Give Fusion Cuisine Another Chance: Guacamole Borscht Recipe

Posted by on Apr 5, 2011

Fusion cuisine. I said it. If you groaned or turned your nose up, read on.

Borscht with Guacamole Recipe by Melody Fury

Fusion food has a bad reputation, largely due to its alarming soar in the 90’s and early 2000. However, incorporating various cultures’ ingredients, flavours, and cooking techniques was not a novel idea.  Fusing flavours found within geographic proximity has been an integral part of gastro-evolution. Take, for example, Malaysian cuisine’s complex yet balanced flavours that are influenced by Malay, Indian, and Chinese ethnic groups. Or what about the bánh mì, a (dare I say) byproduct of French colonization in Vietnam that’s cherished by many. Unsurprisingly, as the world shrank, the blends also grew more peculiar.

Modern fusion’s flaw lies in the attempt to re-conceptualize it through awkward, nonsensical dishes. What I’m trying to say here is don’t throw the martini out with the lychee-tini (gag). If an experimental combination tastes great, why shun it because it’s considered “fusion”? In the same breath, don’t try to capitalize forcibly on a culinary trend while disregarding its origin.

Here’s my example of an accidental marriage between two unlikely flavours.  I’m a fan of borscht but am slighted by the bright pink colour that sour cream creates. While it provides the necessary creaminess and tanginess, I desired an alternative to dairy.  One day, I was simmering some borscht while The Cowboy was scooping avocados for his fantastic guacamole. “Hmm….” I wondered. I ladled some soup, topped it with some gauc, swirled, and took a bite. On the spot, a Mexi-Ukrainian fusion dish was born and there’s no crime in that.  The zesty lime juice and cilantro lent a complimentary brightness to the substantial soup and the creamy avocado melded beautifully with the beets.  We tossed in a few blue corn tortilla chips and dinner was served.

What are some of your favourite fusion dishes?

Borscht with Guacamole Recipe by Melody Fury

Borscht with Guacamole Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef bones with meat attached (e.g. neck, shank, ox tails)
  • 4 red beet roots, peeled and diced
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled *, seeded, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut in half
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 onions, cut in half
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1 small can of tomato paste (12 oz)
  • Tie in cheesecloth: 2 bay leaves, 8 black pepper corns, 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4L water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Guacamole

* Peel tomatoes: score an X on the bottom of the tomato. Dunk in boiling water for 30 seconds or until skin loosens. Peel

Directions

  1. Throw everything except the cabbage and guacamole into a stock pot.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down and simmer for 2 hours with lid on but slightly ajar. Skim the fat and scum that floats on top periodically.
  2. Remove and discard the celery, onion, and cheesecloth sachet. Remove beef bones, separate meat from bones. Discard bones and chop the meat up.
  3. Return the bones to the pot, along with cabbage. Add more water if necessary. Simmer until cabbage is tender.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve piping hot with a dollop of guacamole on top, with a side of corn chips.


 

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  • http://www.monkeyslunch.com Spencer

    I’m sure this would be popular with the vegetarian crowd too if you made it without the beef! Every vegetarian I know loves beets and guacamole!

  • http://flavors.me/phanyxx Phanyxx

    That looks delicious! I won’t lie, I automatically assume ‘fusion’ food is going to suck. Sometimes you need someone to remind you to keep an open mind..

  • http://www.cookingbytheseatofmypants.com Jerry (CbsoP)

    I agree totally. I’ve been playing with concepts and flavors from different cultures lately. Things like corned beef “nachos” and black bean hummus with bacon and cilantro. Fusion is great if the ingredients make sense together, it’s thrown off when you attempt to take mutually exclusive flavors and combine them.

    You and the Cowboy keep up the great work!

  • http://www.linglieats.com Ling

    NYC is overrun with fusion restaurants, but if done right, the blend of different “unexpected flavors” provides an amazing dining experience. This borscht recipe looks really good – glad you made the hot version. I’m not a fan of the tangy pink cold borscht; it was actually the only dish ever that I couldn’t finish at a restaurant.

  • Anonymous

    Very Nice! Would like to try it out someday.

    Papacheong
    http://home-cook-dishes-for-family.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/SimplyGoodEating Jerry Ko

    I love fusion foods if done right