Monday, March 29, 2010

Day Fifty - One : A New Tradition, Marriage Mondays

Happy Monday ladies and gents! A certain special someone came up with an excellent idea for us on Mondays moving forward -- Marriage Mondays! I'm sure you're wondering, well what does that mean? Don't worry it doesn't have anything to do with dresses you will only wear once or tiers of sweet concoctions. What it does mean is the following:

Every Monday I will take one item and pair it with three cheeses or one cheese that will be paired with three ingredients, one of which will be a match made in heaven, one possible match and one destined for divorce. Over the course of our Marriage Mondays or MM's, you will learn more about how and why certain ingredients work together. If you have any requests for an MM ingredient, please do not hesitate to email me.

Today's MM ingredient is mozzarella because I was just at an event with a sumptuous mozzarella dish and I thought why not use it for today's first MM. We are just going to use a fresh mozzarella rather than say a burrata or a boccolini. In case you wanted a little lesson on mozzarella first, here are its most well known characteristics:
1. Generic term of a family of Italian cheeses that employ spinning and cutting techniques.
2. It is typically very white depending on seasonally somewhat.
3. It is served either the day it is made or within days of being made because of its high moisture content.
4. Traditionally solely made from water buffalo's milk, nowadays you also see it being made from cow's milk.
5. In case you were curious about the etymology of mozzarella it comes from the Italian verb mozza or mozzare meaning to cut.

Now that we got that out of the way, lets get on to our MM pairings:

1. Match made in heaven OR in our case here the obvious route : Tomatoes, whether it is heirlooms, cherries, sundrieds, or plums, you name it, tomatoes pair excellently with some basil, olive oil and a sliver of mozzarella. A ubiquitous pairing found as a salad, as a pizza or pasta topping, or even as a crostini. The melt in your mouth qualities of the mozzarella are accentuated by the tomatoes' juiciness and topped off excellently with the basil and olive oil. Sweetness and savoriness all rolled into one. Both are very luscious but in very different ways. This pairing works because the flavors balance each other in their differences while at the same time complementing one another, just like a good marriage.
2. Possible match (we've previously mentioned this, but I think it is worth it to bring it up here) : Mangos and Chili Oil with Mozzarella. Taking the creamy, sumptuousness of the cheese in mind, most people tend to pair it with a savory vegetable, something that will stand up against the melt in your mouth quality that one tends to associate with this cheese. Rarely do you find this cheese that has sweet undertones with a creamy core, paired with fruit, it just doesn't tend to hold up! But when combining cold mozzarella with a sweet stone fruit and a spicy oil, what you get is a pairing that one would not necessarily think of but that works. It works because the consistency of the mangoes plays off of the consistency of the mozzarella and the sweetness of the fruit and the cheese is combated with the spiciness of the chili oil. This isn't just one flavor complementing another but multiple flavors working together to form a somewhat coherent and unique new taste.
3. Match destined for divorce : Mozzarella and milk chocolate grilled cheese. This pairing is destined for divorce because creaminess paired  with creaminess does not accentuate any of each ingredient's flavors, instead what you get is a gooey, creamy, buttery mess. This is what happens when you take two ingredients that have the some of the same base flavors, without a sufficient amount of difference. You need to take two ingredients that are distinct but share commonalities, not two ingredients that are very similar but share a few differences.

What are your thoughts? What would you choose? I hope you enjoyed our first round of Marriage Mondays.
Stay dry ladies and gents!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive