Seduction Meals is about food + romance and the premise that everyone should learn to master one dish that is their signature dish—a Seduction Meal, to enchant and captivate that special someone in your life...
For a truly seductive, lighter pasta meal try Linguine alle vongole; an Italian dish made with fresh clams, parsley, garlic, white wine and butter. To start, serve up a simple salad like the radicchio salad with thinly sliced parmesean cheese slices.. Next serve up this great linguine dish with a bottle of chilled white wine and hot crusty bread and the night is yours.
Salad 1/4 cup extra olive oil 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar salt and pepper to taste Medium size head of radicchio lettuce
Fresh Parmesean cheese, long thin slices
Tear the radicchio in
separate leaves. Place in a salad spinner filled with ice cold
water--add some ice cubes if your water isn't ice cold. Let stand for a
5-10 minutes. Drain. Set aside. Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar.
Plate the Dish
Place the salad on each plate. Using a cheese slicer to get very thin
slices, carve long thin slices from the brick of cheese. Arrange slices
over the lettuce. Drizzle with salad dressing, salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Linguine alle Vongole serves 4
4 Tbsp olive oil 1lb fresh minced clams 12 oz clam juice 2 dozen cockles 1 1/2 little neck clams 1 head of garlic, finely chopped 1 medium white onion, finely chopped 1 cup white wine 1/2 stick sweet butter 1 Tbsp finely chopped red jalapeno 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley 1 box linguine Salt and Pepper to taste
Preparation Simmer the onions and garlic in olive oil in a skillet over low heat (you do not want to brown them, only soften). When soft, add minced clams. Continue to cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Add remaining liquid (wine and clam juice), turn heat up to medium, cooking until liquid just begins to boil, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.
Cook pasta as per directions being sure to remove when al dente. Strain the pasta and place in a large bowl, add 1/2 stick of butter and toss. Salt and pepper to taste.
Steam cockles and little necks clams until shells just open. Remove from heat, set aside
Plating the dish Heat up the minced clam juice. Place linguine in large serving bowl. Arrange littlenecks and cockles over the pasta and add minced clam mixture over the pasta and make sure its hot. Sprinkle red jalapeno (to taste), salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with the minced parsley.. Serve with your favorite wine, and toss the pasta at the table for maximum effect.
For those who love mushrooms and want to experiment with more recipes here's a slide show of different mushroom varieties and a quick description of each. When you are ready to cook your romantic meal for two, here arelinks to some of our favorite mushroom recipes:
White button. The most popular mushroom, white buttons represent about 90 percent of mushrooms consumed in the United States.They have a fairly mild taste and blend well with almost anything. Their flavor intensifies when cooked.
Crimini. Also known as baby 'bellas or browns, criminis are similar in appearance to whites, but have a light-tan to rich-brown cap and a firmer texture. Criminis have a deeper, earthier flavor than whites.
Portabella. A larger relative of criminis, Portabellas have tan or brown caps and measure up to 6 inches in diameter. They have a deep, meat-like texture and flavor.
Shiitake. Shiitakes are tan to dark brown and have broad, umbrella-shaped caps, wide open veils, tan gills and curved stems that should be removed.They have a meaty texture and are rich and woodsy when cooked.
Enoki. Enoki have tiny, button-shaped caps and long, spindly stems.They are mild tasting and crunchy.
Maitake. Maitake appear rippling and fan-shaped, without caps. They are also called "Hen of the Woods."Maitake have a distinctive aroma and a rich, woodsy taste.
Oyster. Oysters can be gray, pale yellow or even blue, with a velvety texture.Oysters have a very delicate flavor.
Beech. Beech mushrooms are petite with either all-white or light-brown caps. Beeches have a crunchy texture offering a delicately mild flavor that is sweet and deliciously nutty
Truffles. While nothing to look at truffles are a highly praised culinary ingredient. It has a smell similar to deep fried sundflower seeds or walnuts. Brillat Savarin called the truffle "the diamond of the kitchen" and praised its aphrodisiacal powers.
Wild Mushrooms. Some mushroom lovers enjoy searching the woods for prized wild varieties of mushrooms, such as morels, truffles and chanterelles. Because there are thousands of varieties of inedible and poisonous mushrooms, it's important to never eat wild mushrooms without the guidance of a trained mycologist, or mushroom expert. Poisonous mushrooms often resemble non-poisonous mushrooms, so it's best to purchase commercially grown mushrooms. If you want to try wild varieties, be sure you only eat those purchased from a trusted retailer or served in a restaurant.
How to Clean Mushrooms:
Brush off any dirt with a damp paper towel or fingers.
Rinse fresh mushrooms only briefly under running water and pat dry with a paper towel. Never soak them, as they absorb moisture.
One of Nobu's signature dishes--black miso cod is pure seduction to one's palette. Those in the know are grateful that he has shared this recipe which can be found on many blogs, in magazines, websites and of course Nobu's cookbooks.
As a frenzied fan of Nobu's culinary mastery, I've visited his restaurants in LA, Miami, and of course NY. From a quick search online I see he has 15 restaurants including hot spots in Tokyo, Melbourne, the Bahamas, Hong Kong, Vegas and Aspen. Nobu New York, the flagship restaurant of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, has been
a pioneer for Japanese cuisine since its opening in 1994. Nobu
partnered with actor Robert De Niro, producer Meir Teper, restaurateur
Drew Nieporent, and managing partner Richard Notar to bring his modern
Japanese to Tribeca. Nobu draws upon his classical training at sushi
bars in Tokyo and his life abroad in Peru, Argentina, and around the
world to create a whole new trend in Japanese cuisine. The resulting
dishes, including Tiradito Nobu Style, Yellowtail with Jalapeno, Squid
Pasta, and Black Cod with Miso, make Nobu the innovator of new style
So without further ado, here is one great recipe from master Chef Nobu.
Note: I had a hard time finding Hajikami so I served this with a very seasonal side dish: Fiddlehead Ferns. Also, Nobu's instructions say to leave the fish marinating in the Miso
paste for 2-3 days. Given my more immediate needs for a culinary
seduction meal now....I tried this with a 8 hour marinade, hoping it
would work out fine. It was a big hit--seduction mission accomplished!
4 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound (230g) each 3 cups (800g) Nobu-style Saikyo Miso (see below) 1 stalk hajikami per serving*
Nobu-Style Saikyo Miso 3/4 cup mirin* 1/2 cup sake 2 cups white miso paste* 1 cup sugar
*All Asian ingredients: mirin, white miso and hajikami, can be found in Japanese markets and select specialty stores, or you can try Asian Food Grocer. Hajikami garnish pickled ginger shoot; if you can't find this you can subsititute it with regular sliced pickled ginger may.
If you can't find Hajikami there is a recipe for it below. I takes 12 hours to pickle the ginger.
miso marinade In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the mirin and sake and boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Add the miso paste and stir with a wooden spoon until it dissolves completely. Add the sugar, raise the heat to high, and stir continuously until it has dissolved completely. Remove the pan from the heat and leave at room temperature until the mixture has cooled completely.
marinating the fish (suggested time: 2 - 3 days) Pat the fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with Nobu-style Saikyo Miso and place in a nonreactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to steep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
cooking the cod Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and preheat a grill or broiler. Lightly wipe off any excess Miso clinging to the fillets but don't rinse it off. Place the fish on the grill, or in a broiler pan, and grill or broil until the surface of the fish turns brown. Then bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
plating the dish Arrange the black cod fillets on individual plates and garnish with hajikami. Add a few extra drops of Nobu's Miso sauce to each plate.
hajikami ginger pickled in sweet vinegar(ama-zu) Remove any sand and debris and cut the ginger into 6-inch (15-cm) lengths. Briefly plunge the ginger into a pot of boiling water to which rice vinegar has been added (1 Tbsp. per 1 quart/liter water). Drain and sprinkle thoroughly with sea salt. Let cool to room temperature. Leave for 12 hours to pickle in ama-zu which has been diluted 100% with water.
This recipe for panna cotta is so easy to prepare and absolutely divine to share as the perfect ending to your Seduction Meal. I found this recipe in the July issue of Oprah Magazine (2006). The balsamic strawberries can be served over plain yogurt, cottage cheese, sweetened ricotta cheese or your favorite pastry cups.
Panna Cotta 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin 2 cups buttermilk
Balsamic Strawberries 1 pint ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered or sliced 3 tbsp packed light brown sugar 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
To make panna cotta: In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream and
brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until hot. Meanwhile, in a small
bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cold water; let stand 3
minutes or until soft. Add gelatin to hot cream and stir until gelatin
dissolves. Remove pan from heat; stir in buttermilk until well blended.
Pour mixture into each of 6 dessert cups or bowls. Cover and
refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
To make balsamic strawberries: Combine strawberries,
brown sugar and vinegar in a bowl; toss to coat berries. Cover and
refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight. To serve, spoon strawberries
and juices over panna cotta.
Shantell from Florida fell in love with Pequin Chili Chocolate Cupcakes and wrote to Seduction Meals to spread the word. She found the recipe on CupcakeBlog.com which is about - you guessed it - cupcakes. More specifically
each post features a unique cupcake recipe created by the bog's publisher, baker, and photographer-- Cheryl Porro. Cheryl has many admirers of her sweet treats and Shantel is one of them.
"These cupcakes are really something magical...giddy and
sophisticated. You must try them. I ordered Valrhona Chocolate from
l'epicerie in NYC, and pequins from worldspice.com
in seattle. The chocolate
does matter...and be sure to follow the directions carefully. So good....I promise." Shantell
Cupcakes ~24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1-1/4 cup water 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon ground pequin chilies 2 sticks butter 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar 3 large eggs 1/2 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Boil water in a kettle then measure out 1-1/4 cup. 2. Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium sized bowl, add boiling water, whisk until smooth, set aside. 3. Sift flours, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Add the ground pepper, set aside. 4. In a standing mixer, beat butter until creamy. 5. Add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. 6. At medium speed, add eggs one at a time, beat well between each. 7. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined. 8. Add about a third of the flour mixture, beat briefly until combined. 9. Add about half of the chocolate mixture, beat briefly until combined. 10. Repeat, adding flour, chocolate, then flour. Beat until just combined. Scrape down bowl if needed. 11. Fill cupcake papers about 3/4s full. Bake at 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean
Chili Chocolate Ganache Frosting
1-1/2 cup heavy cream 3/4 teaspoon ground pequin chilies 12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter 2-3 cups powdered sugar, optional
1. Heat the cream over medium heat until it bubbles around saucepan edge. 2. Place pepper and chopped chocolate in a medium sized bowl. 3. Pour heated cream over the chocolate 4. Let the mixture sit for about 30 seconds then start whisking it until smooth. 5. Add butter in pats and mix until combined. 6. set aside mixture and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until cool. 7. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Optionally you can add sifted powdered sugar and beat until combine. This will sweeten the frosting and make it less rich and intense. Also helpful if you are low on chocolate and want to stretch the frosting a bit further...
1. Frost cooled cupcakes. 2. Top with something red
Sweet Temptation can be found in this creamy cheesecake creatively enhanced with a topping of startling red color, and the sweet and tart flavor of the always captivating pomegranate.
Creamy Cheesecake with Pomegranate Topping (Recipe from the Pomegranate Council)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 9, 5 X 2.5 crackers)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 8-ounce containers whipped cream cheese
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
Seeds from 2 pomegranates
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons sugar
oven to 350'F. In a 9-1/2 inch springform pan place crust ingredients
and with fingers, blend until combined well. Press mixture evenly over
bottom and 3/4 inch up side of pan.
a large bowl with an electric mixer beat filling ingredients on high
speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Pour filling into crust
and bake in middle of oven 20 minutes, or until cheesecake is just set
in center. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Transfer cake in
pan to a rack and cool, about 3 hours.
juice in a 1 cup liquid measure and add water. Sprinkle gelatin over
pomegranate juice and let stand 1 minute to soften gelatin. Remove the seeds from the pomegranates--set aside.
gelatin mixture to a small saucepan. Add sugar and cook over moderate
heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into a bowl and
set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water, stirring mixture
gently until it is cold and slightly thickened but not set. Stir in
pomegranate seeds and spoon topping onto chilled cheesecake. Chill cake
until topping is set, about 1 hour. Remove side of pan and serve
For the seafood lover this panko crusted red snapper is the perfect
choice for a more casual yet tasty delight. Panko is the Japanese word
for "bread crumbs. This crunchy coating is perfect for fried foods as
it absorbs less grease (yeah!) and has a crisper, lighter airier
texture than regular bread crumbs leaving the fish perfectly moist
I was introduced to the idea of panko crusted red snapper by my friend Ellen who found a recipe on Food Network for Chicken Katsu.
She replaced the chicken with red snapper for a lighter meal, and I
added ginger to the marinade. Serve this dish with your favorite rice
and a vegetable such as the recipe below for baby Bok Choy with toasted
sesame seeds. Add a bottle of white wine or hot sake and the night is
Panko Crusted Red Snapper
3/4 cup soy sauce 2 tablespoons honey 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon sesame oil 2-4 pieces of red snapper 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick, skin removed 1 - 2 eggs 2 tablespoons water 1/2 tsp Garlic powder (make sure it's powder not garlic salt) 1/2 cup peanut oil (more if you use a large frying pan) 1 cup mochiko rice flour ( note: I used regular flour) 1 cup of panko (Japanese bread crumbs) Garnish: Chives and sliced scallions
the soy sauce, ginger, honey, pepper flakes, and sesame oil in a
zip-top bag and shake it all together. Then add the red snapper. Let
the fish marinate refrigerated overnight, or at least 1 hour. After
marinating take the fish, take it out of the bag and slightly dry it
off by patting it with a paper towel.
Beat the egg, add the water and garlic powder.
the oil in a frying pan over medium/medium-high heat. Be sure to watch
the oil, if it begins to smoke - turn it down a notch.
the fish in the flour, then egg, followed by the panko. Place the fish
into the pan and fry for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until done.
The panko should be crispy and golden brown. I flipped the fish 2-3
times to prevent from getting dark brown. Place on a drying rack and
finish frying the other pieces. Garnish with a few pieces of chives and
Baby Bok Choy with toasted Sesame Seeds
complement the red snapper, I served Baby Bok Choy. Vertically slice 2
baby bok choys in half. Mix the 4 halves in a bowl with 2 tbsps of
sesame oil, place face down in a small roasting dish covered with
aluminum foil. Place this in the oven, cooking at 300 for 1/2 hour.
Remove the aluminum foil the last 10 minutes and turn the vegetables
over. Toast 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds in a dry skillet over med
heat for about 5 minutes to release their flavor. Stir to be sure the
seeds do not burn. Sprinkle over the bokchoy and serve immediately.
Grilled or steamed lobster. Sweet meat dipped in melted butter. Licking fingers to capture each and every drop. Wonderfully sensual and very seductive. Not to take away from the pleasures of sharing a simple lobster seduction meal; however, when you want to really dazzle your date, take a cue from these top chefs as they exquisitely prepare and present a new slant on the king of crustaceans.
A Lobster Degustation Dinner--another delicious gourmet food and wine tasting event held at the James Beard House. The food is sensual and artistically presented; the colors, contrasts and shapes inspiring. Degustation means "a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods" and this dinner certainly held up to its promise. For future food and wine tastings at the James Beard House, go to this link for a list of upcoming events.
Lobster Degustation Dinner
Star Chefs from some of the finest restaurants in Colorado Ryan Blanchard - Walter's Bistro and Plate World Cuisine Bryan Byard - Plate World Cuisine Jason Gust - Ritz Grill Jeff Knight - Craftwood Inn James Camron Welch - Sonterra
Tempura Lobster Tails with Peanut Sauce
Lobster Ceviche in Blue Corn Tortilla Cones
Lobster Maki with Wasabi Aïoli
Served with Mont Marcal Reserve 2005
Roasted Lobster and Scallop Medallion with Artichoke Hash and Creamed Leeks Served with Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling 2006
Lobster & Vegetable "Shabu-Shabu" Served with Domaine William Fèvre Champs Royaux Chablis 2006
Grilled and Chilled Lobster with Field Greens, Black Winter Truffles and Truffle Vinaigrette Served with Huia Pinot Noir 2005
Grilled Kobe Beef Hanger Steak with Lobster Ratatouille, English Peas & Mint Sauce Served with Tablas Creek Vineyard Côtes de Tablas 2005 (this was a big hit at my table)
Lemongrass-Ginger Panna Cotta with Pomegranate Soup Served with Selaks Ice Wine, Eastern Coast New Zealand 2005
If you are looking for an unforgettable mushroom dish, this recipe will satisfy your hunger and desire. Cooked with wine, herbs, and butter, this mushroom medley is a classic combination that elegantly tops a rich, cheesy polenta elevating a simple polenta dish to an extraordinary edible delight!
Grilled Polenta Recipe Serves 6 as a starter, 4 as a main dish From Seasons, A Year of Great Tastes
5 tbsp of olive oil 3 cups whole milk pinch of grated nutmeg 1 1/2 cups instant polenta 5 oz Gruyere cheese, grated salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 4 shallots, finely diced 1 garlic clove, finely diced 6 oz shitake mushrooms, destalked and ripped into chunks 8 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 6 oz oyster mushrooms 3/4 cups dry white wine 5 tbsp mixed chopped parsley, chives and thyme 4 tbsp unsalted butter
Polenta Grease a large gratin dish with a tablespoon of oil. Put the milk and nutmeg into a large pan over low heat. Just before the milk boils, pour in the polenta, stirring constantly as it thickens. Lower the heat and stir for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 2/3's of the cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly in the dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Mushrooms Heat the remaining oil in a wide pan over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft. Add the shiitake and cremini mushrooms. After 1 minute, add the oyster mushrooms. Once soft, add the wine and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the wine reduces by half, then stir in the butter.
Meanwhile, heat the broiler to medium high, put the dish of polenta under it and broil until golden and bubbling. Cut into slices and serve at once with the mushrooms spooned on top.
A wonderful French classic, Coq Au Vin, is a special dish to serve up for your Seduction Meal. In this dish we feature another "fiery meal", igniting the cognac as it blends in with the slow cooked red wine sauce, pearl onions and mushrooms. The special ingredients here are the apple smoked bacon and the cocoa powder. Delicious! Definitely serve this with warm crusty bread to soak up this savory sauce.
Coq Au Vin
Overnight marinade (24-48 hours) 3 chicken breasts halves 3 chicken legs, cut in half 2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice 3 shallots, peeled and diced 2 carrots, peeled and diced Bouquet Garni (handful of parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, and 5 bay leaves) 8 cloves of garlic, peeled 2 bottles of red wine
salt and pepper for seasoning the chicken 1/4 cup olive oil 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1/4 cup Cognac 2 cups chicken stock 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 6 oz. apple-smoked bacon, diced 1 lb button mushrooms 1 pt small white onions
Garnish Minced Parsley (option) toasted croutons
Coq Au Vin Place chicken pieces, onions, shallots, carrots, bouquet garni and garlic in a large bowl. Add wine, mix all ingedients and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 - 48 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade and dry on paper towels, reserve marinade. Season Chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil n a large casserole over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in batches and brown well on all sides. Remove pieces as done and set aside.
Add flour to casserole and whisk for 1-2 minutes on low heat. Return chicken. Remove casserole from heat. Add cognac and carefully ignite. Return casserole to heat and add marinade. Bring to a boil over high heat, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the casserole. Add Chicken stock and return to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender; about 1 hour. Remove chicken from casserole and set aside. Strain the sauce through a sieve and discard solids. Return sauce to casserole.
Pour cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk in about 1/2 cup of sauce and mix until smooth. Add cocoa mixture to casserole, then reduce sauce over medium heat to about 4 cups. Re-introduce the chicken.
Meanwhile, saute bacon, mushrooms, and white onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove this mixture from the saute pan with a slotted spoon and add to chicken casserole.
Plating the dish: Serve the finished dish in a bowl; top with chopped parsley and croutons (optional), and serve with a warm crusty bread and a Red Burgundy (Pinor Noir). For a more hearty meal, serve with a side of creamy mashed potatoes.