Straffe Hendrik Heritage

The offices of Foodpairing are located on the outskirts of one of Belgium’s most beautiful cities, Bruges. We were of course very happy when the city’s brewery “De Halve Maan” contacted us and allowed us to do flavour analysis on their beers. From now on the beers of brewery De Halve Maan can be paired in the Foodpairing Explorer. Here is an overview of the flavour and Foodpairing potential of one of their most precious beers: De Straffe Hendrik Heritage.

The Straffe Hendrik Heritage is a dark quadrupel beer of 11% alc vol, it has a fruity spicy flavour with flowery and cheesy undertones. A baseline of caramel is underlined by a maturation in oak casks. This adds an oaky complexity to the beer that fades into chocolate, maple and coffee notes. Furthermore the cask adds a touch of vinous acidity to the beer that makes it a complaint food companion that does not overpower, even with its high alcohol. Straffe Hendrik Heritage is a beer with a refermentation in the bottle, so it can be kept for several years, during which time the taste will further evolve.

A green theme lies submerged under the fruity and caramel oaky powerhouses. This interesting observation let us to specifically search for Foodpairing matches in that green direction, in an attempt to highlight this fresh quality of the beer. We found that cucumber and tomato excel in doing just that, the latter also plays on the fruity theme of the beer. These ingredients were the seeds of the following two recipes.

It is well known that crab and other crustaceans pair well with dark and black beer types, this can be backed up by flavour analysis and Foodpairing® theory. Our first recipe can surely be added to the list of pro evidence; it pairs a crab salad to the Straffe Hendrik Heritage. Cucumber and apple – remember the green theme – were added to the salad providing bite and freshness. A tomato coulis was prepared with candied tomatoes in order to give body to the dish and strongly match the beer.

Thrilled by the green theme and the subtle links it makes with the beer; we took it one step further and went all in with a cucumber dessert paired with the Straffe Hendrik. White chocolate was used to add richness, and a texture contrast is being provided by broken coffee meringues. Mind that all ingredients can be found in the Foodpairing tree of the beer… Taste to believe!

A third recipe than we designed to pair with the Straffe Hendrik Heritage is an oxtail stew with aubergade and bell peppers. The links are somewhat more straightforward compared to the previous recipes; focusing on the big roasty and caramellic themes present in the beer. Though we could not resist adding a touch of stubborn innovation in the form of goat cheese, providing freshness while going along with the cheesiness in the beer.

Keep a close eye on the pro journal and website, soon we’ll launch two other beers from the same brewery.

How to make Foodpairing dishes around pea?

After a period of dry weather, the heavy rains of the last days boosted the plants in the garden. We harvest this week dwarf peas like Charmette.

So how do we start to make recipes with produce like pea?
First of all you start looking in the Foodpairing explorer what types of peas we have. For the moment we only have a regular fresh pea.

Looking into the Foodpairing tree of fresh pea, we notice following combinations:

  • Classical ones such as carrot, potato, cod, chicken
  • Less obvious ones such as white chocolate, vanilla, gin, apricot, passion fruit.

For the next vegetarian dish with pea, we have relied on the less obvious ingredients:
Pea – apricot – passion fruit – hazelnut – coffee – peppermint

Why these ingredients?

When tasting fresh, raw peas you will notice the mealy texture. To reduce this texture we made a puree of peas, but this is also too heavy. By adding peppermint you make it lighter. Fresh peas are also sweet, so you can add a sweet component like apricot. To balance this dish we need something acid. An alternative to adding lemon is e.g. passion fruit. Peas work very well with roasted ingredients like coffee, but instead of adding just coffee, we made a crumble with hazelnuts.

Recipe

  • 200 g apricot puree
  • 50 g passion fruit juice
  • 6 g pectin
  • 50 g sugar
  • 65 g flour
  • 35 g hazelnut broyage (50% hazelnuts mixed with 50% sugar)
  • 40 g butter
  • 10 g powdered sugar
  • 15 g brown sugar
  • ground coffee to taste
  • 200 g pea puree
  • 2 leaves of peppermint
Apricot jam:

Mix the ingredients in a cooking pan. Bring to the boil. Cook for at least 5 minutes. Stop the cooking process when you have reached the desired viscosity.

Coffee crumble:
Mix all the ingredients till you have the structure of a crumble. Bake golden brown in a pre-heated oven of 180°C. Cool down.

Pea puree:
Mix the pea puree with the peppermint. Season.

Fresh peas:
Boil some pea pods al dente.
Remove the peas from the remaining pods and finish the dish with the fresh peas.

Light cream of polder potato with coffee, vanilla and Oud Brugge cheese

When we organized the first Flemish Primitives in 2009, we challenged several Belgian and foreign chefs to show how they apply Foodpairing. One of the results was this potato-coffee-vanilla-cheese combo by Hertog Jan. In the meantime it became a classic at this Belgian 3 Michelin star top restaurant. Tonight Gert De Mangeleer will demonstrate his classic dish at VTM news and explain how he uses Foodpairing.

Ingredients:

  • Polder potatoes
  • 250 g cream 35%
  • 200 g shellfish stock
  • 70 g fine olive oil
  • 0,5 l grape seed oil
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Ground coffee
  • Oud Brugge

Preparation:

For the cream:
Cook the potatoes in their skins in the oven at 250 degrees Celcius and remove the skins when they are cooked. Put 500 g of potatoes in the food processor with the cream, shellfish stock and olive oil, blend and sieve, adjust to taste. Place in an espuma bottle and use 3 gas cartridges, keep warm in a bain-marie at 65 degrees Celcius.

For the vanilla oil: Perfume the grape seed oil with the vanilla. Grate the cheese. Spray the potato cream into a bowl, sprinkle some freshly ground coffee on top ans flavour with 1 spoon of vanilla oil, and then finish with a spoon of grated “Old Brugge”.

 

Jules Destrooper savory biscuit combinations

Jules Destrooper started out as a colonial trader in spices and has now become one of the best biscuits producers in Belgium. We at Foodpairing® are very pleased to announce we analyzed and added the original Jules Destrooper biscuits to our database. We are talking about their two most famous products: the Butter Crisps and Almond Thins and the Cinnamon Biscuit enrobed with chocolate. Here is an overview of their flavor, Foodpairing potential and of course some recipes we’ve designed.

When thinking about combinations with cookies, one tends to unconsciously steer towards desserts, sweet snacks etc. Here are some great Foodpairing examples:

Almond Thins with mascarpone and blood orange

Cinnamon Biscuit with mango, cream cheese and poppy seeds

Butter Crisps with peanut butter and apricot

Agreed this is where the Jules Destrooper biscuits really shine, but we felt the need for a gastronomic adventure. That’s why we made some savory combinations with the products, of course with the aid of the Foodpairing Explorer. Here are some of our results:

We observe from the analysis that the Almond Thins are rich in benzaldehyde, as to be expected from a biscuit containing almonds ie. benzalhyde’s primary flavour. This flavor is also is also characterizing for cherries and amaretto, yet more savory products with this particular flavour may be found in the Foodpairing tree of the Almond Thin. Foie gras is such a product, containing high levels of benzaldehyde; furthermore, it matches surprisingly well with sweet ingredients. Putting foie gras on an Almond Thin lead us to our first recipe.

The Almond Thin with clams is a more complex combination, linking flavors which are very subtly present in both products …

Since the Butter Crisps are produced with real butter, it’s understandable to find many matches in the Foodpairing tree that are based on the buttery theme, check out the cheeses. We opted for a cheddar – Butter Crips combo to which we added tomato and fried bacon, the result seems to be inspired by the well-known English Breakfast. We added some chili sauce for extra zing.

Another interesting match is chicken, also linked to the Butter Crisps in the buttery theme. Here is the recipe

You do not need to be a gastrophile to understand the power of the apple – cinnamon – chocolate combo. We replaced the cinnamon by its Jules Destrooper counterpart. Though a prodigious combo on its own, we completed this symphony with the aid of Foodpairing by adding Gruyere. Here is the recipe

As explained in our article about Furaneol, chocolate and beef pair great. By marinating the beef in soy sauce we even empower the match and take care of the correct taste balance. A next bite is completed with porcini mushrooms that matches both chocolate and beef. These mushrooms are really great in desserts!

Enjoy!

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.

Asparagus desserts

Foodpairing® not only gives you an overview of possible conventional combinations, when browsing through the trees in the Explorer you might find combinations that are new or maybe unheard of in gastronomy. Do not disregard these pairings as mere curiosa. For they often are the spark of innovative and challenging recipes. It might be worth the after-hours experiment, afterall, all pairings in our Explorer are in accordance to the main principal of Foodpairing:

 

“Foods can be combined when they share major flavor components”

 

So no matter how peculiar the pairing might seem, they share major flavor components. But always keep in mind that Foodpairing is just a starting point in new recipe generation, knowledge of the art of gastronomy is needed to design a well-balanced yet challenging recipe. It is like a diamant: the skill of the master is needed to allow it to shine.

 

That being said, let’s make an asparagus dessert!

When investigating the Foodpairing tree of Asparagus, one finds that asparagus pairs well with fruits such as Litchi and Raspberry. When browsing the pastry category, one finds a large host of cocao pairings.

The pairing of asparagus – dark chocolate – raspberry will be core of our recipe.

In order to find more interesting pairings, one might browse the Foodpairing tree of Raspberry. Nice matches can be found with rhubarb, lemon balm and pepper mint. These ingredients will bring freshness to the dish; each in their own way.

Furthermore, the addition of the raspberry to the recipe allows the combination of asparagus with rhubarb, lemon and lemon balm. No direct pairings can be observed between these ingredients and asparagus. The raspberry forms a “flavour bridge” between the asparagus and the mentioned ingredients.

The recipe

  • 4 asparagus AA
  • lemon juice
  • sugar syrup
  • soft, fruity olive oil
  • 3 raspberries
  • 1 stalk rhubarb
  • 2 dl sugar syrup 50%
  • 40 g melted dark chocolate
  • 20 g kaolin
  • 16 raspberries
  • dark chocolate
  • lemon verbena

Asparagus:
Peel the asparagus. Slice it with a peeler in very thin ribbonns. Add some lemon juice, sugar syrup and olive oil.

Rhubarb:
Peel the rhubarb and cut the stalk into pieces. Add the sugar syrup and 3 raspberries. Bring to a boil. Cover with some tinfoil and put in a preheated oven (90°C). Cook al dente and allow to cool in the syrup.

Mix the molten chocolate with the kaolin

Assembly:
Arrange the asparagus on the plate. Putin the pieces of rhubarb, raspberries and bit of chocolate. Finish with some lemon verbena.

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.

Beer and Foodpairing: Ommegang Charles Quint

In this article we’ll give you some flavor inspiration for designing recipes that combine well with this excellent beer. Also we’ll dive into a couple of home-grown recipes we designed to beer and Foodpairing the Ommegang Keizer Karel.

Three hops are used during the production process giving the beer its delicate yet complex aroma. Flowery, fruity, spicy and citrusy aromas are equally perceived, without overloading the beer. Its multi dimensional character is reflected in the Foodpairing tree of Ommegang Keizer Karel, it grants a lot of Foodpairing potential to this beer.

The subtle spiciness in the beer is mainly attributed to the chosen yeast strain tasked to ferment the beer. This flavor can also be found in asparagus and vanilla (find them in the Ommegang Foodpairing tree). These simple links gave us the spark to create two amiable food companions. With the aid of the Foodpairing Explorer we filled in the blanks. Add Ommegang and asparagus to your combo box. Then search for fitting ingredients and be inspired. Keep in mind that you can use the beer in your recipe, but it also can be served on the side.

 

Here’s what we came up with.

Asparagus – Cream Cheese – Shrimp

Starting from the Ommegang – asparagus combo in the Foodpairing Explorer, we hopped to cream cheese, having some lactone aromas in common with the beer and the asparagus. Next we selected bread, which will link in the fruity theme.

Find the recipe here.

 

Apple – lemon – vanilla – pistachio

This dish emphasizes the fruity and citrusy character of the beer that is served on the side. Sparked by the vanilla match, we searched for appropriate fruits. The beer contains a lot of aroma molecules that can be found in apples and lemons, so we decided to go with these two ingredients. That leaves us vanilla, apples and lemon; it is a small task to come up with a matching dessert with these ingredients so common, so go wild…

Find our recipe here.

Les vergers Boiron recipes

Les Vergers Boiron introduced 4 new products at Sirha the end of January. These products were analyzed and added to the Foodpairing® database. Here is an overview of their flavor and Foodpairing potential.

The Fruit and Vegetable products of Les Vergers Boiron are very well known in Europe. Here are the products we added to our database (click on them to view the Foodpairing tree)

The yellow pepper contains a lot of fruity, citrus, floral and green cucumber-like aromas, making strong matches with other vegetables like tomato, cucumber, aubergine etc. Surprisingly, the yellow pepper matches fruits even better, combinations of yellow pepper with pear, strawberry or orange will surely inspire. Caramellic themes are more hidden, allowing combinations of the yellow pepper with coffee, chocolate and fried meat. This is one of the directions we chose to design our yellow pepper recipe towards, another theme we decided to highlight is its fruitiness. We made the yellow pepper puree into a mayonnaise sauce and prepared the beef with hay, making this dish quite extraordinary flavourwise. Though you wouldn’t say when looking at the picture…

The bergamot puree is characterized by green, floral and citrus aromas, making strong matches to fish and seafood. This puree contains the subtle typical flavours of earl grey tea and is quite suitable for freshening up dishes in a more exotic way than lemon juice.
We designed a classic fish dish with a bergamot twist. The bergamot brightens the flavours of the other ingredients while making its typical flavour contribution, steering this dish into a more challenging zone.

Because of the addition of pineapple and lemon juice to the ginger puree and lemongrass both products become increasingly complex, besides having ample sweet and savory combinations these products fit perfectly into a cocktail. So here are some cocktail recipes (more food recipes can be found on the product pages of the ginger puree and lemongrass)

We selected pear and cinnamon for our ginger cocktail, each highlighting another flavour theme of ginger and by itself a very classic combination. The resulting cocktail is highly suited as an after dinner drink.

We decided to highlight the spicy flavours of the lemongrass puree, so we selected green tea and bergamot in its Foodpairing tree. Finishing the cocktail with matching Sichuan pepper makes this oriental cocktail complete. Make sure to check out the strong taste contrasts between foam and cocktail!

We are also proud to announce we will analyze more products of Les Vergers Boiron, so stay tuned.

For more information about Les Vergers Boiron products visit: http://www.my-vb.com/lang/en/page/newsletter

Foodpairing beef rub: oriental

Customize your rub to match perfectly. With our Foodpairing® Explorer it is as easy pie! Take a look at the Foodpairing tree of the meat you want to season, let’s say beef.

Now it is just the matter of browsing & selection matching ingredients.

 

In the category of sea products you can find dried kelp. Kelp gives a pleasant aroma of sea air to the meat. It is a common ingredient in many cultures, but mostly reminds us of oriental dishes, so we chose to go further in that direction. One can find inspiration for the rub by looking at the Foodpairing tree of beef, but also at the one of already selected flavoring ingredients. In our case we could look at the Foodpairing tree of kelp. Also don’t forget about the ingredients for your baseline, these can also be a starting point for your Foodpairing searches.

 

We’ve selected following extra ingredients for our oriental rub: Sichuan pepper, orange peel, chili, garlic, onion, black pepper, ginger, fennel seed, cinnamon and coriander.

  • 5 g salt
  • 3 g dried wakamé
  • 2,5 g sichuan pepper
  • 2 g dried orange peel
  • 1,5 g freeze dried onion flakes
  • 1 g coriander seeds
  • 0,5 g ginger powder
  • 0,5 g fennel seeds
  • 0,2 g black pepper powder
  • 0,2 g freeze dried granulated garlic
  • 0,1 g chili powder
  • 0,1 g cinnamon powder

 

Mix all ingredients. Store in an air tight container.

Put the rub in a small bowl. Press the rub into all sides of the meat and refrigerate for at least 30′ prior to grilling or frying.