Tempting Flavor Pairings Make Main Dishes Shine

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(Family Features) Good things come in pairs, and flavor is no exception. Professional chefs know the secret to combining sweet, hot, tangy, salty, bitter and sour for crave-worthy dishes, and now everyday cooks are discovering this concept as well. The right combinations can turn basic main dish meals into tasty adventures. With a greater variety of ingredients and influences at our fingertips — in restaurants, grocery stores and on TV cooking shows — experimenting with flavor pairings has never been easier or more exciting.

The palate-pleasing combination of salty and sweet goes upscale with crystallized ginger and salted pistachio. While it is an ideal pairing for desserts, the dynamic duo is equally delicious in main dish recipes, such as Ginger-Pistachio Crusted Chicken With Tangerine Sauce.

Watch out when wasabi and maple — the ultimate in sweet heat — team up. Accented by ginger and garlic, Maple Wasabi Glazed Salmon features an exciting twist on teriyaki. This combination is also great for enhancing the flavor of stir-fries, ribs and chicken.

Though their appearance is tiny, when mustard and fennel seeds join forces, the result is a mighty punch of flavor and texture. For a light, delicious main dish salad, try Fennel and Mustard Seed Crusted Shrimp With Apricot Dressing. Toasting the seeds adds depth to their flavor.

For additional recipes, visit www.mccormick.com.

Toasting spices is fast and easy:

  1. Place dry skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once pan is hot, pour in desired amount of seeds.
  3. Using a spatula, stir seeds in pan until they become fragrant, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

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Fennel and Mustard Crusted Shrimp With Apricot Dressing

Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Mustard Seed
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Fennel Seed
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Ground Turmeric
  • 1 pound extra large shrimp (16 to 20 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 cups field greens
  1. Heat a small skillet on medium heat. Add mustard and fennel seeds; cook and stir about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Immediately pour out of hot pan to avoid over-toasting. Finely crush seeds using a small food processor, a clean coffee grinder, a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle. Pour into small bowl. Stir in hot water and turmeric. Let stand 5 minutes. Coat shrimp evenly with seed mixture.
  2. Mix apricot preserves, lime juice, soy sauce and sea salt in small bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp; cook 3 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink, turning once. Divide greens among 4 serving plates. Top with shrimp. Serve with apricot dressing.

 

Maple Wasabi Glazed Salmon

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Collection Wasabi Powder
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Ground Ginger
  • 2 pounds salmon fillets
  1. Mix wasabi with water in small bowl until well blended. Add remaining ingredients, except salmon; stir until well mixed. Place salmon in 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Spoon wasabi mixture evenly over salmon.
  2. Bake in preheated 375°F oven 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting occasionally with wasabi mixture.

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Ginger-Pistachio Crusted Chicken With Tangerine Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 3/4 cup shelled salted pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 cup McCormick Gourmet Collection Crystallized Ginger
  • 1/3 cup tangerine or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  1. Place pistachios and crystallized ginger in food processor; process until mixture is chopped. Stir tangerine juice, honey and soy sauce in small bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Place chicken in foil-lined shallow baking pan; brush chicken with egg white. Coat evenly with ginger-pistachio mixture.
  3. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Slice chicken and serve with tangerine sauce.

Source: McCormick

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