Friday November 30, 2007
This dish goes perfectly with the lamb and roasted tomatoes posted on Seduction Meals: November 27, 2007Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided into 1-tablespoon pieces
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4")
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Butter a 13 x 9" casserole dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Arrange a layer of potato in the baking dish, add a pinch of salt and pepper, a bit of the garlic and ground nutmeg. Add a handful of the cheese evenly over the potatoes. Continue layering potatoes, spices and cheese until you've used up all potatoes and cheese, ending with a layer of potatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the salt and pepper; pour this over the potatoes. Dot the remaining butter over the top and sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Bake for about 1 hour or until the potatoes or cook through. Do not over cook, it will become mushy. The potatoes should be tender and golden brown on top. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to cool down before serving. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary as a garnish and sprinkle with grated Gruyere cheese.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 02:12AM on November 30 in International: French
, side dishes
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Tuesday November 27, 2007
With its sweet, mild flavor lamb is a wonderful choice for your Seduction Meal main dish. Because it is such a flavorful meat the easiest and best way to serve lamb is to grill or broil it with a dab of olive oil, add some crushed rosemary, a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper on each side, and serve rare or medium-rare.
The recipe below brings another dimension of flavor by adding pesto sauce and the sweet flavor of oven-roasted tomatoes. This dish goes perfectly with rice pilaf or, if you are interested in a heartier meal, potatoes au gratin (the next post to come on Seduction Meals).lamb chops + roasted tomatoesroasted tomatoes
- 2 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 300. With cut side facing up, add salt and pepper and spoon olive oil over the tomatoes. Place in oven and cook for about 1 hour. If you like you can garnish each tomato with a black olive in the center.lamb chops
- 4 lamb chops
- 8 tsp pesto sauce
- fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1/8 cup cracked pepper
In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Place the cracked pepper on a wooden cutting board and press the sides of each lamb chop in to the pepper. Place the chops on a cutting board, sprinkle salt on side facing up. Add a pinch of rosemary and 1 tsp pesto on each lamb chop and spread evenly. Place in heated skillet, pesto side down, cook for 3-4 minutes. Add salt to the side facing up in the skillet, add rosemary and pesto, spread evenly. Turn over and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Test lamb. Should be served rare or medium-rareplating the dish
Place lamb chops and roasted tomatoes on a serving dish. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary. Prepare your candle-lit table for two and serve with a hearty, full bodied red wine.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 08:16PM on November 27 in International: Greek
, main dish: lamb
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Tuesday November 20, 2007
Kudos for your spontaneity. Two hours ago you made plans with dream-girl / dream-guy...dinner at our place and then some. The very thought of your bold move causes your right eyebrow to raise as a
lascivious grin spreads across your face.
Suddenly your mind races. Hmmm, what will I wear? I need wine.... and flowers. And dinner...what to do about dinner!
Let's face it, for most of us 2 hours is not enough time to show off our culinary prowess in the kitchen and get ready for this special tryst. Don't let that get in your way. You can still share a great savory Seduction Meal before your evening workout. Remember: great food, creative presentation, sultry music, good drinks, a warm, welcoming set-up, and you are golden.
Enter Risotteria Restaurant. With no time to cook this gem of a place serves up food so good you'll keep this filed in your little black book for emergency moments just like this. Order your meal and have it delivered while you set the table, put out fresh flowers, light the candles, get your music play list going, and spray a little perfume on your pillows.
I will start by saying the food is addictive. I innocently ordered in one night-- risotto and salad, and was blown away by the amazing taste. Risotteria offers three different risottos: Arborio, Vialone Nano and Carnaroli "the caviar of rice". Select the risotto of your choice and top it with any of their 35 unique combos. Whatever you choose will easily set the tone for a Seduction Meal extraordinaire.
Here are a few of there tantalizing selections- my all time favorite is listed first and presented in the photo above:
- Arborio risotto with porcini mushrooms, sweet corn & white truffle oil
- Arborio risotto with shrimp, garlic, hot peppers and arugula
- Vialone nana risotto with fontina, zucchini, tomato and parsley
- Vialone nana risotto with gorgonozola cheese and walnuts
- Carnaroli risotto with roasted chicken, kalmata olives and peppers
- Carnaroli risotto with roasted pork shoulder, garlic and Italian parsley
- Carnaroli risotto with Parma ham, fontina and arugula
Prices for risotto range from $10 to $16. One order of risotto is plenty for two--it is so rich, and when complemented with one of their salads, you will more than satisfy your partner. My favorite salad, photographed below, is so good! Mixed Greens with mozzarella, asparagus, and oven-roasted tomatoes. They deliver it dry with the dressing of your choice on the side. Pass on the dressing and use your own extra-virgin olive oil with a little balsamic vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Uncork a good bottle of wine, dim the lights, and you are good to go.
The New York Times review says it all "... Risotteria has boiled it down to a science, using just the right ratio of butter and oil to flavorful chicken stock, producing risotto that stays creamy not only over hours but overnight, and also reheats well".
Good to know should you wake up ravished the next day wanting more....and then some!
270 Bleecker Street, NYC
On a last note. I learned of Risotto Restaurant from my friend who wanted to try the extensive gluten-free menu offered here. I shared a pizza meal with her and it was really good! So if you need to eat gluten-free go online and check out their menu for award-winning gluten free breads, pizza, paninis, beer and more. Or just stop by when you are in the West Village. The restaurant itself is small, very noisy and cramped--it's no wonder they have such a big take out business. Thankfully risotto travels well.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 09:30AM on November 20 in quickies
, romance & seduction
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Thursday November 15, 2007
This wonderfully presented dish was submitted by CM Harrington. A Seduction Meal indeed, I can't wait to try this!
"They key to this dish is in the timing. Measure and prepare all ingredients and set before you "mis en place" to keep things moving along. There are three parts to assemble--the Dashi broth, the soba noodles and the seared tuna."photo: CM Harrington
seared tuna and soba recipebroth
- Dashi, or Japanese Fish Broth
1 cup of water
3 - 4 pieces of Dashi Kombu (kelp) used only for flavor and then removed
1/2 cup Bonito flakes
1 cup of sake
Dashi is a broth and a staple used in many Japanese dishes. To make the broth, mix together the water, kombu and bonito flakes in a medium pot.
Bring broth to a boil over medium heat and cook until the volume is reduced in half; 10 - 15 minutes, remove from heat. Avoid boiling with kelp, and don't let the bonito flakes steep for too long --both could result in bitterness.
Strain the broth through a sieve to remove food parts, discard.
Place liquid back in pot, while still warm, add sake. Keep broth warm over super low heat.
Next prepare the noodles. soba noodles
1 package of soba noodles
I prefer wild yam or lotus root for the added flavor they impart
cook as directed, be sure not to over cooktuna
1 lb sushi grade Ahi Tuna (I get mine at Wild Edibles)
Make a Rub by mixing together a pinch or two of Chinese 5 Spice, Chili powder, black pepper, a very little bit of salt. Prepare enough to coat the piece of fish on each side.
Micro-greens/sprouts for taste and garnish
Start by rubbing olive oil over entire tuna and coat all sides of the tuna with the rub.
Place cast iron skillet over high heat--we will sear the tuna. Do not put anything in the skillet; just get it nice and hot.
Turn down the heat to medium and place fish in skillet. Tuna and salmon have built in thermometers in that you can see how the fish is prepared by watching the white cooked fish rise from the heat up. We preferred seared tuna for this dish, but you can cook this to your preference.
Cook fish 1-4 minutes on all sides. When cooked to your liking, remove from skillet and place on cutting board. With a very sharp carving knife cut the fish across the grain in thin slices--the thinner the better. plating the dish
This works best in a dish that has a little depth (see photo). We used Joseph Abboud bowl and plate.
Place noodles in the center of the dish; go for the sculptural effect you often find in restaurants by placing the noodles in the dish with some height.
Ladle about 1/2 cup of the broth over the noodles. The idea is not to completely cover the noodles in broth so measure the broth based on the serving dish you are using.
Place thinly sliced tuna over the noodles and garnish with micro greens (bean sprouts)
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Tuesday November 13, 2007
Mediterranean fare is my absolute favorite. Lemons, figs, olives, almonds, eggplant, tomatoes, cheese and pomegranates--all wonderful tasty morsels and healthy food choices. Throw in lamb, seafood, pasta, a bottle of wine, and some fresh baked bread and I could live on this food forever.
If you love vegetables, you will LOVE this dish. Oven roasted eggplant, mushrooms, olives and tomatoes bring out an intense flavor for this Seduction Meal. This garlic infused vegetable medley can be served over polenta or pasta as in the recipe below. Mediterranean Pasta
- 1lb of your favorite pasta, I used Gragnanese
- 5 baby eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch slices and cut in half
- 9 large button mushrooms, quartered
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic for the vegetables
- 2 large tomatoes, quartered and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 cup of pitted Kalmata olives
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed for the olive oil sauce
- red pepper flake
- ¼ cup of white wine
- ¼ tsp coarse sea salt
- freshly grated black pepper
- ¼ cup of fresh Parmesan cheese
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese over each dish
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Friday November 09, 2007
Tequila and food pairings--now that is something to explore. In Mexico Tequila is typically served with food as tiny shots, similar to how Russians enjoy vodka in between bites. When pairing Tequila with food you want to serve a premium tequila that is made for sipping. I recently discovered a wonderful ultra premium tequila called Anejo VIDA Tequila--a blend for the true tequila aficionado.
The finest tequilas are made from 100% blue agave
plant juices and are
best enjoyed slightly chilled and straight, offering a pure, clean
taste. For those who prefer mixed drinks instead of drinking neat, there are many tequila cocktails including the most recognized tequila drink-- the margarita. VIDA has created a collection
to exotic recipes you can serve with your meals such as the Beso de la Manana, Vida Rojo, the
Green Tequilatini, Gourmet Vida, and their signature drink the East Coast
V. Watch for upcoming cocktail recipes.
At the same time that I discovered VIDA tequila, I also found this GREAT new
cookbook called Fiesta Latina. I want to make every dish in this book!
Armed with VIDA in one hand, and Fiesta Latina in the other, you
are sure to create a Seduction Meal for your significant other that will always be remembered. VIDA offers three distinct premium blends that will perfectly complement the fabulous recipes you will find in Fiesta Latina.
Three VIDA Premium Blends and Suggested Recipes
VIDA Anejo (Extra-Aged) - Rich & Clean this is the finest of the three
styles. Vida's Anejo Tequila is meant to be sipped. This will go well with the Lobster Chipotle Crab Cakes, or the Sirloin Steak Tiradito with Traditional Chimichurri, or one of my all time favorite dishes (not in the cookbook) but served at Mi Cocina in NYC: Chile en nogada, a poblano chili
stuffed with a pork picadillo flavored with raisins, lemon and almonds sitting on top of a walnut cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on that recipe...
VIDA Reposado (Aged) - Sweet & Smoky this pairs well with pork and chicken dishes such as Roasted Chicken and Saffron Lobster Mashed Potatoes, or Roasted Duck Ropa Vieja Quesadillas with Spicy Guacamole, or to compliment the sweetness of the Sweet Corn Arepas Topped with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream.
VIDA Blanco (Silver) - Pure & Smooth Blanco tequila goes best with Seafood and Citrus based foods such as Fiesta Latina's Lobster Mango Ginger and Lemongrass Ceviche or Crispy East Coast Oysters with Sweet Fufu and Saffron Aioli or Marinated Lobster Tail and Scallop Pinchos.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:55PM on November 09 in books & music
, cocktail lounge
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Thursday November 08, 2007
A reputed aphrodisiac, this delicious vegetable is a Seduction Meal on its own when served to each other dripping in lemon-butter sauce for a sensual, finger-licking treat for two. Given it's phallic shape, asparagus have been often referred to as a libido enhancer but only you can be the judge of that. This easy to prepare, yet tasty side dish complements a wide variety of main meals. asparagus + lemon butterone bunch of thin asparagus
2 - 3 tablespoons butter, melted
Juice of 1 lemon
thinly shaved lemon peel
Wash and trim asparagus spears by cutting off the tough bottoms (1 to 1 1/2 inches)
In a steamer add salt water to the bottom (about 3 inches deep), place asparagus spears in the top strainer and steam until tender but crisp (about 4-5 minutes). Test taste one to be sure. Do not over cook the asparagus otherwise it will be mushy. Individual spears should remain stiff when you hold it--limp asparagus is a turn-off.
Remove spears from the heat and let air dry for a couple of minutes. Next melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave, squeeze in 1/2 of the lemon juice and stir.
Plating the Dish
Arrange the spears on a serving dish. Pour the lemon / butter mixture over the asparagus. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the dish just before serving. Add a pinch of sea salt. Garnish with lemon peel. This dish should be served right away.
You can also fill a tall shot glass, or similar vessel, with melted lemon-butter sauce to hand dip each asparagus before serving to each other for a more dramatic experience.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 09:05AM on November 08 in side dishes
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Monday November 05, 2007
I learned to make this dish from my best friend--actually I begged her to give me the recipe every time she served it. We'd dine in her candle-lit NYC garden surrounded by roses, honey suckle, fresh herbs and always a group of interesting people. Everyone loved this dish!
Serve salmon over rice pilaf with a side of asparagus dripped in lemon butter (next post on Seduction Meals).curry salmon
boneless salmon for two
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves of crush garlic
a pinch of cayenne pepper
2 medium tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons of curry (be sure it is fresh for the best flavor)
1 pint of light cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 box of Near East rice pilaf, original mix
Prepare the rice as per the range top directions. Salmon:
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic, stirring until soft. Add cayenne pepper and tomatoes. Stir ingredients; cooking for about 2-3 minutes. Add curry powder and cream, stir until well blended. Add two - three salmon pieces, skin down. Spoon the mixture over the salmon. There should be enough sauce to come at least 1/2 of the way up the sides of the salmon. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover tightly. Let simmer for 5 - 10 minutes or until salmon is cook to your liking. Test with a fork. Spoon mixture over the salmon from time to time.Plating the Dish
Place a 1/2 cup or 1 cup of rice on each dish. Place a piece of salmon on each plate next to the rice. Pour the sauce over the fish and the rice. Serve with a green vegetable. While this salmon dish is fast and easy to make, it is quite impressive in flavor and will have your amore whispering sighs of adoration in your ear.
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Thursday November 01, 2007
This seasonal savory dish was posted by Debra in Utah. This Seduction Meal exudes the energy and excitement of fall. Although the Harvest Moon has already passed, next year try serving this dish under the magic spell of this Moon and wonderful things are sure to happen.
"It's a great dish to create on a brisk fall day to warm the tummy and delight guests... not to mention that it also helps make use of some of our Fall décor like squash and pumpkins."
When Debra is not in the kitchen serving up seductive culinary masterpieces she is running her business Paper and Press -- give her a call and/or check out her web site when you are in need of beautifully designed custom stationery, calling cards and invitations.Ingredients
2 - 3 small size squash and/or pumpkins (vary for color interest)
reserved pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg
1 box of whole wheat penne pasta
2 cloves of garlic, whole
1 cup Pancetta (optional for vegetarians)
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups skim or whole milk
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cups of white wine
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1 egg (or the egg white equivalent)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup each of frozen peas and frozen corn (fresh is always wonderful if available)
Salt and pepper to taste
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 09:00AM on November 01 in seduce me - your stories and recipes
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