Its after a long gap, that I’m coming up with another pasta recipe. My kitchen goes into a trial and tribulations at intermittent intervals. Some experiments get applauded, some get a nod and some turn into utter failure. Experimenting on fusion foods excites me to the core. Playing with flavors, combining different extreme and opposite ingredients turn out interesting. Fusion cuisine is cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions. Cuisines of this type are not categorized according to any one particular cuisine style and have played a part in innovations of many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s. Fusion food is a general term for the combination of various forms of cookery and comes in several forms. Regional fusion combines different cuisines of a region or sub-region.
Fusion Cuisine is actually not new. It has been around for a couple of decades. Chefs started to merge cuisines around the ’70s. Culinary legend Wolfgang Puck, the famous Australian chef among others introduced this concept. He actually laid down the foundation for this technique. He is the brains behind the common culinary fusions and pairings. An example of which is the fusion of European cuisine with Asian cuisine, commonly referred to as Eurasian cuisine. This was easy for Chef Puck because of his knowledge of both cuisines. He was originally trained in Europe, but he is thoroughly familiar with the Asian dishes. Eurasian basically combines two cooking techniques and dishes, so you can end up with poached tofu, for example, which generally mixes European and Asian method of poaching.
Fusion food refers to the combination of various cuisines. Though Fusion food is not specific for any particular region it has various features adopted from different cuisines. Asian restaurants have introduced fusion dishes comprising of a hybrid Asian and continental foods. Restaurants are the main entities responsible for making fusion food popular world wide. Although the term “fusion cuisine” is relatively new, the concept has been around for many centuries. In fact, according to Natasha Geiling at Smithsonian.com, fusion cuisine, defined as “the blending of culinary worlds to create new, hybrid dishes,” has been around for centuries, ever since the beginning of trade. As cultures began to overlap, it was only natural that new dishes were created, when people shared and combined cooking styles and ingredients to create new concepts and flavor profiles. A classic example of early fusion is Italian spaghetti, which would have never existed without Italy’s exposure to the Chinese noodle.
Fusion cuisine quickly became a trend as chefs around the world started combining unexpected flavors and concepts, sometimes with less than favorable results. In the 1990s, the term “con-fusion” was dubbed, resulting from chefs haphazardly combining ingredients that didn’t necessarily taste well together. As Rebecca Seal states in her article entitled “Fusion Confusion,““Fusing different cuisines together can be really successful and exciting, but so much more noticeable if you get it wrong.” In an attempt to stand out during the fusion food boom, some chefs focused less on marrying flavors and more on unexpected flavor combinations, which resulted in odd and undesirable dishes. As a result, the term “fusion” is often met with hostility in the culinary world today, sometimes being referred to as the “F” word by chefs who don’t want to be associated with the “con-fusion” era of fusion food.
Despite this setback, fusion today is as popular as ever and engendering new and exciting ways of creating and thinking about food. Fusion cuisine now has a younger audience that, thanks to television and the Internet, is more knowledgeable and curious about different foods and cultures, and more than willing to try the next fusion creation. These days, fusion is becoming more and more mainstream in America, with ethnic ingredients like soy sauce and sriracha becoming household staples. Food trucks are also embracing the fusion trend, crafting new and daring concepts, such as Korean tacos and Southern sushi. With the fusion trend showing no signs of slowing down, fast casuals and fast food chains seem to be following in the food trucks’ footsteps by offering more ethnic food combinations. For example, Taco Bell is launching a new fast casual concept that will offer a variety of fusion style tacos, and Bruegger’s Bagels is incorporating more ethnic ingredients into their menu, such as jalapenos, edamame and sofrito sauce.
Recently, a new type of fusion cuisine has gained popularity—mash-ups. Mash-up dishes are simply two distinct food concepts combined to form one. Perhaps the most well-known mash-up is the Cronut (a cross between a donut and a croissant), which exploded across America, making it the hottest food trend of 2013. Other examples include the ramen burger, the donut burger, the bacon shake, the pizza cake, and the list goes on. Quick Service Restaurants in particular seem to be monopolizing on this trend, with chains like Taco Bell unveiling unusual concepts like the waffle taco and the biscuit taco. These peculiar combinations are leaving some to wonder if chains are more focused on the novelty of these items rather than quality. Only time will tell if these mash-ups will actually be profitable after the initial novelty wears off.
Regardless of the success of the more outlandish mash-ups, their original inspiration, fusion cuisine, looks like it’s here to stay. With fusion influence steadily gaining mainstream acceptance, it’s only a matter of time before items like the Cronut become less of a trend and more of an American staple, not only American but all over the world. So my dish is one such fusion crazy pasta where East meets west. I actually dint know what to name this dish. Like the Tex-Mex cuisine or the Italian American cuisine or the Indian-Chinese cuisine, this is an Indo-Italian Pasta.
Almost all methods like grilling, stewing, baking, roasting and stir-frying are used in making fusion dishes. All these methods are changed and adopted according to the place where dish is being prepared. Like wise, I have grilled tomato, bell peppers and chillies. Then sautéed and cooked the rest of the ingredients. Grilling these trios are the focus of this dish and thats whats give that distinct flavor to the pasta. I’ve used cayenne pepper which can be substituted with red chillies powder. Fresh rosemary can be substituted with dried ones.
The grilled veggies along with cashews gives a charred flavor which resembles butter chicken and an Indianish feel. This when combined with cream, becomes a buttery flavored creamy sauce. I’ve made it spicy as we like spicy dishes. So adding the amount and variety of chillies are left to personal preference. The store bought pasta sauces have that Italian flavors. Hence I added that to get a fusion flavor. My inmates like saucy pasta, dry ones are not preferred much, hence I added more stock, also I wanted it to be a bit Indianish. Stock quantity can be reduced according to your personal preference.
This Penne is fully loaded with condiments which are bursting with flavors. Spicy, a bit tangy, lil bit sweetness, creamy, this is constantly finding place on our dinner table. I’m sure each one of you will become a fan of this pasta if you try this at least once.
Wash and dry all the veggies. Chop the onions and slice the mushrooms. Crush the garlic and keep ready.
In a baking dish, Spread the peppers, tomatoes and chillies. Rub with oil and grill in oven for an hour.
Add the grilled foods to a blender, add the cashews and a cup of water, pour the water to the grilled and swirl it around and add to the blender. Blend to a smooth fine sauce.
Heat a pan. Add olive oil and crushed garlic. Saute till aromatic. Add the onion and rosemary and saute till wilted.
Add the chicken and fry for couple of minutes on high flame. Add the cayenne pepper/ chili powder and saute further for 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and combine and adjust salt. Cook till done and almost dry.
In a casserole, melt some butter till you get a nutty flavor. Add the pasta and saute for couple of minutes. Add the cooked chicken and mix.
Add the pasta sauce and combine again. Pop in the prepared sauce and integrate well.
Pour in the stock, adjust seasoning. Simmer till thick and penne is done.
Finally add in the cream and cheese and combine. Simmer on low heat for a minute or two.
Serve hot and Happy Cooking!!!!!!