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Love Stories: Perfect Food Couplings

Martha Stewart Living, February 2006

What makes a couple perfect? Think of Romeo and Juliet. Cinderella and Prince Charming. Bogie and Bacall. These twosomes all roll off the tongue, one part of the pair rarely mentioned without the other. However the chemistry differs, ideal partners -- whether star-crossed lovers or kindred spirits-bring out the best in each other.

So it is in home cookery, where ingredients and flavors have relationships as enduring as classic romances. Seeming opposites can attract: crisp, salty bacon with soft, mild farm-fresh eggs; sweet honey with the mouth-puckering tannins of tea; still-steaming cake with a scoop of ice cream. Other foods have birds-of-a-feather compatibility: satisfying meat and hearty potatoes, succulent lobster with the indulgence of butter. And some culinary couples, well, just go together: Where would spaghetti be without meatballs?

Poached Eggs with Bacon and Toasted Pecan Pancakes
Filet Mignon with Herb-and-Cheese Potatoes
Warm Butter-Poached Lobster Salad with Tarragon-Citrus Dressing
Spaghetti & Meatballs