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Cheese with seafood is a NO-NO?

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
Okay, I've heard a number of times now on the food network, that pairing seafood and cheese is not acceptable. (and I will agree that there are some cheeses that would not be good---but come on---all cheeses?). I want to know whose rule is this, and why? I have a number of recipes for sauces with cheese, which I've served with seafood dishes. And salmon mousse often has cream cheese. No one has complained yet. What is this stupid rule all about? Is it that just because one food authority doesn't like the combination, it has to be wrong for everyone? And by the way, I don't care if the experts say it's wrong---I'm still gonna do it as long as everyone in my circle of influence likes it. :look:
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post #2 of 80
My understanding is it comes from Italian cuisine. But I like parmesan on shrimp and a few other fishy things.

Cream cheese of course is good with a lot of seafood.
post #3 of 80
Thread Starter 
Well, they're just wrong, and someone needs to tell them. :lol:
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #4 of 80
i think it is more that so many seafoods have a delicate flavor and texture, while cheese tends to be more thick and heavy with and strong flavor, which can overwhelm seafood.

A couple years ago lobster macaroni and cheese was popular in New York, but never really took off. Despite it's popularity, every review I ever saw said the lobster got lost in the heavy cheese sauce, besides the fact that it just sounds gross. On the other hand, a good lox and cream cheese bagel is awesome. Every food rule seems to have a "but" or "except" in it somewhere.

It would appear that cheese is just harder to put with seafood than with meat or poultry; it 's hard to think of a way to combine gorgonzola with fish!
post #5 of 80
It's too bad no one will invent coquille saint jacques. It could have been good.

BDL
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post #6 of 80

seafood and cheese

Hokey smokes! I just had shrimp and scallop enchiladas today at Dos Corallitos. REALLY. And what am I going to do with my seafood lasgana with gruyere recipe? Do I tell everyone who said they loved it that they are radicals?

Tuna melts? Shrimp alfredo? Anchovies on a cheesey pizza?

I suppose it's like pairing any other foods. Some strong foods overwhelm delicate foods. Choose your cheese, choose your coquille.

Joe
post #7 of 80
My wife makes an excellent sandwich: baguette, cream cheese, smoked salmon, and avocado slices marinated in lemon and black pepper. I love it!
post #8 of 80
There's something I haven't made in a while, will have to put it on my 'to eat soon' list. Sauce mornay on poached halibut? That will never happen!

The one dish I take to parties that disappears the fastest is my seafood quiche. Lots of shrimp, scallops, crab, sometimes lobster, sometimes octopus, with gruyere and parm.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #9 of 80
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I can tell by your wonderful replies that the "food snobs" must be all wet. I hope they check in here occasionally to see what real people want to eat! :thumb:
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #10 of 80
What about those crab-stuffed mushroom caps with cheese melted on them? Inelegant but quite tasty.
post #11 of 80
One thing to keep in mind, Grace, is that if we are to believe the Food Network, the only worthwhile ethnic food is Italian. And among Italians that is pretty much a rule; no cheese with fish.

Once you broaden out to other cuisines, however, you find all sorts of ways that cheese is mixed with fish and seafood. And the fact is (but say it softly) there even are exceptions in Italy.

I'd also suggest that people who present that as a hard and fast rule somehow don't think of cream cheese as cheese. So things like a bagel with a smear and lox; and crab rangoon, etc., just don't count as seafood and cheese.

On the flip side, I reckon they don't consider scallops to be seafood, cuz there's a whole array of dishes that pair scallops with various cheeses.

At base, there are only two food pairings: those you like, and those you don't like. And if the ones you like violate somebody's rule, that somebody doesn't have to eat them. But don't let it stop you.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 80
Oh yes, here they will often look like they;re going to cut off your hand if you ask for cheese with your fish pasta.
Highly irregular!
And yet, recently i ate in a really good calabrese fish restaurant with a great pasta with fish and cheese, and in another sicilian restaurant there were fish-cheese pastas.

There are plenty of very flavorful fish that can certainly withstand even strong cheeses (the sicilian one was with pecorino!) But many Italians tend to live entirely in their region and anyway they just can be very snobby about "their" way of eating. They really can;t conceive of any other and many will travel with half their luggage allowance in food! Canned tuna! stuff like that. Not because they miss it but because they don;t think anyone else can cook. I wouldn;t mind the apologetic attitude some americans have that they just like meat and potatoes. They present their food prejudices as if there were "correct" tastes and bad ones and of course their personal preferences are the correct ones. And of course, since the cuisine is exceptionally good, they get away with it and others, from other cultural traditions can become even more rigid about it than anyone here, and go on tv and flaunt their superior "knowledge". When someone needs an excuse to look down on someone, maybe they are insecure themselves.

It took me YEARS to get up the courage to order a cappuccino after a meal ("What! ruin a good meal with MILK at the end? Oh yuck! what a boor!" but I'm much older now and couldn;t care less what they think.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #13 of 80
My tuna linguine is a firm favourite in my house and we all sprinkle parm on it.

If it tastes good, it's not wrong!
post #14 of 80
Actually from a scientific point of view (which is mostly my approach to food) cheese and seafood makes ALOT of sense; think about the sense of taste; savoury.

Savoury is usually a breakdown of amino acids and fatty acids; seafood is VERY savoury; as the amino acids are already present in the fish's muscle fibres to balance the absorbtion of minerals through the salinity of the water.
Cheeses contain various cultures of lactic-acid bacteria that very slowly break down the fats into short-chain fatty acids and release amino acids. Therefore the older the cheese the better they'll match (and rennet split cheeses will match much better than fresh or acidified cheeses).

You also have the sense of savoury in tomatoes, mushrooms, steak, sea weed...etc...

Try a layer of salt-roasted tomatoes with your scallops or your shrimp, and grated mushroom with a well-aged cheese and see how well they all match.
post #15 of 80
Oh gosh! Whatever are we gonna do with all that Mornay sauce? :peace:
post #16 of 80

it's true but not always true

Yes cheese is not cosnidered to be used with fish.
However, you can use "parmigiano" to "mantecare" a risotto.
This might be the only accepted cheese to go with fish.
Now there is a new tendency, not to use parimigiano on tomato sauce.
post #17 of 80
Seems like there are many exceptions to the rule. At my wife's bar and grill, they have a seafood quesadilla that is really tasty.
post #18 of 80
The "no cheese with seafood" rule was one of those I decided to ignore as soon as I heard it...
The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #19 of 80
I like shrimp with feta cheese in a salad is great
post #20 of 80
Meanwhile the Food Network website is full of recipes mixing fish with cheese - including some Italian ones:

fish cheese : Food Network
post #21 of 80
Siduri is correct in that, in Italy, if you order fish and then ask for cheese, they'll either ignore you like you never even spoke or, as I've seen done, the chef will come out and tell you to leave!!

Italians are picky and nothing is better than theirs but the reality of it is, whenever you're there... there is NOTHING better! ;)

Also to mention.... we're really stubborn but I love to toss some parmegiano on my frutta di mare.... just not in Italy!!
post #22 of 80
Oh No....my tuna mornay will have to live its days in purgatory.

The list of seafood with cheeses of various types is endless. I really don't understand what the fuss is all about. If it tastes well together, use it. If it doesn't, don't. It's your palate, and the only one that owns it is you.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #23 of 80
Do you guys watch "Chopped"? A recent episode had one of the judges scolding a competitor for using cheese with fish.
post #24 of 80
Pick subtle cheeses so they don't overpower the seafood, and you will be fine.
"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
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"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
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post #25 of 80
Thread Starter 
That's actually the place I heard this "rule"! I do not like that particular judge...he's waaay too judgemental for my taste ... all puns intended. :look:
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #26 of 80

chef not happy

Yes I confirm, if you ask Parmigiano in a real good seafood restaurant, the chef would come and say something to you. Or the waiter will look at you disgusted.
In Venice, the waiter would tell you not to do it.
That happens often with coke or soda.
I have seen often in Florence saying " we don't want our food to be ruined by cocacola".
I was always with US customer and they were aggravated by this lack of freedom and I was a little embarassed as I was guesting them.
There is a reason for this incomprehension.
Restaurants in Italy (but also in France) are more seen like a show, a performance.
In US more like a service. So here you taste the chef performance and you might like or not, but can not change the proposal much. In the US the customer judges by how much he was pleased.
Consider that now there is a new tendency of limiting the offer on a restaurant, to some point where you get no choice at all. The wine list increases and the menu list decreases.
post #27 of 80
Other useful rules we learn from "Chopped":

Duck must be served with crisp skin.

An entree must be of a certain fixed size -- too small and it's really an appetizer, and too large and it's not gourmet dining.

It is clever and original to do classical French cuisine.

All traditional English foods, however tasty, are mislabeled. For example, you cannot call an English curry a curry because it doesn't taste like what you get in India.

Cooks must be racially profiled. Chinese people who cook French aren't showing who they really are. White people who cook Chinese aren't being authentic.

Last but not least, the most important thing about "Chopped":

This is a serious competition, and must be treated with respect. (To which I give a big rasperry and a two-handed bird: this is a GAME SHOW. Ted Allen is a gay foodie Pat Sajack, and that jerk with the white hair is basically a nasty, flat-chested Vanna White.)
post #28 of 80
^^^ HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I love it. Yeah, that guy is a jerk, but I think Alex Guarnaschelli is the worst. I would LOVE to see them do the show, and see how well they would do. Have one basket with Cod and Parmesan cheese.
post #29 of 80
I just made a really good fish pie - spinach, fish, shrimp, covered with a sauce made of sauteed shallots with cream added and cooked down till a little thick, then a couple of handfuls of grated parmigiano. Mashed potatoes on top and baked. It all fits very well together. Heresy! Anathema! burn me at the steak. oops, i meant stake.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #30 of 80
Well she did do the show: YouTube - Iron Chef America Battle Farmer's Market (1 of 5)

Oops - sorry: different show.
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