Infusing food pairings together not only allows us to experiment in the kitchen with familiar classics but allows us to experiment with imaginative combinations through textures, flavours and cuisines.
Philip and I are all about a strong dynamic duo, especially when it comes to our roles on the blog. If he didn't develop, test and cook recipes I'd have nothing to style, photograph and write about, and vice versa. While we're great on our own, it's when combined that we are better for it and better together. Like any good dynamic duo, when it comes to flavour, food pairings and food combinations matter most.
Combining ingredients, texture, cuisines, or tastes, new flavour-boosting and delicious dishes are created. A fusion of flavours if you call it, infusing two food pairings together not only allows us to experiment in the kitchen with familiar classics like meat and potatoes, tomato soup and grilled cheese or mac and cheese, but allows us to experiment with imaginative combinations like French onion soup and grilled cheese, bacon and brussels sprouts or Philly Cheese Steaks and Quesadillas.
1. Philly Cheese Steak Quesadillas
Philly Cheese Steak Quesadillas with drunken mushrooms, peppers and onions, grilled beef sirloin, and melty wine soaked cheese is the ultimate weekday or weekend dish.
A crisp ouster layer tortilla with ooey gooey strings of melty Tipsy Cheese, this dish is the ultimate blend of quesadilla meets cheese steak and pulls the highest compliments from each into melted Philly Cheese Steak Quesadillas. But what makes our Philly Cheese Steak Quesadillas different from the rest is all in the assembly and a heavy hand on the skillet.
Food Pairings Recipe: Tipsy Philly Cheese Steak Quesadillas.
2. Camembert Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. It’s the food of childhood nostalgia, late night eats and essentially what food dreams are made of. It’s hearty and sturdy, creamy and melty, and encourages all types of toppings from bacon to bread crumbs to kale.
Swapping out the traditional macaroni for orchiaetta pasta, adding in bacon, kale and garlic, and coating with the buttery cheesy goodness, this Camembert Mac and Cheese is an elevated version of your childhood favourite.
Food Pairings Recipe: Comforting Camembert Mac and Cheese.
3. Bacon and Brussels Sprout Salad
Brussels sprouts are a staple in our kitchen. One of our favourite ways to enjoy this leafy green is raw, shredded and tossed in a creamy homemade dressing with bacon and croutons, or simply a Shaved Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad.
A true north Caesar salad, we used Ontario grown brussels sprouts alongside bacon, a homemade mayonnaise dressing tossed with anchovies, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire and lemon juice, and homemade croutons topped with a generous pile of shredded Grizzly Gouda.
Food Pairings Recipe: Shaved Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad.
4. Not So Traditional Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd’s Pie is a meat and potatoes casserole and we can all agree that it’s one of the ultimate comfort foods, especially in the winter. Made with a flavourful mix of onions, carrots, and celery. ground beef, tomato paste and garlic, the richness of the meat is added using bone broth.
The key to a really delicious and flavourful Beef Shepherd’s Pie is all in the meat and vegetables, potatoes and the assembly. What you’re left with is a flavourful meat base with vegetables and a creamy, rich, broth mashed potato perfect for any cozy night in.
Food Pairings Recipe: Not So Traditional Shepherd's Pie.
5. Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons
Probably one of the most comforting and nostalgic dishes of any childhood is the classic tomato soup and grilled cheese. Like any good dynamic duo, this delicious food pair complements one another with flavours and textures; crunchy, buttery, and melty, begging to be combined.
A major upgrade to this classic soup, serving your grilled cheese as a crouton in the soup is the ultimate way to ensure a crispy bite with every slurp. The best part about this better together pair is that both parts require a little TLC adding to the impactful punch of the two in this delicious cheesy bread soup.
Food Pairings Recipe: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Crouton.
6. Mushrooms on Toast
Mushrooms are a classic toast combination in Britain, typically served with tea as an afternoon snack or light dinner. But like any toast dish, the key is in the toasting or grilling of the bread and finding the balance between soggy and cutting the roof of your mouth.
Earthy and dreamy yet hearty and savoury, our Mushroom Toast is elevated and elegant, and dare we say is possibly the new avocado toast in our kitchen (we think so). Smear your toast with chèvre, top with your mushroom, garlic and shallot mixture and top with a few sprigs of thyme.
Food Pairings Recipe: Mushroom Toast with Chèvre, Garlic and Thyme.
7. French Onion Grilled Cheese
French Onion Soup is one sure way to Phil’s heart (and stomach) and so we deconstructed the traditional French Onion Soup and reconstructed it back into a delicious and decadent French Onion Grilled Cheese.
With all the robust flavours of a French Onion Soup, our French Onion Grilled Cheese is made memorable by the addition of a broth-soaked slice of bread between the melted cheese, red wine caramelized onions and crispy top and bottom slices that instantly turns a one-dimensional grilled cheese into a three-dimensional GRILLED CHEESE!
Food Pairings Recipe: French Onion Grilled Cheese.
8. Fig and Prosciutto Pizza
We're mixing sweet and salty with our Fig and Prosciutto Pizza, skipping the traditional tomato sauce and mozzarella for a fresh ricotta base and finished with arugula and a warm balsamic glaze. What we love about this pizza is making it in a cast-iron skillet.
Place your skillet directly on the dining room table and serve your Fig and Prosciutto Pizza takeout box style, allowing you to grab your own slices with a variety of additional toppings like chilli oil, chilli flakes or grated parmigiano.
9. Nachos and Game Day
When we think of game day, whether it’s the Super Bowl, a Friday night in with the Toronto Raptors or a night out at a bar with the Maple Leafs, nachos are definitely part of the starting lineup of dishes. Who doesn’t love nachos? Especially fully loaded nachos with layers of warm tortilla chips topped with spicy meat, stringy cheese and all the fixings from fresh guacamole, to cool sour cream, and rich salsa — and jalapeños, never forget the jalapeños.
Using salty corn chips topped with melty cheese, meaty lentils and a bright salsa with spicy jalapeño peppers, our ultimate fully loaded nachos are the perfect meatless dish for your game day lineup. Trust us, you won’t even miss the meat.
Food Pairings Recipe: Fully Loaded Lentil Nachos.
10. Burgers and Secret Sauce
An article in the Wall Street Journal reported that only 1 in 5 millennials have ever tasted a Big Mac. For those who haven’t tasted a Big Mac, it is simply: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun, and from memory, it is delicious.
Made with buns from a local bakery, grass-fed ground beef, Canadian cheddar and world famous secret sauce, our burger is real food fast that you can feel good eating, and like any good burger, this Big Mac recipe is all about the layers.
Food Pairings Recipe: Homemade Big Mac with Secret Sauce.
While Philip and I can think of hundreds of our favourite food pairings and food combinations, we want to know what are your favourites?
Chef Sous Chef