheese, and have sort of gone off soft cheeses lately, although, again, the cheeses coming out of Rogue River and Cyprus Grove are divine. And I've long had a soft spot for a decent blue of whatever hardness.

Finally, I hate olives. It's a serious character flaw, probably a birth defect.

So that's the background. If you're like me, can you swoon over some of your favorite foods and beverages, especially in combination, so that I can share the love?
posted by Capri to Food & Drink (42 answers total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
Blue Cheese and Truffle Honey.

Expect to pay a lot for the honey - I've seen it for AU$50 for a small jar, but also AU$30 for a normal-size jar. You only need a little - I first had a tiny scrape of it on a cheese plate at a restaurant, and it knocked my socks off.
posted by cogat at 6:56 PM on December 31, 2008 [2 favorites]

And if it's stilton drink it with a good port, of course.
posted by cogat at 6:57 PM on December 31, 2008

I am not mocking your post... but I love a good PBJ with milk and some Lays chips. Has to be white bread, Skippy peanut butter, Grape jelly, 2% milk, and plain fresh Lay's chips.

Yes, I'm a true gourmand.
posted by ecorrocio at 7:13 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

A base of shredded baby spinach leaves.
Covered in soft steamed sweet potato.
Then chickpeas (tinned is okay) cooked separately in a little oil with ground cumin, turmeric, salt and any other spices you like.
On top, strips of crispy fried haloumi cheese. Squeeze some lemon over it.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 7:22 PM on December 31, 2008 [6 favorites]

A friend of mine makes this baked brie thing with brie, honey, walnuts and raspberries- stick it all in the oven until the cheese is melty and the fruit is sprupy. It is fantastic.
posted by fshgrl at 7:25 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

turmeric and asparagus
walnuts, red onion, cranberries, and cilantro
orange and chocolate
orange juice with peanut butter and banana sandwiches
peanut butter, banana, and vanilla|honey|vanilla honey
salt and bell peppers
cucumbers and jalapeno or other spicy peppers
bananas, coconut water, and nutmeg blended together (lovely vegan egg nog)

And, believe it or not, my favorite and easiest morning dish: honey-eggs. Fry some eggs. "Butter" the plate with a thin layer of honey. Drop fried eggs on top. Eat.
posted by Manhasset at 7:31 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Pieces of comte with fig jam on top.
Sparkling wine of any sort with popcorn popped in duck fat.
Boquerones, aioli, and grilled bread.
Big curls of parmigiano reggiano with aged balsamic vinegar and cracked pepper.
Grilled cheese made with raclette.
posted by foodgeek at 7:33 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Whip up some zabaglione sauce (eggs, sugar, marsala) in a double boiler. Pour over the best vanilla or coffee ice cream you can find. Top with freshly toasted walnuts. Devine.
posted by beagle at 7:33 PM on December 31, 2008 [3 favorites]

building upon ecorrocio, I find that pairing PB&J with Ovaltine Chocolate Malt is really quite heavenly.

Rioja and Manchego drizzled with olive oil served with crusty white bread is nice.

Blue cheese is salty and strongly flavored, so it pairs well with simple sweets, right? I love them on plain digestive biscuits (no chocolate) Honey and fruit is also always nice.

You could leave out the that latter sweetness and just pair the cheese and cracker with a nice reisling, or keep it in and add a crisper white like a sav blanc or a pinot.

Brown Ales with soft pretzel and mustard are always a win, with perhaps a nice english farmhouse cheddar like Montgomery's

Freshly ground cup of coffee with either lox, capers, and cream cheese on a bagel OR melted butter over cinnamon toast.

Sweet Tea with Carolina style (vinegar-based) Barbeque, NOT Memphis style, otherwise everything gets too heavy. Cob corn with that.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:34 PM on December 31, 2008

Oh, and warm bread pudding with a shot of brandy poured over top. Add scoop of vanilla ice cream if interested.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:35 PM on December 31, 2008

You sound like you're in need of a good Boeuf Carbonnade and trappist ale like Rochefort, Westmalle, or Chimay (though I'd go with a Hanssens or Drei Fonteneyn guerze because I like a bit more bite with something heavy like that - the sour isn't for everyone).
posted by kcm at 7:39 PM on December 31, 2008

posted by Jaltcoh at 8:45 PM on December 31, 2008

Sausage and grape jelly.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:45 PM on December 31, 2008

A packet of peanuts in a soda.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:47 PM on December 31, 2008

Grilled cheese sandwich with a mug of tomato soup. Especially on a cold blustery day.
posted by JujuB at 9:12 PM on December 31, 2008 [2 favorites]

Sweet and salty. (seemingly zengargoyle and I share this.)

Specifically, caramel with sea salt.
posted by cabingirl at 9:35 PM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

This recipe for pork and pumpkin stew seems pretty run-of-the-mill at first glance, but I swear it is the most versatile recipe in my files and tastes absolutely great if I substitute just about anything around the carmelized onions/tomatoes/winter squash triumvirate. Particularly if the squash is a kabocha. I've made it vegetarian; substituted potatoes or parsnips for the turnips; spinach for the other greens; varied the cooking method; changed the ratios; etc, etc. Always great and I think that vegetable base is the key.

So, I nominate "carmelized onions/tomatoes/kabocha squash" combo, in practically any incarnation.
posted by Sublimity at 10:26 PM on December 31, 2008

A sandwich my grandpa used to eat: bacon and jelly sandwiches. I've recently figured out that the saltiness of bacon and the sweetness of...a lot of things are a good match.
posted by zardoz at 10:51 PM on December 31, 2008

- Dijon mustard, sharp cheddar and scallions (smushed into potatoes, on toast, whatever)
- Hungarian paprika and very ripe Brie
- Pork and clams (there's a famous Portuguese dish that is definitely greater than the sum of its parts, and on a similar note I once had carnitas and mussels in a dish which was also fantastic)

JujuB, are you my mother?
posted by cali at 12:10 AM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Toast and eggs. Slightly runny fried ones are the best.

Avocado and crab (or lobster).
posted by casarkos at 12:40 AM on January 1, 2009

Early here and I'm having marmite toast to help with a hangover, so there's a theme here:

extra mature cheddar and marmite
marmite and mashed potatoes
marmite toast and Heinz baked beans
cheddar cheese and tamarind
cheddar and blackcurrant jam

will come back later when Marmite lust has faded
posted by Grrlscout at 1:11 AM on January 1, 2009

Gorgonzola dolce blue cheese + baguette (a very good baguette, eg, a baguette, they should all be very good or they shouldn't exist IMHO). I'm sure this would be excellent with a nice red wine.

Cinnamon + chicken, particularly Moroccan bastilla, which is one of the most delicious things ever (and really a lot of work to make unfortunately).. even everyday stuff like regular chicken salad is much much better with some cinnamon in it. Maybe with Moroccan food you should have mint tea at some point..

Mafé - peanut butter stew from West Africa, has some kind of meat or seafood, plus vegetables.. there are a lot of variations.. I like it made with lamb, and very spicy. I'm afraid I couldn't say whether it pairs with any kind of beer, friends who cooked this for me are Muslim and don't drink..
posted by citron at 1:40 AM on January 1, 2009

A bagel place near me serves a bagel preparation called the Mission Viejo, which is an open face toasted bagel with cream cheese, tomato, avocado, and lemon pepper. It pairs excellently with light, warm coffee, though adding red onions and bacon will match it up nicely to a heartier blend.

Also on the breakfast tip:
beignets with coffee & chicory (french market or cafe du monde brand)
pancakes slathered with peanut butter and then lightly coated in syrup with orange juice and milk
posted by sleeping bear at 2:42 AM on January 1, 2009

- slice of parmesan with a thin slice of raw garlic and a couple of dried cranberries on a cracker

- bread and butter pickles on club crackers

- a cinnamon raisin bagel with almond butter and a slice of apple

- cream cheese, Pick-a-pepper sauce and crackers

- port wine cheese ball on wheatmeal crackers

- Lucas salt on mango

- taco seasoning on buttered popcorn
posted by i_love_squirrels at 2:45 AM on January 1, 2009

* salt and sweet pairings such as, salted caramel ice cream especially if the caramel has been taken to the perfect smoky brink;

* sunnyside up eggs with maggi sauce and buttered, lightly sugared toast;

* brie, cranberry preserves and bacon sandwich, preferably, a good granary bread;

* pairings that go with salty, hot, sweet, bitter, sour -- the flavor components of southeast asian cuisine;

* dark, bittersweet chocolate and comte cheese
posted by jadepearl at 4:35 AM on January 1, 2009

i third (fourth fifth whatever) the sweet and salt suggestions.

my favorite is from grandma. peanut butter and bacon sandwhich on a lightly toasted onion bagel. great for any meal.
posted by chasles at 5:32 AM on January 1, 2009

First, olives are satan's food. I wholeheartedly agree.

blue cheese and rare (bloody) steak

paprika and butter on steamed cauliflower

green tea with a touch of sugar or honey

strawberries and cherries marinated in 1 part balsamic vinegar, 1 part sugar, topped with fresh whipped cream with a spot of sugar, and a little bit of vanilla (this was dessert I made for Christmas dinner this year)

graham crackers spread with cream cheese, topped with sliced bananas (from a children's book about an animal detective I read as a child, the end involved a waterfall)

cheap brandy and instant cocoa

slight change in the popcorn with taco seasoning: cajun seasoning. almost the same, but great. also, just black pepper on your popcorn

last, but not least, and absolute fantastic: put some salt on a plate. dip your rice crispie treat in the salt. bite. repeat. heaven.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:09 AM on January 1, 2009

Raw almonds & rasins.
Salt and pepper on cantalope.
Frangelico (hazelnut liquer) over a good vanilla ice cream.
posted by BoscosMom at 8:32 AM on January 1, 2009

Salted cashews, a bright cheddar, and sliced Honeycrisp apples; mix or sequence in mouth; press Play.

Poached or soft-boiled eggs over torn-up artisan-bread buttered toast. Add bacon, diced Granny Smith apple, and a sprinkling of Bubbie's Organic Sauerkraut; wash down with lightly creamed Earl Grey; shovel some snow.

Small chunks of red grapefruit, a few chopped dates and pecans over mixed greens, orange peppers, balsamic vinagrette; add some tiny bits of goat cheese now and again. Good with rare Flatiron steak and sour-dough garlic toast.

Almond butter, ripe thin-sliced pears, red-leaf lettuce and grape-seed mayo on multigrain toast.

Fresh blueberries in cream-on-top vanilla yogurt; crumble in a few Carr's Wheat Crackers.

When home alone, open a jar of needed-stirring, salted peanut butter and a carton of light vanilla yogurt. Stand at counter with a comfortable spoon; dip alternately.
posted by dpcoffin at 9:03 AM on January 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

fried egg on english muffin with major grey's mango chutney
stout and dark chocolate
posted by genmonster at 9:38 AM on January 1, 2009

Bacon and maple syrup.
A nice Parmesan cheese and some balsamic vinegar paste.
Red wine (something full like a Shiraz) and dark chocolate.
White wine and mussels, done with a little butter and garlic.
Brie and strawberries, with champagne.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:30 AM on January 1, 2009

pinot noir and cheesecake

scrambled eggs with sriracha sauce

prosciutto and cantaloupe

fresh tarragon and slivered almonds in chicken salad

there's a restaurant near me that serves a great steak with a side of lobster & crabmeat au gratin. With a Guinness draught, it's the perfect combination: bite of steak, sip of Guinness, bite of creamy cheesy crabby goodness, sip of Guinness. OMG it's fuckin' perfect.

ripe tomato, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, black pepper, a little olive oil

cheddar cheese in mashed potatoes

Feta cheese with spinach, whether salad, omelet, casserole, or what have you

coffee and a cigarette
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:32 AM on January 1, 2009

Take 1 pitted, candied date
stuff cream cheese into the space left by the pit,
smoosh 1 whole, raw almond into the cream cheesed date cavity.
Messy to make but a wonderful taste combo.
posted by BoscosMom at 11:37 AM on January 1, 2009

I cannot even walk near the olive pit at the store. Olives are too strong.

This thread has ruined my day - I'm suggestible enough to eat popcorn for breakfast. (Pinot noir and cheesecake? I have both in the house right now!)

Just of the top of my head:
Pears baked with soft cheese
White onion and tomato sandwich on a baguette spread with goat or feta cheese
Hot cocoa with cinnamon and brandy
Frito Pie! with pale beer
Bacon, pico de gallo (with extra lime juice), and avocado rolled up in a flour tortilla
Baked tomatoes stuffed with blue cheese and walnuts
Coarse wheat bread toasted with butter, topped with a hard fried egg, fresh ground pepper and coarse salt
Skinless chicken breast soaked in buttermilk, baked in foil, served on jasmine rice with mango chutney and fresh torn mint leaves

Today the dogs are having 1 part raw salmon, 1 part rice, 1 part (cooked) sweet potato with a little parmesan cheese. That is one their favorite food combinations, along with everything else they've ever eaten.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 11:59 AM on January 1, 2009

Brie on pork rinds.
posted by 26.2 at 12:26 PM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

nthing anti-olive sentiment, except for the oil

heirloom tomato bruschetta with fruity olive oil, a little garlic and too much basil on crusty, toasted, olive oiled, salt-and-peppered bread

any vegetable with olive oil and balsamic

figs with vanilla ice cream

bacon and syrup

tea with honey and milk - rooibos or earl grey with jasmine

pappardelle and any good meat sauce with beef or game

french fries dipped in chocolate milkshake

grand marnier neat, pref. in front of fireplace

red zinfandel and dark chocolate

sweet tea, fried chicken and potato salad (more potato less smooshy stuff)
posted by sarelicar at 1:06 PM on January 1, 2009

Favorite sandwich combination: fresh, hearty and grainy bread + peanut butter + a dab of cream cheese + old cheddar + hot red pepper jelly + sliced avocado + spicy salsa = taste sensation.

Favorite dip combination: peanut butter + cumin + spicy salsa (+ garlic) = hummous alternative
posted by rumbles at 4:34 PM on January 1, 2009

slice of sharp cheddar spread with sweet-hot mustard and topped with a basil leaf.
posted by pointystick at 6:56 AM on January 2, 2009

Response by poster: Well, I'm clearly set for the rest of 2009. I'll just work my way down this page, and probably by this time next year I'll have expired of ecstasy.

A few comments and questions for various posters:

cogat - I recently had a tasty Stilton with tangerine slices and a geverztraminer, which was divine.

re PBJ - funny how that combination appeared so often; my favorite way to eat PBJ is to make the sandwich and then put it under the broiler for a while, so the peanut butter is dripping out the sides and the bread is crispy toasted; also nice with potato chips right inside the sandwich

leotrotsky - your list just rang with my taste - except the sweet tea thing, which is totally news to me - I know nothing about BBQ. Looks like a research project for the summer.

Sublimity - thank you for the versatile recipe - I love having those around, as I tend to improvise quite a bit, and love having new guidelines from which to veer off.

Grrlscout -- Marmite? For a hangover?? You're so much more than man than I.

citron - Yes, b'stilla is fabulous, and worth the time and effort (once or twice a year at least). Will try mafé, sounds like, when spicy, it would pair well with a good beer.

BitterOldPunk - I must have this Guinness lovefest soon. Must.

Lesser Shrew - what is Frito Pie!? And is the exclamation point obligatory?

Really, though, all of these suggestions sound incredible. Except the marmite-related ones, but that's really a matter of my limited breeding. I'm most appreciative of these. Here are a few of my own, in return:

- fine cave-aged Gruyere with unsalted butter (odd but true) and a hefeweitzen
- Tomme Crayeuse with very crispy crackers and Pinot Noir
- paella made with loads and loads of shrimp, loads and loads of hot smoked paprika (half a tablespoon per serving), and seared tuna, with a brown ale
- green beans and whole garlic cloves cooked in a hot oven (425) for ~20 minutes, then generously sprinkled with sea salt -- taste like french fries
- peas eaten straight out of the pod, right in the garden where they grow (they never make it into our house)
- hours of hard work in the bitter cold followed by hot chicken broth -- or (probably) anything hot and salty and wet.

posted by Capri at 8:41 AM on January 2, 2009

Frito Pie(!):

1. Place Fritos in bowl, smash up a bit if using "scoops" or other large type
2. Top with, in this order: ketchup, mustard, chili(canned will do, if using homemade, it must be THICK), sharp cheddar cheese, onions
3. Eat as is, or mix up first if you prefer

Also, homemade kettle corn topped with Bacon Salt is fantastic. You can also fry some eggs over-easy, chop them into small bits and mix into the yolk, and top that with Bacon Salt. It's a little easier than frying actual bacon if you're lazy or in a hurry.
posted by owtytrof at 12:57 PM on January 2, 2009

Pasta with meat sauce. Not sauce with bits of meat in it, but a demiglaze/gravy made with proper veal stock or somesuch.

Truffle oil + mashed potatoes. Although that's kind of cheating. Adding truffle to most things makes them better.

I don't know how much of a combination it is, but I've had cardamom ice cream exactly once and it blew my mind.
posted by juv3nal at 4:50 AM on January 5, 2009

Dates stuffed with walnuts (or chopped dates pressed with broken walnuts, for a trail treat). The taste combination is a marriage blessed by the gods.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:29 AM on January 10, 2009

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