Let's be sacrilegious for a moment. I love The Flavor Bible. It is a gift from God. Well, actually it was written by culinary authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, but in the foodie world, that's good enough.
Tonight, as usual, I have a fresh piece of produce that is on its last day of edibility. So I come home from work already knowing that my mushrooms from the farmer's market need to be the main ingredient.
That's where The Flavor Bible comes in. You can look up any ingredient and find out what goes with it. For example, from this book, I put together white chocolate and basil leaves (you scoff, but I dare you to try it and not be amazed). They call it flavor pairing, and it is the core of creative cooking.
I go with the combo of mushrooms, olive oil, garlic and lemon.
Probably should use zest, but I am without an actual lemon. So lemon juice it is.
First, I heat water in a saucepan and put a handful or two of the egg noodles in once it boils. Meanwhile, I chop a clove of garlic and heat it for a minute in oil olive in a skillet over medium heat. Then, I add sliced mushrooms and a splash of lemon juice. By the time the egg noodles are al dente, they are ready to be tossed in the mushrooms.
Can I tell you that I love egg noodles. They cook quickly, they're inexpensive and they work even with something so basic as tossing them in melted butter with some herbs.
Any how, this is easy, and once you sprinkle in some kosher salt and cracked black pepper, you have it made.
The Flavor Bible is full of pairings just like this that allow your palate to do some exploring. Give it a try. Best of all, you'll learn something new. There's no end to the innovation.