9 Secrets for the Perfect Pairing on Your Plate

The term pairing, that is used so much with wines, also applies to the kitchen. The perfect pairing is a perfect marriage. It is like the saying: “they were made for each other,” because it’s the same for meals. It is the reaction that two “parts” create when they are united.

If one is incorrect, then the taste of the food or wine is ruined. If you create the perfect pair, the experience of both is complemented. That is the perfect pairing, looking for the best experience for both sides at the same time.

When you apply it to food as a basic rule, you have to understand the following:

  1. Acidity and sweetness diminish the sensation of fat. For fish, especially in the case of salmon, lemon and orange, they cannot be excluded. Sometimes, shrimp in coconut sauce or in a sweet and sour sauce will sit well.
  2. Following along the same line, the beloved pork goes perfectly with something sweet or sour. It can be enjoyed with a tomatillo sauce, orange, marinated in Greek yogurt that has a lot of acid or mango sauce, pineapple or guava.
  3. Acid needs more acid. That’s why lemon is added to oysters instead of a sweet sauce.
  4. Something spicy tastes good with a touch of something sweet. I’m one of those people that thinks that spicy, in order to enjoy the taste, must be balanced.
  5. For sweet things, like in the case of dessert, always seek something sweeter. That’s why the sauces and creams of the desserts generally improve the dessert experience itself. I’m sure someone has once said to you, “try it with the sauce.”
  6. With meats, its best to pair them with something fresh, something acidic and a touch of something softly sweet. That’s why asparagus, roasted carrots, corn and spinach, among other vegetables, sit well.
  7. The weight of the salsa depends on the type of protein, the size of the pasta or the type of vegetable that you will use. For example, short pastas go better with thick sauces and with textures, while the freshest and lightest sauces go better with fine and long pastes.
  8. If you cook a very simple protein, look for simple companions and if the protein is cooked with a strong and substantial sauce, serve it alone or with vegetables.
  9. Frequently eat proteins with 2-3 strong companions that are high in carbohydrates, like rice, beans, tortillas, yucca or banana. Therefore, choose one and this way you keep the balance and your figure.

Here is a recipe for pork in a sauce of beans, with wine (a touch acidic), that will help you understand these concepts. At the end of the day, everything in life is a balance.

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Recipe of pork chops with beans in your background


  • 15 ounces of pinto or mayocoba beans (Peruvian beans), cooked
  • 3 pork chops or pork loin cut into thin slices
  • 1 white onion, small chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, small chopped
  • 1/2 glass of white wine
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • Salt and pepper to your liking


Season the chops with salt, pepper and put on a very hot pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Keep on high until golden brown for 3-5 minutes on each side. When they are golden brown, store them in a plate and cover them with aluminum foil while you finish making the beans.

Add wine and using a wooden or silicone spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan so that they are impregnated with the flavor left by the chops in the pan. Add the onion and cook until transparent. Lower the temperature if necessary, add garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, mix well and eat with chops on top.

Doreen Colondres is a celebrity chef. Author of the book The Kitchen Does not Bite. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @DoreenColondres and visit www.LaCocinaNoMuerde.com , www.TheKitchenDoesntBite.com