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...
What happens when you want to make a romantic meal for your Valentine but your clueless in the kitchen? Don't fret, be confident and try this amazing meal from the award-winning DVD, Cooking for the Clueless! As you prepare, remember these important tips:
1. Read the recipes in full 1-2 days before V-day & shop on Feb 13! 2. Mis-en-place! Set all ingredients and quantities out before you begin cooking. 3. Entice all the senses, especially sight! Set a beautiful table and don't forget the candles AND flowers!
Valentine's Day Menu Zuzy Martin Lynch, founder Cooking for the Clueless
Champagne or Prosecco Proscuitto-wrapped Pear bites Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Fennel, Orange and Watercress paired with New Zealand Sauvingnon Blanc Chocolate Ganache dipped Strawberries
This Valentine's Day find love at first sip with seductive libations from the "Classic and Vintage Artisanal Spirits Portfolio." Following are several love-themed cocktails from Averna Amaro, Armagnac Casterede, G'Vine Gin, Rhum J.M, Sombra Mezcal and Tuthilltown Spirits which are the ideal way to celebrate with your sweetheart.
2 oz Sombra
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz St. Germain
1 bar spoon of agave nectar
3 cucumber slices
Method: Add the cucumber slices, citrus and agave nectar to a mixing glass and muddle. Add spirits then ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
Happily Ever After
1 3/4oz Rhum J.M. Blanc
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4oz Cherry Heering
1/4 oz Averna
2 Dash Rhubarb Bitters
1 Dash Whiskey Barrel Bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients except bitters into an ice filled shaker. Shake and Strain into an crushed ice filled cocktail glass, drop bitters into glass and stir.
1.5 oz G'Vine Floraison Gin
.5 oz Chambord
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.25 oz fresh lime juice
.75 lemon juice
Method: Combine all ingredients in a glass mixing pint. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
1½ oz Sombra
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz passion fruit puree
3 muddled cucumber slices
1 bar spoon of agave nectar
1 oz House Ginger Beer
Method: Add the lime, agave nectar and cucumber slices to a mixing glass, then muddle Add the rest of the ingredients, then ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice .Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a pinch of ground chili
1 oz Rhum J.M Gold
1 oz Clement Creole Shrubb
.75 oz Lemon Juice
2 oz grapefruit juice
Method: Build in an old fashioned glass over ice old fashioned. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
Be Mine Mojito
1.5 oz G'Vine Nouaison Gin
.5 oz Simple Syrup
.5 oz fresh lime juice
3 mint sprigs
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker.Shake well. Strain into a highball glass. Garnish: mint sprig
Seduction Meals is thrilled to present Nancy Mehagian, author of Siren's Feast, An Edible Odyssey. Below, Nancy shares healthy, exotic dishes that make up her unique Valentine's Day Menu. Of her culinary memoir Quincy Jones
said: "A spicy brew of recipes and adventures. I don't know whether to
eat this book, smoke it or make love to it." Siren's Feast--part
cookbook, large part raucous memoir.
"Whenever I want to seduce, whether for business or pleasure, I pull out all the stops and make B'steeya, the remarkable Moroccan dish of ecstasy. The results are so gratifying, I don't mind spending the time it takes to make it. In fact, I think it is one of the world's best dishes and I've imagined that only someone under the influence of hashish could have created this exotic and spicy combination of flavors, sweet and savory. Once tasted, never forgotten. Whenever I have made this scrumptious dish people have literally bowed at my feet, commenting that it is the best version they have ever tried. I assume no responsibility for what happens after you serve B'steeya".
Valentine's Day Menu A Siren's Feast Muhammara or Lebanese Walnut Dip B'steeya Valentine Trifle
Recipe and Photo courtesy of Nancy Mehagian
Whenever I want to seduce, whether for business or pleasure, I pull out
all the stops and make B'steeya, the remarkable Moroccan dish of
ecstasy. The results are so gratifying, I don't mind spending the time
it takes to make it. In fact, I think it is one of the world's best
dishes and I've imagined that only someone under the influence of
hashish could have created this exotic and spicy combination of
flavors, sweet and savory. Once tasted, never forgotten. Whenever I
have made this scrumptious dish people have literally bowed at my feet,
commenting that it is the best version they have ever tried. I assume
no responsibility for what happens after you serve B'steeya
STARTER Muhammara or Lebanese Walnut Dip Recipe Below
I love strong flavors and spice in my
life. I've paired B'steeya with a tangy and substantial appetizer. The
men (and women) I know, don't like their food fussy. Serve with triangles of pita bread or pita chips.
Recipe and Photo courtesy of Nancy Mehagian
DESSERT Valentine's Day Trifle Recipe Below
Whipped cream is a great way to finish off a seduction meal. The possibilities are endless. And strawberries remind me of Nature's Valentines.
As you get ready for planning your Valentine's Seduction Menu, remember
to dazzle your date with an array of alluring foods and beautifully
arranged dishes that will melt hearts with just one look. As your loved one walks through the door to the seductive tunes you have selected for this special evening, they will find themselves aglow in flickering candle light. Hand him or her a glass of chilled champagne and offer them a beautiful tray of Potato Chips with Creme Fraice, Caviar and shaved Truffles, as you set the tone for this very special romantic rendezvous. Hearts are sure to flutter.
Valentine's Day Menu Bistro Seduction Home-made Potato Chips with Creme Fraiche, Caviar & Truffles The Best Crab Cakes Ever Steak Diane & Crispy French Fries with Garlic Shallot Salt Spinach Salad with Pecorino, Pine Nuts, and Currants Creme Brulee
We begin setting the stage for your romantic rendezvous with two show
stopping appetizers. First, home-made potato chips topped with creme
fraiche, caviar and shaved white winter truffles, and one of my favorite recipes for crab cakes topped with spicy remoulade. Here is a
simple, yet enticing appetizer that will begin to set the tone for your
special romantic meal for two created by owner and chef Matt Fackler of
Relish restaurant. Both appetizers can be served with a glass of chilled champagne. This will perfectly whet the appetite for the next course.
Another one of my all time favorites - Steak Diane. A juicy, rib eye steak (you can also use filet mignon), served with a
luscious brandy-laced cream sauce topped with sauteed mushrooms. For
this main course, I would splurge on a really good bottle of red wine, and serve with homemade thin-cut crispy French Fries with gourmet seasoning from Beyond the Shaker--garlic shallot salt. We also have a spinach salad with pecorino, pine nuts and shallots by Bon Appetit magazine.
And what better way to end our Seductive Bistro Menu that with the all
time bistro classic--creme brulee. Take a
spoonful and close your eyes to concentrate on all its glory; the
seductive qualities of vanilla (an adored aphrodisiac), its soft creamy
texture interrupted by delicate shards of caramelized sugar. As if that
isn't enough to put your senses in a tailspin...try adding a dollop of
homemade strawberry-rhubarb compote and you'll be taken to another
Music plays an important part in your Seduction Meal experience-- it plays to the core of our senses and sets the tone for this special occasion. Select wisely. If its a first date, I would stay away from songs like Je t'aime by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, Closer by Nine Inch Nails, or Donna Summer's Love to Love You. However, if this is a VAlentine's Day celebration with your husband or wife or long-time partner--no rules apply. Select whatever music moves you both---that's all it takes.
There are so many wonderful CDs and songs to collect for your romantic music play list. Below is a collection of CD's that have GREAT songs to consider. Some are filled with gems from start to finish and are must-haves for any music collection. Download the CD or a favorite song and get started with your very own playlist. It may take a while to get this right, so its best to start before your date night. info
Joao Gilberto, Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim /Getz/Gilbert
As you prepare your romantic meal for two this Valentine's Day--what better way to express your love and desire than with chocolate? A favorite
culinary aphrodisiac of many, chocolate contains phenylethylamine - the
same chemical released in your brain when you fall in love, leading to
an excited feeling of infatuation.
This Valentine's Day
try a romantic cocktail party for two with a tempting invitation to
experience any of the seven luscious chocolate cocktail recipes below. I don't know about you, but I want to try each and every drink; you can almost taste the tantalizing pleasures with names like Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle, Hearts Afire, White Chocolate Martini, Chocolate Covered Cherries, Peanut Butter Cup, Death by Chocolate, Almond Joy Martini. Enjoy the moment as you savor that lovin' feeling shaken and stirred.
Chocolate Covered Cherries & White Chocolate Martini
Peanut Butter Cup & Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle
Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle
1-1/2 oz Van Gogh Raspberry Vodka
1/2 oz White chocolate Godiva
1-1/2 oz White crème de Cocoa
1 oz Raspberry Liqueur
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker and shake over ice. Strain into glass. Garnish with raspberries on a pick.
2 oz Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
4 oz Hot Chocolate
3 Roasted marshmallows on small skewer
Pour Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka into a mug and add hot chocolate. Garnish with home-roasted marshmallows on a skewer or whipped cream. (Always use caution when handling hot liquids).
White Chocolate Martini
1 oz Van Gogh Vanilla vodka
2 oz White Chocolate Liquor
1 oz Cream
White chocolate shavings or white cocoa powder
Roll rim of martini glass in white chocolate shavings or white cocoa powder. Add all liquids in a shaker and shake over ice. Strain drink into a martini glass.
Chocolate Covered Cherries
1 oz Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate vodka
1 oz Van Gogh Black Cherry vodka
1 oz Crème de cacao
3 Maraschino cherries
Swirl chocolate syrup around inside of martini glass and place maraschino cherries in the bottom of the glass. Add liquids into a shaker with ice and shake. Pour into martini glass.
Romantic Meals for Two can be simple, grand, or, as in this case--pure fun. With Fondue you can spear, dunk, or dip delicious morels of food coated in luscious cheese or chocolate sauce. The term "fondue" comes from the French verb fondue, meaning "to melt"; and if you plan your Seduction Meal just right, perhaps hearts will melt in your favor.
This recipe was shared by one of our readers in New York City--Cheese Fondue, a Swiss classic. "What makes 99% of the recipe is getting the right mix of cheeses. See below for the secret to great fondue"
Swiss Fondue Serves four The quantity of cheese needed is simple to calculate:
1/2 lb of cheese per person, (less for kids).
1 lb Gruyere and 1 lb of Vacherin (total of 2 lbs, 4 x 1/2lb)
1 cup white wine (dry)
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon corn starch
pinch of baking soda
2 loaf of bread
The Cheese The choice of cheese is the most critical aspect of making real Swiss
Fondue. You will need Swiss Aged Gruyere and Swiss Vacherin (Vacherin
Fribourgeois). Using other cheeses will change the taste entirely. I would add that
you can substitute the Vacherin with Appenzeller, and that in NO CASE
use Emmentaller, the cheese with holes. This cheese will ruin the
fondue by making it very oily
Bread Not sourdough!! Too strong. Find a nice round white bread with thick crunchy crust. Cut in thick slices, do not cut in cubes, cut slices only a few minutes before serving the fondue, you do not want the bread to dry. People will break the bread slices in cubes themselves on their plate. (this is a Swiss tradition...)
Drinks White wine, dry preferable. Alsatian wine works well. Not chardonnay, too sweet.. If your wine store has Swiss Fendant and it's not over priced, then get some.
For non-wine drinkers, serve hot tea. Avoid cold non-alcoholic drinks during the meal. Cold drinks will harden the cheese in your stomach, you don't want that. After the meal, serve a nice digestive, like Kirshwasser, Italian Grappa, or any other spirit, it will help digestion.
Fondue Pot The best type of fondue pot is made out of cast iron with enamel coating. Do not use ceramic pots, they don't propagate the heat well at all.
Cook the fondue If you cook for 8 people, use 2 fondue pots.
Grate all the cheese in one big bowl, mix well
Rub the inside of fondue pot with garlic.
Put fondue pots on the stove (medium heat)
Add 1 cup of white wine to pot
Add 1 tsp of corn starch - mix well
Mix constantly and gently with wooden spoon until cheese is completely melted
If fondue is still too thick, add a little more white wine, mix well. WARNING: DO NOT MAKE IT TOO LIQUID! Can't undo!
Light the burner on the table. Make sure everyone is ready to go! Fondue does not wait.
Once all the cheese is melted and fondue is smooth, add a pinch of baking soda, mix, and bring fondue pot right away to table burner.
Add black pepper to both bots and have everyone ready to dig!
Serve immediately and Have Fun...that is what sharing Fondue is all about!
Chilled Oyster Veloute with Caviar, an exotic and very seductive dish for your Valentine Seduction Meal. The term velouté is from the French adjectival form of velour, meaning velvety, which perfectly sets up the mood for a very special Valentine's Day dinner. Velvety, Luscious, and very unique.
Before embarking on this recipe I have defined a three cooking terms: Fumet, Veloute and Sweating.
Veloute Wikipedia defines Veloute as a light stock (one in which the bones used have not been previously roasted), such as chicken, veal or fish stock, that is thickened with a blond roux. Thus the ingredients of a velouté are equal parts by mass butter and flour to form the roux, a light chicken, veal, or fish stock, and salt and pepper for seasoning. Bottom line, Veloute is basically a Bechamel sauce made with stock instead of milk. Commonly the sauce produced will be referred to by the type of stock used, for example, chicken velouté, or in this case, oyster veloute.
Fumet The recipe calls for 2 cups of fumet which is a concentrated stock made from fish or mushrooms, used to add flavor to less intensely flavored stocks or sauces. You can make your own fumet stock or you can purchase this in a gourmet market. I have provided a link to purchase this at FormaggioKitchen.com, which I find much easier to do.
Sweating vs. Sauteeing The recipe calls for "sweating" which is a cooking process similar to sauteeing that helps draw out moisture from aromatics (such as onions, garlic, carrots celery) cooked in a small amount of fat; typically butter or olive oil, but most fats will do. The fats absorb the flavors released during the sweating process. This is done over low heat in a covered skillet. This enables the sweating/steam process which soften the ingredients. In this recipe we are sweating shallots, fennel, leeks, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves. Once the aromatics are translucent (you can see this best in the shallots), the process is complete. Unlike sauteeing, we are not looking to brown the aromatics, so it is good to stir the ingredients so no browning can occur.
Chilled Oyster Veloute with Black River Caviar Recipe courtesy of Black River Caviar created by Douglas Keane- Executive Chef/Owner Cyrus Restaurant
1/2 bottle champagne
2 cups fumet
2 cups shucked oysters and their liquor (reserve some oysters for plating)
For each serving:
1 each, shallots (minced)
1/2 each, fennel bulb (sliced)
1 each, leeks (white part only, washed and sliced thin)
Embraced in their signature purple boxes that exudes style and seduction, Vosges Haut-Chocolat is one the of BEST resources for Valentine's Day Gifts of Love. A long-time favorite of mine for sending gifts with that special WOW factor, these delicious artisinal delights are a just a click away.
Vosges HipHop Collection- $29 This
decadent truffle combines white chocolate, Krug ® Champagne and gold
leaf--echoing rap's transition from music to a culture of "bling". The
word "bling" was first used in 1999 by rappers B.G., Juvenile and Baby
Birdman on their track Bling Bling to celebrate their flashy wealth and
expensive diamonds. It quickly became a fad, infiltrating rap and
hip-hop music until recent years, when the phrase became too
commonplace to garner the same street value. Since then, many artists
have spoken out against the bling lifestyle, criticizing it as
promoting materialism in lieu of responsibility. Even still, "bling"
remains a part of hip hop history.
flaming heart symbolizes ardent affection and true love. Give our solid
chocolate rock 'n' roll version to whoever makes your heart race. Red
Fire: Mexican ancho & chipotle chillies + Ceylon cinnamon + dark
Vosges_La Petit Hatbox - $95 What better a gift than a mini hatbox filled to the brim with chocolate? Chocolate from our Exotic, Comfort, Couture Cocoa and Exotic Candy Bar collections for whatever mood strikes you. Inside: 9 piece Exotic Truffle Collection, 1/2 lb. Bapchi's Caramel Toffee, Aztec Elixir Cocoa & 2 Exotic Candy Bars, in our signature purple hatbox.
Our signature collection and best selling truffles are tucked in a purple heart. Each purple box is hand-tied with a satin bow and includes an enclosure booklet describing the flavors and telling our unique truffle stories.
Great Gatsby Collection - $42 Inspired by the famous love story of the Great Gatsby and the love of his life, Daisy, I created a collection of two decadent truffles. Rich dark chocolate swirled with bubbly brut Champagne and topped with a red rose petal completes the Gatsby truffle. The delicate Daisy truffle pairs white chocolate with pink rosé Champagne from Might I treat you to some decadent champagne truffles kissed with a rose?
Le Chocolat en Rose Truffles - $39 "When you press me to your heart, I'm in a world apart, a world where roses bloom." Our new, Pink Champagne truffles combine Piper Heidsieck brut rosè Champagne in 65% cacao dark chocolate, rolled in fragrant rose bud poudre. Throughout the Balkans, Persia and India, the rose is cherished for its delicate parfum. Regional cuisine celebrates the rose; its scent wafts from the nape of the neck and the insides of the wrists. Vosges Chocolate-of-the-Month Club - $246 for six months A 9 piece dark chocolate truffle gift box and other dark haut-chocolat creations arrive with the light of the full moon and follow the Celtic lunar cycle. Inside each delivery, we describe the significance of the lunar name and the vibrations of the moon in its phases of Full, New, Waxing and Waning as your body and senses ease into chocolate bliss.
Today begins the annual tribute to the most celebrated day of romance--Valentine's Day. From now through February 14th Seduction Meals, the "go-to site for Romantic Meals for Two", brings an array of dazzling dishes from appetizers to main courses, desserts and luscious cocktails, to help you plan for your special romantic rendezvous.
In addition to our featured recipes, we have assembled special guests who have shared their favorite Valentines' Day Menus to inspire your creativity, and, as we do every year, we have put together our top choices of artisinal chocolate gifts for your loved ones, and gift suggestions for him and her.
We launch this year's Valentine Extraganza with a look to famous lover, past and present, people who lived and died for love, desire and fiery passion. From Perseus & Andromeda to the Duke & Duchess of Windsor., Liz Taylor & Richard Burton, Romeo & Juliet, King Edward VIII & Wallis Simpson, Sid & Nancy, Paul & Linda, Clark Gable & Carol Lombard. Who are your favorite lovers? Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal Emperor of India from 1628 to
1658, Shah Jahan commissioned one of history's most spectacular
buildings, the Taj Mahal, in honor of his much beloved wife, Mumtaz
Mahal. Mumtaz died in 1631, after giving birth to their 14th child. (Yes that was 14!!!) Six
months after her death, the deeply grieving emperor ordered
construction to begin. The Taj Mahal, listed as one of the Wonders of the World, is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. .
Catherine the Great & Potemkin One of history's greatest love stories, Catherine the Great and Potemkin is a sweeping epic of sex, love, power, conquest and extravagance on a magnificent Russian scale. Not only was their romance wildly passionate but they were also probably the most successful political partnership of all, outstripping Antony and Cleopatra or Napoleon and Josephine.
Antony & Cleopatra One of the most famous women in history, Cleopatra VII was the brilliant and beautiful last Pharaoh of Egypt. Although she is often portrayed as a femme fatale, Cleopatra was deeply religious and studied to be a nun. An accomplished mathematician and gifted linguist fluent in nine languages, Cleopatra was also skilled politician popular with her people. As was the custom of the time, she married her younger brother, Ptolemy. She became the mistress of the Roman general Julius Caesar. Following Caesar's death, Roman general Marc Antony went to Egypt to advance the growing power of Rome. Cleopatra captivated Antony. Their affair scandalized Roman society and bothered Roman politicians, who were suspicious of Egypt's power.
Yet despite the risks, Antony and Cleopatra married in 36 B.C. The couple planned to conquer Rome. But in 31 B.C. the Roman general Octavian destroyed the combined forces of Antony and Cleopatra in the battle of Actium. Hearing a false report that Cleopatra was dead, Antony fell on his sword. With no hope left, Cleopatra induced a poisonous asp to bite her. Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton "Her breasts would topple empires before they withered...she was the most sullen, uncommunicative and beautiful woman I had ever seen," said Richard Burton in 1953 of his first look at Elizabeth Taylor. Nine years later, while married to others, he and she began a relationship that enraged the Vatican and caused the gainful employment of hundreds of paparazzi. On the set of "Cleopatra," what Liz and Dick called le scandale just went on and on. The public saw them in bathing dishabille, in drunken brawls and other feats of extreme behavior. There were furs, dogs, yachts, incredible cars, houses, and gigantic jewelry. When Burton died in 1984, his last wife barred Elizabeth from attending the funeral. Today she describes Burton as "one of the two great loves of my life", the other being Mike Todd, who died in a plane crash.
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas It was love at first sight when Gertrude Stein, 33, met Alice Babette Toklas, 29, in Paris in 1907. Like many great lovers, they met by accident. Stein's parents had gone to Oakland, California, to check on property damaged during the 1906 Bay Area earthquake, where they met Toklas and enthralled her with their stories of Paris. Toklas moved there two years later, met up with Gertrude, and the two women soon began living together. Besides being a well-known avant-garde writer, Stein was a brilliant eccentric with a heavy, unladylike presence. Alice B. Toklas, who worked as Stein's secretary and cook, was a chain smoker with a slight mustache, given to exotic dress. The pair became inseparable, with Gertrude calling Alice "Pussy" and Alice referring to Gertrude as "Lovey." Their apartment at now-famous 27 Rue de Fleurus became the foremost meeting place for artists and writers like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Bonnie & Clyde Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were the most famous gangster couple in history, made more so by the wildly popular 1967 Oscar-winning film Bonnie and Clyde starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.. However the real couple was even more interesting than they were portrayed on film. From 1932 to 1934, during the height of the Great Depression, their gang evolved from petty thieves to nationally known bank robbers and murderers. Though a burgeoning yellow press romanticized their exploits, the gang was believed responsible for at least 13 murders, including 2 policemen, as well as several robberies and kidnappings. The spree ended when they were betrayed by a friend and shot dead at a police roadblock in Louisiana on May 23, 1934. Marie Barrow, Clyde's sister, stated, "They never worried about anything else but each other."
King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson Edward, then Prince of Wales, met Wallis Simpson in 1931, when she was married to her second husband; they soon began a relationship that would rock Britain's most prominent institutions - Parliament, the monarchy and the Church of England - to their cores. Edward called Wallis, whom others criticized as a financially unstable social climber, "the perfect woman." Just months after being crowned king in January 1936, Edward proposed to Wallis, precipitating a huge scandal. Unwilling to give her up, Edward decided to abdicate the throne. In a public radio address, he told the world of his love for Simpson, saying that "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love." Married and given the titles of Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the couple lived in exile in France, where they became fixtures of cafe society
Beethoven and his Immortal Beloved
legendary composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, is often remembered as a
gruff man who wasn't particularly easy to get along with. Nevertheless,
he had his share of love interests in his time, although, he never
married. Because of his commonly gruff demeanor, his friends and family
were surprised when they found three love letters (often mistakenly
referred to as one) among his possessions, after he died.
love letters, which came to be known as the 'Immortal Beloved' letters
were written many years before the composer's death and they were
written by the composer himself. They were written to a woman whom
Beethoven referred to as his 'Immortal Beloved' and 'My life, my all,
my very self.' No one was ever able to discover who this woman was who
Beethoven had loved so much that he kept those letters for so many
years. Not only is this an obvious example of unfulfilled love, but it
is also one of the most romantic mysteries of all time. No one could
make up a love story/mystery as intriguing as this.
Sometimes the simplest recipe with minimal ingredients is all it takes, especially when a dish imparts its true flavor such as the essence of the sea. The uniqueness of this recipe lies in the food itself: Dayboat Scallops with the roe still attached. This is not something you typically find in the seafood section of your grocer, or even a seafood market.
They come and go so quickly. If you do find them definitely treat yourself to this sublime delicacy. To spot this special treat, look for scallops that have a bright orange roe
attached. To ensure the fullest flavor, our dish was simply cooked in butter with a bit of olive oil in a hot skilled, seared for a 1-2 minutes on each side. We finished this with a dash of finishing salt (Victoria Taylor's Australian Flake sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper and finely chopped chives--and two glasses of champagne.
You can find scallops with its roe attached online at MarxFoods.com, although you will have to purchase a two pound order - good for serving 4-6 people. The team at Marx Foods offers this: Scallop roe cooks at roughly the same rate as the rest of the
scallop, allowing you to use these in most scallop recipes. Try
lightly sautéing or searing in butter with salt, pepper, and any other
desired flavors. Scallops are generally served rare because they can
become quite rubbery if overcooked. In general, scallops are great in combination with garlic, citrus fruit, bacon, truffles, and wild mushrooms.
Much to my surprise, I just realized that I never posted my experience at the annual James Beard Soft Shell Crab Event hosted by chef Joe Isidori, of Harbor Restaurant. As is the case every year, the event sold out and was attended by a diverse group of culinary enthusiasts of all ages. A few items on the menu were replaced with selections that did not include soft shell crabs, a bit disappointing to say the least, other than that one let down the food and wine pairings were very good. The original menu is shared below.
It is always a pleasure dinning at the James Beard House. You should
consider this as an option for your next date out on the town. You will
definitely be seduced by extraordinary food, drinks and company. Here is a link to upcoming events.
James Beard Invitation: Every summer, East Coast food lovers wait for that fleeting moment when local crabs shed their hard shells and can be eaten as delicious soft shell crabs. Join Joe Isidori of NYC's Harbour restaurant to celebrate this limited-engagement crustacean with a menu designed to keep guests happily sated until next season.
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
Pea Soup with Blue Softshell Crabs
Sweet and Spicy Softshell Crabs
Crispy Softshell Crab Balls with Lime Kewpie
Softshell Crab and Shrimp Spring Rolls with Lop Chum
East Hampton Cocktail: Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, Gus Grapefruit Soda, and Thai Basil
Brick-Roasted Softshell Crab with Garden Vegetables and Buttermilk Dressing paired with a glass of Paumanok Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Cornmeal-Dusted Softshell Crab with Summer Corn, paired with a glass of Paumanok Chenin Blanc 2007
Pan-Braised Softshell Crab with Tomatoes and Parsley Purée, paired with Mattebella Famiglia NV
Softshell Crab Tempura with Avocado and Cantonese Black Beans paired with Paumanok Vin Rosé 2008
"Nutella, chocolate hazelnut spread, is all the rage in Italy; "Nutellaphiles" eat it by the spoonful right out of the jar", says .Mary Ann Esposito, TV celebrity and author of the book: Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites: Quick and Delicious Recipes from an Italian Kitchen. "And that may be as good tasting as it gets unless you decide to make these puff pastry tartlets. Nutella, mixed with mascarpone cheese and spread on top of banana slices in ready-made puff pastry is one of the easiest desserts I know."
Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Banana Tartlets Recipe courtesy of Mary Ann Esposito, Serves 4
1 sheet prepared puff pastry
1 cup Nutella
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1 banana, sliced
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Roll out the sheet of puff pastry onto a clean work surface and into a 12 X 14-inch rectangle; cut out four 6-inch circles from the rolled dough. Press and line each of the circles into four individual 3-inch tartlet pans with removable bottoms.
Place the tartlet pans on a baking sheet and poke each shell with a fork all over the surface to prevent puffing while baking. Bake the tartlet shells for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are nicely browned.
Remove the tartlet pans from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
In a medium bowl use a hand mixer to whip the Nutella and mascarpone together with the sugar until well blended.
Place a layer of banana slices in the bottom of each cooled tartlet shell, then spoon the Nutella mixture into the shells. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
I discovered this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine and saved it in my file of "must-try dishes", which is bursting with an array of exciting recipes I look forward to experimenting with. If only I had the time to try each and every one. I must say I really enjoyed this dish. The original recipe called for 8 drumsticks and 8 thighs. I substituted this for 2 large chicken breasts and 4 thighs. The recipe was easy to make and full of delicious flavors. Pure winter comfort food for a simple romantic meal for two.