“The Flavor Bible,” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, is my new source of inspiration. It’s full of lists (and I do love lists) of all sorts of ingredients and their complementary pairings.
So, if I wanted to create something chocolate, I could just go to “C,” and there it is! Chocolate…. let’s see…I could pair it with apricot, basil, brandy, chile peppers, honey…and that’s only a snapshot of the list, but you get the point.
Instead of being restricted to a recipe, I’m like, “hmm, maybe I’ll experiment with putting some chocolate and lavender and vanilla together today!” Basically, it puts the creative thinking back into cooking and baking, rather than trying to mimic the Food Network’s latest showdown (not that there’s anything wrong with a good showdown from time to time!) But this is more than making and replicating. It has sparked my curiosity.
Maybe I’ll go pair some macadamia nuts and kumquat after this, or some grapefruit and malt, OR maybe caramel and plum. Possibilities=endless.