Monday, October 20, 2008

Fusion Food

Fusion cooking is the art of mixing ingredients and preparation styles from different countries and cultures into a unique dish. Someone recently referred to this style as "clean out your fridge" cooking. Raising a large family, my frugal yet creative mother invented fusion out of necessity.

Recently, while preparing dinner, I discovered that specific ingredients for my intended dish were missing. Undaunted, I fused two Mediterranean dishes into something original that rated highly with my spouse. The result was a combination of an Italian baked sausage pasta, a Greek moussaka and a lasagna.

Before you gag or holler "YUCK!", Mediterranean cuisines are very similar. Onions, garlic, and tomatoes, cooked in olive oil, begin many dishes. Eggplant, squash, peppers, mushrooms, cucumber, artichokes, legumes and various greens are considered staples. The use of fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, fennel, and oregano is common.

So, next time you are faced with this situation, be inventive. Think outside your recipe to another compatible country.