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...
The Black Winter Truffle Extravaganza dinner at the James Beard House was one enticing dish after another. Hosted by truffle connoisseur Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve
in Old Town Alexandra, Virginia, each dish creatively embraced the
essence of black truffles from appetizers to main dishes to desserts.
One of the most surprising treats of the evening was a cocktail
prepared by Sommelier Todd Trasher called The Ghost, which of course included truffles. I am going to have
to beg for that recipe, it was incredible!
As stated on the James Beard site: Described as "diamonds in the kitchen" by Brillat-Savarin, black
truffles are at their peak in January, when their subtle perfume lends
a whiff of intoxicating earthiness to even the most humble of dishes.
Frogs' Legs Tempura with Truffle Vinaigrette
Truffle Fritters with Truffle Reduction
Marinated Shimaaji Sashimi with Shaved Truffles
Paired with Thibault-Jannison Brut NV and special cocktails prepared by Todd Trasher
Dinner Handmade Celery Root Ravioli with Black Périgord Truffles and Micro-Celery Paired with Orsolani Vignot S. Antonio Erbaluce 2004
Butter-Poached Dover Sole with Baby Fennel, Tennessee Truffle Purée, and Truffle Vinaigrette Paired with Vincent Girardin 1er Cru Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 2006
Roasted Beaver Creek Farms Partridge with Caramelized Pears, Périgord Truffles, and Foie Gras Paired with Ken Forrester Vineyards The Gypsy 2004
Shaffer Farms Venison Loin with Parsnip Gratin, Onion Confit, and Périgord Truffle Jus Paired with Bodegas Catena Zapata Catena Alta Malbec 2005
Housemade Emmental Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Burgundy Truffle Soup Paired with Remelluri Rioja 2003
Bittersweet Chocolate and White Chocolate Ganache with Tennessee Truffle Ice Cream Paired with Broadbent 10-Year-Old Malmsey Madeira 1996
Cozy up to a crackling fire, pour two glasses red wine, and note the expression of delight as you place this savory winter dish before your guest. Slow-cooked lamb shank served with roasted vegetables--the aroma alone will seduce your senses, let alone the taste. Serve this with creamy mashed potatoes or polenta.
Braised Lamb Shank with Vegetables 4 servings Recipe Courtesy Lamb Council
3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal 1/4-inch thick
1 large onion, chopped
1 fennel, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick (do not use solid center)
2 bottles (12 ounces each) light to medium beer*
1 can (15 ounces) chopped petite tomatoes and juice
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
10 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
Generously season shanks with salt and pepper. In large skillet, heat oil over high heat. Brown shanks on all sides until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Pour out liquid from pan.
In same skillet, combine garlic, carrots, onion and fennel; sauté for 6 to 8 minutes to lightly brown, stirring occasionally. Mix in beer or broth, tomatoes and juice, chicken broth, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Pour over shanks.
Braise in 375°F oven for 2-1/2 hours. Baste shanks with sauce and turn them over every 45 minutes. Serve lamb in large, low-sided soup bowls with broth and vegetables.
*24 ounces of fat-free chicken broth may be substituted.
Tell us what you did for Valentine's Day and 4 lucky people will win the new Tyler Florence cookbook: Dinner at My Place. All stories are welcome - good or bad. But hopefully, yours is a story of romance and delight.
How to Enter:
To enter click on Post a Comment below
I will add stories as they come in, and update this weekly.
The Contest will run for three (3) weeks.
Winners will be selected through a random drawing
4 Lucky winners will be announced the middle of March. Good Luck!
Here are the first Valentine's Day stories for 2009.
1. INDIAN FOOD & MAX BRENNER FONDUE / Ellen, NY We went to Banjara, an Indian restaurant on 1st and 6th. Loved it! Then we walked over to Max Brenner for chocolate fondue but there was a 2 hour wait so we went to Ben & Jerry's for ice cream cones. 2. FIREPLACE AGLOW, WINE, CHICKEN MARSALA / Judi, NY My husband lit a fire, opened a bottle of wine, placed candles everywhere, and cooked chicken marsala. Mmmm, you can figure the rest from there ; )
3. CHOCOLATE BODY PAINT / Anonymous, NY Too naughty to share..think homemade melted chocolate and spatula painting...
If you are a truly a fan of Tyler Florence, now is your chance to win a gourmet shopping spree with Tyler, and a free trip for you and a guest to the gourmet mecca -- San Francisco. All you have to do is go the the Macy's site and upload a video of you cooking your favorite original recipe--it's that simple.
Contest Overview: The "Macy's Keeps America Cooking" contest invites you to create a cooking video based on an original recipe that demonstrates "What gets you cooking?" Is it a family recipe? The magical people in your life? Or the fresh ingredients at your local market?
Your video should be 2 minutes or less, and, similar to how Tyler ends his video podcasts on the Macy's site: "From my Mill Valley kitchen to yours, Macy's keeps it cooking," be sure your video ends with the line "From my (location) kitchen to yours, Macy's keeps it cooking!"
Prizes The Grand Prize Winner of the contest will receive:
A trip for two to San Francisco to cook with Tyler
A shopping spree with Tyler for new kitchen products using Macy's gift of a $2,500 gift card
A feature spot on their own Macy's Keeps It Cooking podcast that will show you cooking with your new Macy's kitchen products
Nine runner-up winners will also be selected and will each be awarded with a $1,000 gift card from Macy's
If winners include a mention of what you like about your local Macy's or macys.com in your video, you will receive an additional $500.
Winners will be selected on or around April 30, 2009.
Sharing a bowl of pasta, one of my favorite comfort foods, is always a treat. For this dish, I seared scallops and large shrimp, and finished them off in a butter wine reduction sauce. I tossed the cooked pasta in garlic and red-pepper infused olive oil, and complimented the meal with sauteed broccolini. If you prefer a heartier flavor, you could add a 1/4 cup of diced pancetta.
Linguini with scallops, shrimps and broccolini serves 4
For the Pasta:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1 lb spaghetti or linguine
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 scallions, cut in thin rounds (or you can use chives)
For the Shrimp
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails intact
Why not try something completely different this year? Celebrate Valentine's Day with an array of exotic flavors and spices with an Asian Menu. Start your Asian Seduction Meal by serving two cups of hot Saki, or 2 glasses of
chilled premium Saki served with thin cucumber slices. The aromatic
scent of cucumber takes a simple Saki drink to another level. Pair this
refreshing cocktail with a bowl of steamed edamame sprinkled with your
favorite fine sea salt as you enjoy the sexy, sounds of Putumayo's
Asian Lounge and Hotel Costes #11 CDs. All of which will put you in the right mood for the
main courses and a refreshing ending of green tea ice cream. You can purchase the edamame and green tea ice-cream at most gourmet grocers or your local Japenese restaurant.
Asian Seduction Menu Saki for two Edamame sprinkled with Sea Salt Spicy Tuna Tartare Seared Tuna & Soba Green Tea Ice Cream Music: Putumayo's Asian Lounge mixed with Hotel Costes
Pommes dauphine is a dish named after the Dauphine, the title given to
the wife of the Dauphin, or heir to the French throne. They are crisp
potato puffs formed into dumpling shapes and then deep-fried.
Here we have a a seductive twist, pomme dauphine with a creamy herb egg
mixture topped with paddlefish caviar. A dish fit for royalty--or your cherished loved one on Valentine's Day.
If you do not have a local resource for caviar you can order 1 oz for $35 or 2 oz for $70 online from California Caviar Company.
Bake the potatoes in a preheated 425°F. oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until they are soft, halve them lengthwise, and scoop the potato out of the shells with a spoon, Force the potato mixture through a ricer or a food mill into a large bowl.
In a saucepan combine the water, butter, and salt, bring to a boil, and stir in the flour all at once.
Reduce the heat to low and beat the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes, or until the paste pulls away from the side of the pan and forms a ball.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition, and beat the mixture until it is smooth and shiny.
Add the potatoes and beat the mixture until it is combined well.
Place the mixture in a baking pan and chill 1 hour.
Once chilled, cut out 1-2 inch rounds with a cookie cutter.
In a deep fryer or large kettle heat 2 inches of the oil until it registers Fry the croquettes, turning them with a slotted spoon, for 3 minutes, or until they are crisp, golden, and cooked through, transfer them as they are fried to paper towels to drain, and sprinkle them with the salt.
5 eggs, hard-boiled
1 tsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp chives, chopped
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/5 cup crème fraiche
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Push eggs through a mesh strainer. Add remaining ingredients and top potatoes with a spoonful of egg mixture and a teaspoon of caviar.
As you know I am all about cooking a romantic meal at home for a more intimate dining experience. However, this restaurant has caught my eye with a unique experience that might be worth trying.
CAMAJE, a New York restaurant in the West Village, is luring
customers with a unique dining experience called Dark Dining. Slip on a blindfold and begin touching, tasting, and obviously trusting,
as each dish is presented before you. Savor delicious
aromas wafting from the kitchen where chef Abigail Hitchcock prepares a luxurious four course meal with fine wines.
Without the visual, aroma
and texture become your guide as you journey into darkness while tasty morsels find their way to your mouth. Your senses are heightened. Your adventure begins. As stated on Camaj's website: Challenge
your palate to tease out the mysteries of the menu as you truly taste
your food for perhaps the first time. Then afterward, test yourself
against the sealed menu card which reveals the event's menu.
I can't help but wonder how many tipped over wine glasses occur each night?
VALENTINE'S DAY, Saturday, February 14, CAMAJE
Two Seatings at 7pm and 10pm
$120 includes four courses, wines and artist performances, tax and gratuity included.
CAMAJE 85 MacDougal Street New York, NY 10012 (212) 673-8184 www.camaje.com
Take your Valentines Day celebration to another level. Here are some creative ideas for seductive games and gifts for Valentine's Day beyond chocolate and roses. Gifts range from cute to sassy to over-the-top.
hidden message collar stays - $39.95 Why settle for tucking love notes in his briefcase when you can deliver a message of love from much closer range? Both the PG-version and the more racy collar stays are made from stainless steel and feature 12 different messages of love and lust.
PG version includes messages such as "You're so handsome" and "You make me laugh"
racy version includes messages such as "I might if you ask me" and "That tie will be useful"
undrest cami and girl short set $49.95 - $119.90 How very alluring--lingerie that's as delightful to put on as it is to take off. Maria Paz Navales designs her Undrest collection for a flattering fit and seductive comfort, tailoring the racer-back chemise and ruffled girl shorts from petal-pink Supima® --America's finest, silkiest cotton. Black silk ribbons, lace, and decorative over-stitching trace your shape.
i love you candles -$29.95 If you're on fire to say those three little words, this clever candle set will do the talking for you. The unmistakable message of "I Love You" is spelled out in three separate, sensually-scented candle canisters, filled with long-burning, 100% soy wax.
heart measuring spoons- $44.95 A
dash of humor, a pinch of kindness, a spoonful of fun and a heap of
happiness. These spoons will provide a good measure of love in any
assorted hand-dipped strawberries- $39.99 These incredible, mouthwatering fruits are sure to have the crowds oohing and ahhing. Each succulent strawberry is artfully hand-dipped then coated in goodies for a unique flavor combination in every bite.
kama sutra treasure trove kit - $39.95 In a word: yum! This sensual kit invites a tasty twist on romance. Includes edible Honey Dust Body Powder complete with feather applicator, warming Oil of Love and tingly Pleasure Balm to arouse and enhance the senses.
chocoholics body frosting- $29.95 If subtle is what you want, keep looking. But if you're seeking something sinful, this is it. Includes a paint brush and body frosting in three delicious flavors: Wild Cherry Chocolate, Chocolate and Espresso Dream Chocolate. Set of three jars is packaged in a wooden crate and tied with a red ribbon.
speak love, make love romantic game - $24.95 It's one thing to talk the talk. But can they play the game? Give those communication skills a higher purpose with this board game. This unique two-sided board allows couples to play a romantic game of giving and receiving that artfully melds thought and feeling with sensual pleasure. And while it's all fun and games, "Speak Love, Make Love" is also designed to foster better communication.
romantic fortune cookies- $29.95 "Your love life is about to take a turn for the interesting." Confucius couldn't have said it better. Each of these crispy chocolate-covered cookies comes with a romantic version of the traditional fortunes.
cashmere robe - $299.95 No other material feels as warm, comfortable and luxurious as cashmere. Falling generously to mid-calf, our 100% cashmere robe drapes elegantly around the neck and shoulders. Exclusively from RedEnvelope.
And for those who seem to have everything, let's get real creative:
.dream car tour - $1000 Ladies. Men. Name your dream car. Is it the Ferrari F430? Or the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder? Perhaps it's an Aston Martin DB9 or a Maserati Granturismo? Maybe, it's the 605 hp Mercedes Benz SL65 or Bentley Continental GT? Quite possibly it could be all of the above! No need to choose, the Dream Car Tour experience puts you in the driver's seat of up to six exotic sports cars - all in the same day. Push your foot to the pedal and go! Enjoy up to 30 minutes on the open road in each vehicle. Experience the performance and handling, relish the fit and finish, and delight in the adrenaline rush that each of these vehicles deliver. At the end of the day share your experiences with the other drivers and determine which vehicle is your favorite. Choose from a coveted collection of prized models.
skipper for a year - $1,645.00 If it's the sailor's life for you, then climb aboard and enjoy unlimited use of a sailing yacht for one year. Cruise on the Long Island Sound whenever you choose. Compete in the races if you want. It's "anchor's away" whenever you wish, without the responsibilities of ownership. Simply book your time online and show up on the days you choose. Your boat will be ready and waiting to set sail.
Be your own captain of a 23 foot Ensign sailing yacht
Twelve month membership begins whenever you wish
Includes member privileges at an exclusive local boating club
No additional mooring fees, maintenance requirements, or repair bills
True chocoholics understand that one truffle, one flavor, one tiny box, is never enough. Feed each other lusciously delicious artisinal chocolates served with Champagne or Prosecco. Here are some of my favorites--all gracious gifts for your loved one on Valentine's Day.
Knipschildt Chocolatier Rose Truffle Box - $32 These beautiful red handmade paper boxes are filled with rich dark chocolate truffles with a rose water infused dark chocolate ganachce center tpped with an edible rose petal.
Ricchiuti Sesame Nougat Box (8pc) - $19 Sesame Nougat...creamy chocolate ganache atop a crispy layer of sesame nougat. A January exclusive!...Order Now!
Pierre Marcolini's Round Heart Box - $45 This Black Round Box beautifully presents 15 Coeur Framboise chocolates. The hearts contain raspberry-chocolate ganache centers, coated with a white chocolate house blend. The red coloring, Rouge Cochenille, is sprayed onto the finished chocolates, making this collection a favorite romantic gift.
Romanico's Truffles - $72.00 True chocoholics understand that one truffle, one flavor, one tiny box, is never enough. We have taken our inspiration from these chocolate lovers and created this giant gift box of decadent truffles. 24 truffles
Jacques Torres Bon Bons - $50 What is Jacques famous for? Fresh, high-quality chocolates attractively packaged in his signature box and affordably priced. 50 bon bons.
Knipschildt Chocolatier Heart Box - $45 Full of Love! These hand made artisan chocolates are especially designed for that "someone special" in your life. Packaged in a beautiful heart shaped handmade paper box, these decadent flavor pairings are matches made in heaven.
Pierre Marcolini's Petit Truffles (9 pieces) - $25.75 Pierre Marcolini's famous truffles are created in three distinct flavors ranging from a traditional dark chocolate truffle to the exotic Tonka bean infusion.
Hotel Chocolat - Secrets & Desires - $75 Inhibitions melt away as you slip the blindfold over your lover's eyes. And with heightened senses, let the tantalising journey in chocolate seduction begin. You'll experience the gentle creaminess of white chocolate and fruit of The Beginner, the deep sensual notes of The Curious and then the racy tingle of The Spicy... all with the meltin-the-mouth seduction of luscious champagne truffles. Where will it end? That's for you to find out...
Christopher Elbow Chocolate Collection- $40 Our flagship assortment that includes all 21 flavors that we are currently producing. Flavors rotate throughout the seasons so there will always be something new and exciting. 21-Piece Collection