One of my favorite parts of cooking is that it allows me to use my imagination.
Heck, I rarely make the same desserts twice, because I’m always thinking up new ways to mix it up!
Still, there are just some flavor pairings that are too good to mess with. That’s what today’s meals were all about…
Strawberries + Chocolate
Although I didn’t have classes, I spent the morning on campus taking care of some business. Activities included a meeting, an elliptical and strength workout and finishing up some work for my professor. I intended to do some more homework-related tasks, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I feel like I’m hitting a wall with my motivation, but I’m really trying to push through. It helps to know that two weeks from now, I’ll be HOME.
I wrapped things up shortly before lunchtime and got back to my apartment with only one thing on my mind.
Peanut Butter + Bananas
To round the meal out, I had a whole-grain wrap with Laughing Cow Swiss cheese and a handful of carrots.
I planned on being a bit more homework productive during the afternoon, but that plan went in the trash when my “short nap” morphed into a two-hour slumber. My bad.
Dan came over shortly after I woke up, so decided to officially postpone homework until tomorrow. I mean, I had better things to do, such as hang out with him and cook a meal I’d been dreaming up all week. It featured another classic pairing…
Mushrooms + Thyme
On first impression, It may not seem like a classic. But, trust me. It is.
Thyme is my go-to seasoning when it comes to mushrooms. It has a way of bringing out the meatiness of it, without overwhelming natural mushroom flavors.
Rather than simply sautéing or roasting a batch, I decided to take that pairing a step further.
- 1 C whole-wheat flour
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 t thyme
- 1/4 oregano
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/4 t sugar
- 1/4 C cold buttery spread, diced
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1/3 C cold water
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 carton of baby bella mushrooms
- 1 t buttery spread
- 1/4 t thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 C low-fat ricotta
- 1/2 C part-skim Italian-blend cheese, divided
- 1 egg, beaten (optional)
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flours, salt, thyme, oregano, pepper and sugar. Using two forks, cut in butter and canola oil until the flour is crumbly. Then knead in the ice-cold water until all the flour is combined.
- Form the dough into a firm ball and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Lightly coat a medium-sized skillet with olive oil and heat to medium-high. Saute the diced onion for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic for another 2-3 minutes, until onions are slightly translucent. Add mushrooms and butter. Saute for five minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Add thyme, salt and pepper. Remove from stove.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Italian cheese and mushroom mixture.
- Lightly flour a working board and roll the dough into a large circle, 1/8″ thick. Put the mushroom mixture on the center of the oval with a 2″ perimeter. Gently fold the edges of the dough onto the mushroom mixture. Glaze the dough with the beaten egg. Top the mushroom mixture with additional Italian cheese and thyme.
- Grease a baking sheet. Carefully place the galette on the baking sheet.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven for 18-22 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool on a rack.
So cheesy. So delicious.
This was a perfect meal for Dan and me. Although it was vegetarian, the mushrooms added a fantastic, deep meatiness to it. That also made it extra filling — I opted to go light on the sides with steamed carrots and fruit salad.
Gosh, there is only one thing I can think of that goes together better than those food pairings…
Question: What are your favorite food pairings?