Pairings Make Flavor Twice As Nice

Chefs have long recognized the value of similar and contrasting flavors in their cooking. Now, as home cooks continue to be more adventurous with food, they are developing an appreciation of this concept, too. Spanning sweet, hot, tangy, salty, bitter, sour and more, flavor pairings take taste to a whole new level.

The flavor experts at McCormick recently released the Flavor Forecast 2007, a glimpse at the trendy, tantalizing and downright tempting combinations that will shape the way we eat in the coming year and beyond. The top 10 flavor pairings for 2007 are:

• Clove & Green Apple

• Thyme & Tangerine

• Tellicherry Black Pepper & Berry

• Sea Salt & Smoked Tea

• Lavender & Honey

• Crystallized Ginger & Salted Pistachio

• Cumin & Apricot

• Toasted Mustard & Fennel Seeds

• Wasabi & Maple

• Caramelized Garlic & Riesling Vinegar

"This year, we're seeing a greater variety of flavor offerings, specifically within individual ingredients," said Chef Adam Walker of McCormick. "Even staples once considered basic--ike salt-now come in a diverse palette of flavor, color and texture."

This easy recipe, from Chef Walker, is a great way to try one of the year's top pairings: lavender--a key ingredient in Herbes de Provence--and honey. "Try wildflower, raw or buckwheat honey to change the flavor of this recipe," Chef Walker said.

Roasted Chicken with Olives & Provençal Herbs

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

3 pounds chicken parts

1 cup peeled small white onions, cut into halves or quarters

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

1/3 cup tangerine or orange juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection® Herbes de Provence

1 teaspoon tangerine or orange peel

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection® Tellicherry Black Peppercorns, crushed

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1. Place chicken, onions and olives in 13x9-inch baking dish.

2. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl. Pour evenly over chicken. Roast in preheated 425°F oven 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken with olives, onions and pan juices.

Makes 6 servings.

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
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