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 all the culinary vixens out there... listen up. There isn't a meat-eating man who can
walk away from this delicious treat... grilled BBQ pork ribs, jalapeno cheese corn bread, and an icy cold glass of beer. A friend of mine, who never tried pork ribs before, enjoyed this meal so much that he declared his life would be defined as "life before pork ribs" and "life after pork ribs". Now that's a Seduction Meal.
I like to serve this meal with a tomato / red onion salad with chopped fresh dilI, topped with olive oil, a dash of balsamic vinegar, finished with a pinch of Victoria Taylor's Australian Sea Flake salt. I typically cook BBQ ribs entirely on the grill, but I've seen so many recipes where they call for boiling the ribs first. So I tried it. After boiling the ribs I added a dry rub, and ended with my favorite BBQ sauce with a touch of spice. The results? Sweet 'n spicy caramelized sauce on the outside and moist, tender ribs on the inside. A big hit!
BBQ Pork Ribs
2 lbs. pork ribs 1 tsp. salt Bobby Flay Dry Rub Kick Ass BBQ Sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce)
Boil the ribs in lightly salted water for 15 minutes. Remove the ribs and let them cool down a bit. Get your grill nice and hot and lower to medium heat.
Using your favorite dry rub (I used Bobby Flay's), rub the ribs on all sides. Lower the grill to medium low; place the ribs on the grill and cover. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the meat is no longer pink near the bone, carefully watching the ribs and turning often so they don't burn.
About 15 minutes before serving, add your favorite BBQ sauce on one side and turn this side to the heat. While they are cooking, add more BBQ Sauce on the side facing up. Grill the ribs on one side for 5 - 7minutes. Turning them over and cook for another 5 minutes. Add BBQ sauce again to both sides, turning the ribs over to caramelize the sauce.
Jalapeno Corn Bread
1 package of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix (8.5 oz) 1 egg 1/3 cup of milk 1 can of corn, drained 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, grated 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top 1/2 jalapeno pepper jack cheese, grated 8x8 greased pan
Preheat oven to 400. Mix together muffin mix, egg, and milk. Gently fold in the cheese and corn. Pour into the greased pan, top with some more grated cheddar, and cook for 15 - 20 minutes. Let cool before serving.
On a hot summer day, serve up a a cold margarita and pair this refreshing cocktail with your favorite spicy foods such as chipotle crab cakes, steak
quesadillas, empanadas with habanero sauce, or creamy guacamole and
chips. If you want the best Margarita available, make it with fresh ingredients and select a premium tequila. And for goodness sake, stay away from pre-made Margarita mixes.
2 oz silver tequila 1 oz premium Cointreau 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice coarse kosher salt lime wedge
Place a thin layer of salt onto a small plate. Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with lime juice. Holding the stem of the glass, rotate the rim in salt. Its best if the salt is only on the outside of the glass. Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Place all ingredients in a shaker. Shake well. Strain into the glass, garnish with lime wedges if you like, and serve.
Put all ingredients except the 3 lime wedges into a shaker. Squeeze 2 of the lime wedges into the shaker. SHAKE WELL! Rim outside of glass only with lime. Salt only the outside of the glass. Add fresh crushed ice to glass. Strain mixture over ice. Squeeze remaining lime wedge in glass.
Watermelon Margarita Recipe
1-½ oz. tequila ¾ oz. triple sec ¾ oz. Midori 2 oz. sour mix 6 oz. cubed, seeded watermelon 8 oz. ice
Blend all ingredients together; serve in a 14-ounce glass. Garnish with lime and watermelon wedge.
Cabo Waborita Margarita Recipe
1 oz. fresh lime juice 1 oz. triple sec 2 oz. Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo tequila
Mix in a shaker over ice. Serve in salt-rimmed glass.
Albuquerque Style Margarita Recipe
1 lime, cut into wedges Coarse or kosher salt 1 (6 ounce) can frozen lime concentrate 3/4 cup tequila 6 tablespoons Triple Sec 1 (12 ounce) can lemon-lime or grapefruit soda 3 to 4 cup ice cubes Lime twist for garnish Lime peel for garnish
Rub rim of each cocktail glass with lime wedge; swirl glass in salt to coat rim. Combine half of each of the remaining ingredients, except garnishes, in blender container; blend until ice is finely chopped and mixture is slushy. Pour into salt-rimmed glasses. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Garnish, if desired.
Strawberries and cream--you can't go wrong with that combo. Add a
little Port, Brandy and Cointreau and you have one simple dessert that
is sure to please. This weekend we are going to enjoy a picnic in the country and this is the dessert that will end our casual lunch. Easy to prepare and easy to travel, Strawberries in Good Spirits, as I like to call this recipe, is always a hit. While I prefer to make homemade whipped cream, see recipe below, in this case for ease of travel, I'll pick up a can of whipped cream. Our picnic will consist of some cheese--a wedge of Manchego and a slice of Tomme de Savoie, a loaf of French bread, mixed olives, duck mousse pate, a sliced pear and a bottle of wine. For the finale... the colorful, sweet strawberries.
Strawberry in Good Spirits Serves 2
2 cups of strawberries, stems removed, sliced 2 tbsp powdered sugar 2 tbsp Port 2 tbsp Cointreau 2 tbsp Brandy
1 cup cream, whipped 1 tsp Cointreau 1 tsp sugar If you are traveling it may be easier to buy a can of whipped cream
Slice strawberries and toss with powdered sugar. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Blend Port, Cointreau and Brandy and pour over chilled strawberries. Next add 1 tsp Cointeau and 1 tsp of sugar to the cream and whip. Place the berries in individual dishes and top with whipped cream.
Bored of enjoying your chocolate in a simple cookie, cake or confection? Let's get creative...make your own chocolate body paint (sweet or spicy to match your mood). Choose your canvas, lift your brush, and paint away.
For inspiration check out Hotel Chocolat, a British owned luxury chocolate manufacturer. The site offers a wide range of premium quality chocolates perfect for gifts or pure self indulgence. Here you will find gourmet cooking products, specialty chocolate gifts, and recipes. I couldn't resist sharing the recipe for chocolate body paint when I read... "A luscious, chocolaty concoction that will bring out your inner Picasso - what you choose to paint is entirely up to you..."
Microwave Mix all of the ingredients together in a microwaveable bowl, heat on full power for 1 minute. Stir and blast for another 30 seconds or until fully melted.
Stove Top Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Gently heat the bowl over a pan of boiling water (double-boiler), stirring occasionally until the chocolate has fully melted.
Leave to cool. Collect your painting utensils and subject - then paint onto a suitable canvas. Add a bottle of champagne, so you can sip little delicate bubbles as you review your canvas and contemplate your next stroke. Picasso never had it so good. Well...OK, I take that back.
Have a canvas, but no time to cook?
You can buy a Chocolate Dipping Adventure. With the crunch of toasted crostini, the succulence of cherries, the
yielding softness of marshmallow... all laden with soft, melting
chocolate. Simply heat the chocolate and throw yourself into a
seriously satisfying chocolate adventure.
When I think of Spain I think Tapas and Paella--two signature dishes adored by many. Once you try paella you'll fall in love with this famous rice dish; and to top it off, its surprisingly easy to prepare, the recipe below was done in half an hour, which makes this a great choice for a quick seduction meal.
If you've never had paella (shame on you!), and want to try it first, there are many restaurants that specialize in this dish. One of my favorite places is El Quijote in New York,
next door to the famous Chelsea Hotel. Their Paella Valencia is served
with chorizo (a spicy sausage), chicken on the bone, clams and mussels,
roasted piquillo peppers, and saffron-colored rice. Valencia con
Langosta is served with Lobster. Other favorites in New York include El
Faro in the west village and the smaller, trendier Boqeria in the Flat
There are three main ingredients to good paella: the rice; the toppings (usually chicken, seafood, and/or vegetables) which with the broth flavor the rice; and saffron and "sofrito" (see below), the foundation for the dish's wonderful flavor and color. One piece of advice that always holds true in cooking: always use quality ingredients, and this is especially true for a good Paella.
There are a few secrets I found to ensure your dish is the best it can be:
1. Use a paella pan. A round shallow pan, called a paellera, with a large cooking surface that allows the rice to spread evenly along the bottom and easily absorb the flavors of the broth and the ingredients set on top. A delicacy of this dish is to discover the caramelized rice at the bottom of the dish. Be sure your stove (or outdoor grill) entirely heats up the bottom of the pan, otherwise you will have to rotate the pan to evenly distribute the heat.
2. Use a medium grain rice, preferably Spanish Calasparra or Bomba rice. If you can't find this rice, Goya has good rice and is easily find in local supermarkets.
3. Create a delicious "sofrito", a well cooked and fragrant sauce the serves as the foundation of flavor. Typically this is made with sauteed tomatoes, garlic, paprika and sometimes peppers.
4. If you can, get hold of some saffron. I know its expensive but its worth it. In addition to the sofrito, the saffron is an important part of the color and flavor of your paella. If you can't find saffron, don't worry, you can find medium grain rice that already has saffron in it, but you will sacrifice some flavor.
Paella Recipe Serves 6
1/3 cup olive oil 1 red bell pepper 1 orange pepper 4 Tbs garlic, chopped 1 whole chicken breast bone in, cut in 4 parts 2 thighs, each cut into 2 parts salt and pepper 2 cups Calasparra rice, or other medium grain rice 1/2 tsp saffron threads 1/4 lb of cooking chorizo, in 1/4 inch slices* 2 cups chicken stock 2 cups shellfish stock (I used clam juice) 1 tsp parsley, chopped 6-8 pieces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined About 10 clams and 10 mussels, scrubbed
* I couldn't find cooking chorizo, so it is not shown in the photo, but I love the flavor this imparts on this dish.
garnish Chives, snipped with scissors Lemon wedges
Preparing the Meal When cooking paella, there is no need to use the cover of the pan. Most pans do not come with covers for this very reason.
Preheat a 15" paella pan at high heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil, 1/2 of the garlic, and sliced peppers. Salt and pepper the chicken and add chicken pieces, frying
over high heat until golden. Remove to a platter. Add the chorizo and stir fry about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and half of the saffron for about 2 minutes. Place the chicken back in the pan. Add the chicken and shellfish stock and simmer.
In a separate bowl or mortar, mix the remaining garlic and saffron, parsley, a tsp of water, and a dash of salt (I prefer sea salt) - mix well. Add the mixture to the pan and place the seafood in the pan. Mussels and Clams first, then shrimp on top. At this point you no longer need to stir the ingredients. Add salt and pepper and cook for 3-10 minutes or until the shrimp is a nice pink color.
plating the dish Remove some of the seafood and chicken pieces to get to the rice. Place 1 cup of the tasty rice on each plate. Arrange chicken and seafood on top of the rice, and add a few pieces of the spicy sausage on top. Add the colorful pieces of pepper all around and garnish with chives (or chopped parsley) and a wedge of lemon. Serve immediately with a tall glass of
Red Sangria Serves 6
1 bottle, about 3 cups, of dry red wine 1 orange, sliced in wheels 1 lemon, sliced in wheels 2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup caster sugar 1/2 cup brandy
garnish: ice to serve sliced lime wheels, cut 1" slice, and slip the lime over the glasses edge
Place the orange, lime and lemon slices in a glass pitcher. Add the lime juice, orange juice and caster sugar, stir with a wooden spoon to mix all ingredients. Add the red wine and brandy, stir. Chill in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours letting all of the flavors blend and settle in. Just before serving add ice cubes to the pitcher, stir the sangria and serve
Hot Tip: With the tag line: The Best of Spain in America; LaTeinda.com is a good resource for all you paella needs..
While perusing recipes for your special seduction meal, often there are exotic ingredients and special equipment that might encourage you to turn the page and continue looking. Fret no more. You can find the same high quality ingredients used by top chefs across the country with L'epicerie.com. Bookmark this website for on-demand access to the finest specialty
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Take a look at this slide show to see the wonderful items you can order for quick delivery including pastries like macroons and madeleines, gourmet food products such as caviar, truffle juice, and premium olive oil. Here hard-to-find items are a cinch: guava, lychee and many other purees and sauces, edible gold dust and a gold dust sprinkler, marzipan, gelatin sheets, Griottines, cocoa nibs, chocolate powders, and so much more.
All of the products and ingredients are of the highest quality, and
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large retail operations. Boiron, Mauviel, Peugeot,
Cipriani, Pillivuyt, Rabasse, Staud's, Terre Bormane, and Valrhona, are
some of the brands you will become intimate with. Enjoy your visit.
Need a great gift idea for the foodie in your life? Try a gift certificate from L'Epicerie--I am sure they will be thrilled..
When preparing your Seduction Meal have a little fun with your creativity, specifically in how you plate the dish. Think of contrasting colors, architectural treatments (adding
height), positive and negative space, mixing textures, and enhancing the dish with garnishes and sauces. For inspiration pay special attention to how chefs present the dishes served
at your favorite restaurants. And take a look a the various styles and techniques of "plating" as seen on TV food shows and in the pages your favorite food magazines like
Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Saveur.
prepared a brunch for two: a simple smoked salmon dish served with creme fraiche potatoes garnished with capers and diced cornichons; and I have plated the dish using two different presentation styles.
For added color, and the opportunity to serve up a playful finger food,
add a bowl of ripe juicy strawberries to your table or
breakfast try. For added effect take advantage of this lovely time of
year and move to an outdoor setting such as a patio, a luscious
green lawn surrounded by flowers, or a boat moored in a remote
location--what better way to enjoy a romantic meal for two?
Smoked Salmon with Creme Fraiche Potatoesrecipe recipe from 86 San Francisco (with some minor modifications) Restaurant 231 Ellsworth
Creme Fraiche Potatoes The potatoes are delicious on their own and can be served as a side dish to accompany many main dishes.
8 baby yukon potatoes 1 cup creme fraiche 2 diced cornichons 1 tbsp chervil, minced 1 tbsp chives, minced 1 tbsp parsley, minced 2 finely diced shallots (optional) 1 lemon, juice and zested salt and pepper to taste
Smoked Salmon 1/2 lb smoked salmon, thinly sliced
Garnish capers finely diced or snipped parsley and/or dill
Preparing the Potatoesand Salmon Add potatoes to a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to boil and then lower heat, simmering until done. Drain and let cool until you can handle them. While the potatoes are cooking, combine the creme fraiche-potato ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Next, cover the middle of 2 large plates with thin slices of smoked salmon. Exactly how you arrange the slices is up to you and your preferred presentation. Set aside until ready to serve.
Mixing the Potatoes When cool, peel the potatoes (it is easier while they are slightly
warm). Slice or cut them based on how you choose to present this dish. When you are ready to serve, place the potatoes in a large bowl with creme fraiche mix and carefully combine until the potatoes are covered in the creme fraiche.
Plating the dish Take the salmon plates and place a portion of the potatoes on top of, or on the side of the salmon. Again, this will depend upon how you prefer to plate your dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon on top of the salmon. Garnish with capers and snipped parsley and/or dill Serve with toast points or sliced baguettes.
As quoted on the new James Beard web site: "There are decadent dinners and then there are those that are downright sinful. For this event, guest Chef Thanawat Bates created an inspired menu of indulgent dishes that embody the seven deadly sins. You may have to say a few extra Hail Marys, but each delicious bite will be well worth the penance." I immediately called James Beard to reserve my place for
this seductively sinful dinner.
Being in a kitchen with Thanawat Bates is like being in an artists studio. The way in which he creatively "paints" each dish is something to behold. Watch the slide show below for a step-by-step lesson on how he plates his Wagyu Beef dish, or the two images showing his salad creation. I could easily see his dishes in a gallery. So let's shift gears now and focus on his concept of presenting the evening's masterpieces as the 7 deadly sins.
Guest Chef: Thanawat Bates of Palace Arms at the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, CO. The hotel is a Mobil Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond luxury landmark and Palace Arms has been referred to Denver's eminent equivalent to New York's 21 Club.
Pride Enjoying one of our first spring like evenings, Pride was served and devoured in the outdoor garden Whimsical
Coq au Vin with Caramelized Onion-Mushroom Duxelle, Red Wine Reduction,
and Bacon Chips. Rossini with Toasted Brioche, Bison Roulade, and
Madeira-Foie Gras Hollandaise Gin-Cured Tuna with Toasted Nori, Watermelon, and Chinese Black Vinegar Served with Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé NV
Wrath Represented by the anger and wrath of the Scorpian, this dish was artfully prepared. I love the big yellow swoosh on the plate.
Scorpionfish with Spicy Slaw, Roasted Poblano Sauce, and Micro-Cilantro Served with Don Olegario Albariño 2006
Sloth Beets were chosen because they are easily cooked to perfection with little fuss. Roasted, steamed, or boiled there isn't much effort required to ensure great results. However, rest assured an easy preparation was not taken, as this chef flavored the water, combined distinct elements of contrasting tastes,
and added his enchanting artist's touch to plating this abstract artistic salad.
Beets with Watercress Salad, Candied Walnuts, Blue Cheese, and Horseradish Vinaigrette Served with Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2005
Gluttony Foie Gras, Sweetbreads, and Bone Marrow. What more needs to be said...Pure gluttony!.
Foie Gras with Sautéed Sweetbreads, Bone Marrow, Sabayon, and Hazelnut-Mustard Streusel Served with Inniskillin Vidal Icewine 2006
Greed The most expensive beef you can find, Wagyu, also known as Kobe beef, combined with Truffles - deliciously extravagant.
Wagyu Beef with Sautéed Abalone, Truffled Potato Purée, Sea Urchin, and Shallot-Sherry Vinaigrette Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Envy Envy and jealousy are represented by the richness of this panna cotta, not to mention the Jackson Pollock splash of red sauce the sets the stage for this wonderful dessert..
Lemon Panna Cotta, Vanilla Cloud, and Orange-Vodka Caramel Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato 2007
Lust And last but not least, let us not go home without the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate which just screams LUST!
Truffles with Strawberry-Champagne Gelée, Gold Dust, Rose Aroma, and Chocolate
In a recent interview to
promote her new memoir, author Isabelle Allende said it best. While
having lunch with Sunday Star Times writer Janet Hawley, Isabelle
served a specially prepared meal served with Chilean white wine.
"Gluttony and lust are the only deadly sins worth the trouble, my
dear," she says, raising her glass. "Please eat more."
You've got to
Chef Thanawat Bates, thank you for a truly seductive, sinful gourmet feast!
future events at the James Beard House, sign up for the James Beard
newsletter--there is no better place to learn from the pros.
It's time to welcome the coming of Spring with lighter fare, and this salad is a great start. Serve this tempting arugula salad, mixed with oranges and feta, as a side dish to a simple grilled rib eye steak or grilled swordfish, or plate up a large salad bowl and served on its own. You can add kalamata olives to add another dimension of flavor.
Ingredients 2 cara cara oranges 2 blood oranges 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 2 cups total of mixed greens, frisee, and baby arugula, trimmed cracked fresh pepper (use a pepper mill) 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Note: The feta cheese can be salty, so taste before adding salt
preparation Peel oranges, and carefully remove all skin and pith--the white substance between the peel of an orange and the fruit itself. Cut each orange crosswise into 6 slices.
Trim the stems from the arugula and thoroughly clean to remove sand/grit. Place in a large bowl and toss with salad dressing.
plating the dish Add the mixed greens in a mound in the center of a plate. Arrange the orange slices nicely on top. Sprinkle with crumbled feta, and add kalamata olives if you desire. Drizzle olive oil over the entire salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.