Recipes Past & Present – Bizarre Food Pairings – September 3, 2021

Some things are made to go together, like grilled cheese and tomato soup. Some things not so much. But there are some combinations that may sound bizarre but are worth trying.  For example:

• Tomato and pineapple condiment: combine diced tomato and pineapple with a syrupy balsamic vinegar and EVO. Top with toasted peanuts, salt, pepper and basil.

Sweet potato and apricot: roast lightly oiled sweet potato cubes on a parchment-lined baking sheet in 400F oven until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature  and place on a platter. Top with pitted, quartered fresh apricots. Whisk together 2 tbsp grape seed or canola oil, the juice of a lime, a finely chopped red chili, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 finely chopped green onion, 1 tsp fresh grated ginger and a pinch of salt. Drizzle over the potatoes and apricots, top with toasted coconut and fresh cilantro.

Dark chocolate and Parmesan cheese. You’ll need: 2 slices country bread, 2 ounces dark chocolate (64%) coarsely chopped, 6 thinly shaved slices, Parmesan cheese, cooking oil spray. Directions: Layer one slice of bread with the chocolate and then with Parmesan cheese and top with second slice of bread. Microwave for 30 seconds. Heat a panini press, grill pan or skillet. Spray the surface and the outside of the bread with cooking oil spray. Grill until bread is golden brown and chocolate and cheese are oozing. Serve immediately.

Cheetos and Brocolli, this one’s direct from Chef Craig Koketsu of New York City: 


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  •  2 tbsp. minced shallots
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1⁄2 cups grated aged Gouda
  • 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 1⁄4 lb. broccoli, cut into small florets, stems cut crosswise into 1/4″ slices
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 2 cups original Cheetos, crushed by hand 


Make the cheese sauce: Heat cream, 2 tbsp. garlic, shallots, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in cheeses until melted, and season with salt. Set a fine strainer over a small saucepan and strain sauce, discarding solids. Set aside and keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add broccoli and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain broccoli, transfer to a bowl of ice water, and let chill. Drain and transfer to paper towels to dry; set aside. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic and chile flakes and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add broccoli and cook, stirring often, until just subtly browned, about 6 minutes.

To serve, spoon cheese sauce evenly among 6 warm serving bowls or small plates. Top sauce with broccoli and a generous sprinkling of Cheetos. Serve immediately.

Do you have a favourite recipe, perhaps something that brings back memories of days gone by? Send it to the Lumby Valley Times. Mail your recipe(s) to: Box 456, Lumby B.C. or e-mail to to:, please indicate if you want your name to be used in the article, or would prefer to remain anonymous.

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