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cucumber

Hamburger and Foodpairing

What happens when you apply the Foodpairing Explorer to Hamburger? We will present two examples; one with fish and one with meat.

The core of the first burger is salmon. So if you want to create variations on top of this burger, select salmon in the Foodpairing Explorer.

Cucumber, kelp, lemon are popping up.

The cucumber and the tangy & salty seaweed bring out the green character of the salmon, while giving nice contrast with the mild meat. The lemon zest brightens up the flavours. Check out this combination in the Foodpairing Explorer®.

 

Recipe

  • 100 g ground raw salmon
  • 5 g egg white
  • freshly grated zest of lemon
  • chopped dill
  • fine julienne of cucumber and marinated seaweed
  • 50 g of mayonnaise
  • 15 g of yoghurt
  • freshly grated lemon zest
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Mix all ingredients for the salmon burger and season to taste. Make patties and fry them on the grill.

Mix the cucumber julienne with some marinated seaweed julienne

Mix all ingredients for the sauce and season to taste

Italian burger

The core of the second Hamburger is pork. We selected ingredients typical for Italy.

Recipe

  • 200 g ground veal/pork
  • 35 g sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 g chopped basil
  • 10 g chopped spring onions
  • 30 g diced, fried zucchini
  • 2 aubergines
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • rocket salad
  • salt and pepper
  • deep fried onion rings
  • deep fried potatoes

Preparation

Mix all ingredients. Make patties of 110 g. Fry on the grill.

Make incisions in the aubergines. Cook them 1h at 180 °C in a preheated oven. Let them cool down for 10’. Cut them in half and remove the pulp. Blend with olive oil and season to taste. Add some red wine vinegar.

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Cresses in cocktails

In this article we’ll take a closer look to some cocktails with Koppert Cresses

Dushi buttons are tiny flower heads, their small size is largely compensated by their complex flavor profile. The combination possibilities are almost endless, make sure to check out the Foodpairing tree in the Explorer.

For the purpose of creating a new cocktail we selected rhubarb in the Foodpairing Explorer and made a syrup with it. We infused the basic rhubarb syrup with Dushi buttons, allowing the syrup to enrich itself with the complex flavor of the flower bud. The infused syrup was used to aromatise a sparkling wine, which also matches the Dushi buttons. The cocktail is garnished with some buttons, which will give extra kick to it while the syrup provides a nice aromatic baseline.

Here you can find the complete recipe.
The Dushi buttons contain a lot of flowery and rose-like aromas, making a combo with litchi possible.
Yet the buttons also have a green face, nicely matching the flavor profile of cucumber. Playing with the green flowery theme of this product, we have created a classic Tom Collins with a Dushi twist (see our Olympic games cocktails).

Hendrick’s Gin was used to get a nice Foodpairing match with the Dushi buttons since this gin is aromatized with cucumber. The buttons were used to flavor our homemade soda.

Put some flower buds in a Seltzer bottle, fill with water and load a soda capsule. Leave the pressurized bottle overnight so the buttons can release their flavor and the gas can dissolve properly in the water. Next a Classic Tom Collins was prepared with the Hendrick’s Gin, topped off with the flavored soda. Litchi can be used as a garnish, it really brings out the rose-like character of the Dushi button. Link to recipe.

 

The flavor profile of Shiso® Green also shows quite a lot of flowery aromas, but with citrus twists. The latter aromas can also be found in Cointreau.

Cointreau is used in many cocktails, but the White Lady (gin, Cointreau and lemon juice shaken with egg white) is a cocktail that stands out because of its powerful simplicity.

We blended a basic sugar syrup with Shiso® Green, next we sidetracked from the original White Lady recipe by adding egg white to the syrup, pressurizing it with nitrogen in a siphon. This gives a creamy foam with the aroma of Shiso® Green.

Next we applied this foam as a second layer to the shaken gin, cointreau and lemon juice. The physical separation of the two elements provides a strong taste contrast, which is quite fascinating indeed. Even so, it might be wise to dampen contrast a bit with a pinch of salt. Addition of salt in any cocktail will provide fullness, prolong all flavours and smooth out crude edges. Freeze dried soy sauce presents itself when looking at the Foodpairing tree of Shiso® Green, so we garnished our White Lady variation with it, it works surprisingly well! Link to recipe.

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Dessert with hay and other Foodpairing combinations

Based on the Foodpairing tree of hay, we find combinations with strawberry and cucumber. What about a (pre)dessert?

Recipe

  • hay
  • 525 g milk
  • 150 g cream
  • 125 g sugar
  • 40 g milk powder
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • strawberry jam
  • tarragon

Bring the milk to the boil and add some hay. Cover and let infuse for 30′. Sieve, add the sugar and the milk powder. Bring to the boil. Cool, add the cream and turn into ice cream.

Cut the strawberries in pieces

Cut long slices of the cucumber (without the seeds). Cut thick slices of the ovary of the cucumber. Cut into circles

  Armstrong Blink-182 Coldplay

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Savory smoothie recipes

Fruits are the traditional first choice for smoothies, but let’s take a look beyond convention and start experimenting with the veggies and herbs in savory smoothie recipes

When investigating the Foodpairing® tree of milk and turning our heads towards the vegetable category, you’ll spot cucumber –use the category filter in the listview to get a list of best matching vegetables. Cucumber consists of more than 90% of water, so instead of adding crushed ice to get the smoothie cold, just refrigerate the blended cucumber before use. Next we add olive oil for the body, cilantro and chives for some kick and sherry vinegar to brighten the flavours. All ingredients were found with the help of the Foodpairing® Explorer.

Recipe

  • 335 g cucumber
  • 3 g of cilantro
  • 18 g chives
  • 175 g milk
  • 10 g sherry vinegar
  • 75 g olive oil
  • pepper and salt

Dice the cucumber. Chop the chives and cilantro. Blend all ingredients. Add the olive oil in a continuous trickle. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

Serve with garnishes like shrimp or mussels.

Next recipe was also made staring from the Foodpairing tree of milk, it’s a savory smoothie with tomato and basil:

Recipe

  • 255 g canned tomatoes*
  • 3 g basil
  • 100 g milk
  • 20 g mozzarella water
  • 25 g mozzarella
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

* canned tomatoes give more taste to the smoothie than fresh one.

Furaneol is one of the molecules tomato and strawberry share. The same goes for raspberry and tomato, applying this neat little combo in a veggie smoothie is just magic. For the base we selected mozzarella but cottage cheese would also be great, added some fresh basil to give it a nice twist. When you get the proportions right one can enhance the fruitiness of tomato by adding strawberries or raspberries without losing the characteristic tomato flavor.

Recipe

  • 255 g canned tomatoes
  • 3 g basil
  • 150 g milk
  • 40 g raspberries
  • 10 g ketchup
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

Let’s talk milk. Milk is easy to infuse, this is because of its colloidal  (fat + water) properties. Infused milk allows for new aroma incorporation in a smoothie without using the actual flavoring ingredients; which could otherwise present textural, taste or other technical difficulties. Traditional examples are vanilla, cinnamon or anise infused milk. But please do go wild with the infusions, our favorites are shrimp, bacon, chicken skin and smoke infused milk. In our previous article about smoothies there is a smoothie with oat infused milk. Here is a more challenging recipe with bacon flavored milk.

Recipe

Bacon flavoured milk

  • 5 dl milk
  • 150 g smoked bacon

Bring the milk to the boil. Dice the smoked bacon and add to the hot milk. Cover with plastic clingfilm. Let infuse for at least 1 hour. Sieve

 

Smoothie

  • 150 g bacon flavoured milk
  • 100 g cooked peas
  • 1 g mint
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

 

Instead of using plain olive oil in the cucumber smoothie, we can create more depth by using an infused oil. Here’s an example with red bell pepper and tomato.

Recipe

 

Chorizo oil

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 40 g chopped onion
  • 100 g diced chorizo
  • 200 g olive oil

Fry the garlic with the onion and chorizo in some oil. Add the remaining amount of oil. Let simmer for 5′ minutes. Cover with plastic clingpaper and let infuse for at least 1 hour. Sieve.

 

Smoothie

  • 100 g red bell pepper
  • 140 g milk
  • 20 g canned tomato
  • 5 g chorizo oil
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

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Surprising macaron flavors

Chefs & pastry chefs are always on the lookout for thoughtful treats to serve with coffee. Be inspired by Foodpairing to design the perfect macaron match to your favorite coffee. We’ve designed some macaron recipes around Café del Cauca, a Colombian coffee. But any coffee -or tea for that matter- can be used as a foundation for your experiments.

Macaron fillings come in every color and flavor, but are flavourwise generally limited to fruits, herbs and spices. Use Foodpairing to break with this convention; a cucumber or cheese filling are actually not so farfetched and only a few clicks away in the Foodpairing Explorer. The famous macaron of Pierre Hermé with rose, raspberry and lychee is in fact a very strong Foodpairing combination.

Not only the filling may be subjected to Foodpairing®. The macaron itself has ample space for flavor innovation. Why not replace the almond powder with hazelnut or pistachio? Another trick would be to produce your own flavoured egg white by combining egg white powder and any flavoured liquid (again, use Foodpairing to pick the right flavour). This is really a great way to incorporate new flavours in the macaron without compromising its delicate structure. For our Cucumber macaron, we used coffee to make our flavoured egg white.

Check out our recipes!

Hazelnut macaron with  yoghurt ganache, raspberry and tarragon

  • 250 g white chocolate 33%
  • 125 g yoghurt
  • 80 g butter
  • 25 sugar

Heat the yoghurt and sugar to 60 °C, then pour on the chocolate while stirring. Mix thoroughly. Cool to 35 °C and mix in the butter. Let crystallize.

Coffee macaron with cucumber-apple ganache and cilantro

  • 75 g cucumber-apple-cilantro juice
  • 5 g of sugar
  • 200 g white chocolate 33%
  • 65 g butter

Heat the juice with the sugar to 60 °C. Pour on the chocolate while stirring. Mix thoroughly. Cool to 35 ° C and mix in the butter. Let crystallize.

Enjoy!

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Salad Olivier remix

Just before the holidays we had some Ukrainian journalists who requested to make a Salad Olivier, a traditional Russian New year’s dish. It goes without saying we made some changes to the recipe with the aid of Foodpairing. Here you can find our recipes.

The Salad Olivier was created in 1860 by the Belgian Lucien Olivier, Chef of the Hermitage, one of the most famous restaurants of Moscow at that time. The original recipe contained veal tongue, smoked duck, caviar, lettuce, crayfish, capers and grouse. A sauce was added based on olive oil, white wine vinegar and mustard. Over the years the recipe got altered, more expensive ingredients were replaced. The recipe evolved into a salad dish that is better known now as œuf à la russe, a salad of carrot, pea, cucumber, dill and mayonnaise, served with a hard boiled egg and optionally some ham.

When looked at the Foodpairing tree of boiled potato, you’ll easily find all the ingredients that are used for the modern Salad Olivier. We used the same base recipe to create some Foodpairing twists and remixes.

A first variation we’ve created is the base recipe with some fruit twists added to it. Use the list view and category filters to find fitting fruits. We’ve chosen grapefruit.

The next variations are remixes, replacing some of the base ingredients.

We started with potato, carrot, dill and mayonnaise. Crayfish was chosen next, hinting to the original recipe of 1860. We blended some yoghurt in the mayonnaise to freshen up the dish and finished with some unexpected ground coffee, sprinkled over the dish.

For a last variation we decided to incorporate some traditional Belgian ingredients: brown shrimp and chocolate. We kept it simple by limiting the vegetables to potatoes and peas, which are mixed with a dash olive oil and chopped dill. The white chocolate is melted with an equal amount of yoghurt to create a kind of mayonnaise.

 

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Cucumber chocolate?

Can you combine cucumber and chocolate in desserts? If you check the Foodpairing tree of cucumber (click on the picture for the dynamic pop-up), you will find in the category of pastry/ chocolate (bottom left) ingredients like milk chocolate (lait) from Vanuatu.

Now, how do you get started?

First of all, select the ingredients looking at the cucumber Foodpairing tree. You will find also hazelnut, honey, almonds, lemon, black and green tea.

Next step is to make different textures with the ingredients;

With the lemon and almond, you can make a crumble;

175 g of flour, 100 g almond powder, 125 g butter, 225 g sugar, 3 lemon zeste, 100 g cocoa butter

Mix the first 4 ingredients till you obtain a sandy dough. Bake at 175°C till it’s golden brown. Let it cool down. Mix the crumble with the melted Belcolade Cocoa Butter. Pour the crumble in a circle of  14cm and freeze

With the honey and hazelnut, you can make a honey hazelnut biscuit;

500 g eggs, 200 g hazelnut powder, 175 almond powder, 175 g honey, 200 g icing sugar, 100 g flour, 330 g egg white, 50 g sugar

Whip everything together, spread out on a baking tray. Bake at 240°C for 5min.

The cucumber is transformed into a Cucumber jelly;

500 g cucumber juice, 80 g sugar, 40 g honey, 10 g gelatin

Make fresh cucumber juice and heat up the juice till 40°C together with the honey. Add the gelatin, pour in a Flexipan mould 14cm and freeze it.

The black tea can be combined with Vanuatu chocolate: Black tea creme;

450 g Cream 35%, milk QS, 20 g black tea, 570 g Vanuatu 44 milk chocolate, 100 g butter

Boil the fresh cream and the black tea and let it infuse for 5 min. Pass through a sieve and add milk till you have your original weight of 450g again. Heat up again till 85°C and pour onto the Belcolade Origins Vanuatu 44. Mix to obtain a homogeneous filling. When the cremeux reaches a temperature of 35°C, add the butter and mix again. Pour the Black Tea Cremeux on top of the Crumble Lemon. Put on top of this a layer of the Hazelnut Honey Biscuit and freeze.

To finish chocolate mousse;

250 g milk, 250 g cream, 100 g egg yolk, 550 g milk chocolate Vanuatu 44, 6 g gelatin, 450 g cream

Boil the milk with the cream and pour this onto the egg yolks. Add the Belcolade Origin Vanuatu 44 and mix. Add the gelatin and mix again. Add the semi whipped fresh cream. Fill 1/3 of a circle with mousse. Take the insert and the Cucumber Jelly from the freezer. Place the Cucumber Jelly on top of the insert and put it in the circle upside down in the mousse. Freeze it.

You can compose all these layers into a pie like this Astroid by Michel Eyckerman

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Cucumber soup recipe variations

Summer days are coming, time for some refreshing cucumber soup. Find here some surprising combos to try out.


Based on the tree, you can make following cucumber soup recipe variations  like Hubert Keller with grapes, almond and vanilla

or walnut (like Michael Symon) or melon, white truffle,…

Click on the dynamic Foodpairing tree to see more combinations. Copy the embed to paste the Foodpairing tree into your own website.

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A FOODPAIRING LOOK AT THE PINA PEPINO

Next to the Flemish Foodies there is now also the Belgian Barflies featuring Olivier Jacobs, Erik Veldhuis and Ben Wouters. Happy to see there is more and more activity in the cocktail scene in Belgium.

Here the Foodpairing tree of Apple linked to a general profile of Tequila (any tequila company interested to make a Foodpairing analysis on their product?) to make the link with the other ingredients;

Here the movie of the cocktail by Ben Wouters;

Piña pepiño – Ben Wouters (Belgian Barflies) from piet de kersgieter on Vimeo.

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HOW TO REPLACE MY CUCUMBER IN MY PIMM’S?

German health officials said that cucumbers imported from Spain was one source of a recent deadly E. coli outbreak in northern states that killed several people and made hundreds sick. 
They came back on that, but maybe you are still afraid (you shouldn’t, but in case you are). What could replace cucumber in your dishes or cocktails?


Well, one of the typical flavors of cucumber is (E,Z)-2,6-nonadienal. A molecule which you make when you are cutting cucumber (as by cutting you mix enzymes and fatty acids of the cucumber. The enzymes will cut the fatty acid into 2 parts, one of them being the cucumber flavor).
Where else can you find this molecules if you want to make a Pimm’s cocktail?



You can find the cucumber flavor also in:
- borage flowers
- mango
- watermelon
- Hendrick’s gin…
So mango in your Pimm’s cocktail? Or go directly for the Hendrick’s :)



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