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...
Lassi (pronounced luh-see), is a popular and traditional Punjabi yogurt-based drink of India and Pakistan. It is made by blending yogurt with water or milk and Indian spices. Traditional lassi is sometimes flavored with ground roasted cumin. Sweet lassi, blended with sugar or fruits instead of spices, is also very popular.
1 pint of fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
3 cups of cold water
1 cup low fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons of raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon of rose water
a pinch of ground cardamon
garnish with fresh ground pepper
Place strawberries and water in a blender and mix until smooth
Sauteed spinach with toasted pine nuts, golden raisins and crumbled bacon is a simple, side dish that pairs well with grilled lamb chops, a juicy steak or chicken. I also use this recipe for a bruschetta appetizer: Take fresh sliced French bread, toasted and rubbed with fresh garlic (after it is toasted) and top with this spinach recipe and crumbled bacon.
Spinach with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Bacon Serves 4
1/4 cup of pine nuts
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 small onion
2lbs or 1 bag of baby spinach
1/4 cup of golden raisins
4 strips of bacon, cooked
Fry the bacon and set aside
In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over medium heat with nothing in the pan for 3 minutes, until golden, stirring constantly. Place toasted nuts in bowl.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 4-5 minutes
Add the spinach, cook until wilted about 5 minutes, gently stirring often with a wooden spoon.
Add the pine nuts and raisins and carefully toss in with the spinach
I just read Chef John's post about "Bringing Sexy Back" and had to share it. Not only do I LOVE figs, this is one of my favorite bruschetta recipes: Burrata Brushcetta with Grilled Figs - sexy & divine!
Photo: Chef John
Here is the post by Chef John of Food Wishes: And while you are at it, be sure to visit his site, a video recipe blog for people who love food and fun.
balsamic vinaigrette (1 part vinegar to 1 part extra virgin olive oil - shaken vigorously)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
If you watch as much
food television as I do, you hear the adjective "sexy" thrown around
quite a bit, and more often than not, it just doesn't fit. No matter how
nice a bowl of chili looks, or how beautifully a game hen glistens,
they're not really "sexy."
This burrata bruschetta with grilled figs on the other hand? Totally "sexy!" If there were such a thing as word association flash cards of food, the most common result for this one would be "sexy." Okay, I'm going to stop using those quotation marks now. Above
and beyond how awesome this recipe tastes, it's so nice to be able to
post such an aesthetically pleasing dish after the recent string of
homely food. I appreciate all the nice comments about the sausage and zucchini stew, but if that thing was a blind date, it would have been described as, "having a nice personality."
Depending on the
location, I can't guarantee you'll be able to find burrata and fresh
black mission figs, but if you can, you really need to give this a try. I
know someone will ask, so I'll tell you right now, there really isn't a
great substitute for this heavenly cheese.
A very fresh
mozzarella would be the closest, but it would still be like substituting
for Beyonce with Wanda Sykes. That's no insult to Wanda Sykes (she has a great personality), but in the sexy department, Mrs. Jay-Z is in a whole other league, and so is this burrata and grilled fig bruschetta. Enjoy!
This recipe was made for me by a friend who is a sensational cook. She made a 3 course meal and this salad was outstanding. With so few ingredients, it perfectly balanced the rest of our dinner. I thought I had fresh thyme on hand, but to my surprise, I didn't, so we used fresh chives instead. While this was very good, I am told the thyme is preferred. Be sure to use the best olive oil you can get and all fresh ingredients.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Thyme Serves 4
4 medium sized heirloom tomatoes (preferably a mix of colors)
1 small log of goat cheese
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
fresh thyme, flowers only (stems removed) - or in this case, I used Chives
Wash tomatoes and pat dry. Cut into 1" pieces
Place tomatoes on individual plates
Drizzle with Olive Oil followed by squeezed lemon juice
Portion goat cheese on each plate, arranging over the tomatoes
One of the BEST happy hours in New York City, in my humble opinion,
takes place on Grove Street and seventh avenue at a small restaurant called Mercadito,
between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00. The mixologist at this place is a
rock star! I tried to get the recipe but without success, however I do have the ingredients. I will try my hand at recreating this in another post. Take a look at this incredibly sexy Cucumber Margarita. I opted for no salt but hear the cumin salt on the rim is quite good.
Cucumber Margarita or Pepino el Pyu
Tequila blanco, cucumber, lemon, hoja santa, cumin salt
Mercadito prides itself on making each drink to order. No pitchers and no mixes. The Red Sangria is just amazing and the Cucumber
margaritas is like no other. I am hooked! And while I go on about how
great the drinks are, the food is quite good too. Here is a photo of their Ceviche Trio Platter and both drinks.
Callo Bay scallops, watermelon, pico de gallo, serrano
Camarón Shrimp, pico de gallo, tangerine, roasted jalapeño, citrus-guajillo broth
Dorado Mahi mahi, avocado, tomato, orange-chile de árbol broth
Roja Sangria red wine, jimador blanco, guava, cinnamon
Blanca Sangria white wine, brandy, pineapple, elderflower
you have been here yet, try do visit Mercadito in the summer when they
have the extra outdoor space. The place is so small in the winter you
might not get in!
Consider yourself a foodie? Then confiture de groseilles is something you should know about. This fine French delicacy hails from the villiage of Bar-le-duc where time seems to be of of no consequence. Configure de groseilles, or current preserves, is produced by a group of women dedicated to removing each and every seed, there are about eight per current, from each pea-sized currant with a goose quill and making jam from the intact, seeded fruit. Intrigued? Sometimes referred to as "French caviar" (the fruit looks very similar to salmon fish eggs), this fine delicacy comes at a price.
Besides enjoying confiture de groseilles on French bread with sweet cream butter you can also create a tantilizing dessert called Duchesse-le-Duc. Place a mound of vanilla ice cream in the center of a bowl and ladle the red preserves over the ice cream, serve with creme Chantilly and sugar violets.
You can find Bar-le-Duc currant preserves at gourmet food shops such as Dean & Deluca, Fraser Morris, and Maison Glass. A three-ounce jar costs $8.70 at Dean & Deluca.
Love Chocolate? Consider a Chocolate Tour for your next date. Carmen Botez's passion shines through as you experience custom tours that stir your senses, combining a drop of fantasy, a dash of stylish adventure and a spoon-full of great taste.
The Union Square Chocolate, & Wine Tour is an enticing walking tour that will take you and your date on a fascinating journey into the cultural and chocolate history of the Union Square area. Of course you will be joined by others, but when it comes to chocolate--does it really matter? And, when you pair the best chocolate and pastry with a fine selection of wines; everyone else will seem to disappear as you close your eyes and savor each and every chocolate morsel. On this 3-hour guided tour you will:
Get exclusive behind the scenes access to the kitchen of one of the most popular New York-based artisanal chocolatiers.
Enter a Flatiron District bakery that is an institution in its own right, and has all the locals lined up and ready to buy their buttery croissants and crunchy breads first thing in the morning.
See a factory where they produce chocolate that is organic, natural, gluten-free and low in sugar - the best possible chocolate for your health that also tastes divine.
Enjoy some of the finest chocolates in the world at an upscale French chocolatier's only American retail outlet. Their goods are used by many confectioners to create luxury bonbons.
Sample some of the most delicious French-style cakes and pastries at a Union Square bakery that serves and uses specially-chosen Venezuelan cocoa for its products.
Learn how to match the best wine with the most glorious chocolates and desserts right in the heart of Manhattan's Union Square. Take this unforgettable journey through New York's past and its cultural legacy, and you will get the scoop on the chocolate industry right where it happens.
About Zoom Media Productions Zoom Media Productions offers the ultimate chocolate tours of New York City for chocolate
lovers. Get closer to New York's most cherished chocolate boutiques with your VIP behind the scene pass to this very special world of chocolate artisans. In addition to the fabulous chocolate tours, Zoom Media publishes the Chocolate
Zoom Magazine, bringing you the latest news and trends in the cacao
David Chang is a name known throughout the foodie world. And if you've ever dined at any one of his restaurants you'd know why. Get ready for pure culinary seduction: Foie grass with riesling jelly lychee and pinenuts, the best, and I mean BEST steamed pork buns you will ever try, and of course the infamous Bo Ssam (see recipe below), a succulent pork dish made with pork shoulder from Niman Ranch that is slow roasted for 6-8 hours with a brown sugar and kosher salt rub. If you love pork, this is something you must try!
Bo Ssam is served at the Momofuku Bar, which is on Second Avenue in NYC. This dish is served family style and easily fed our entire table of 8, with some go-bags for a lucky few. Moans of cuilnary pleasure (which course is a sure sign of a Seduction Meal) will be heard from your table, as you lovingly lick your fingers and dig in for more!
As is the case with any popular restaurant in New York, I hope your experience is a good one given the number of people that jam into Momofuku Bar hoping to experience it at its best.
What is Bo Ssam?
Bo ssäm (which is korean for enclosed or wrapped) includes a whole slow cooked pork shoulder, a dozen oysters, white rice, bibb lettuce, ssäm jiang (korean bbq sauce), kimchi and ginger scallion sauce. The dish is essentially pork and condiments wrapped in lettuce.
Served family style, Bo Ssam is prepared for large groups with a flat cost of $200 for your entire party. The cost does not include other food and drinks ordered or tax and tip.
Do I need a reservation? How far in advance does one have to reserve?
Yes! You need a reservation as each pork butt is cooked with your name on it. Their web site recommends up to 4 weeks in advance and at least 24 hours notice for Monday to Thursday reservations. Friday, Saturday and Sunday reservations close at 11:30pm on Thursday evenings. There is a fee for cancellations so book wisely. David Chang's Bo Saam Recipe Serves 8 - 10
While most of us will not spend this amount of time and dedication on a recipe, it is good to know you can be served this wonderful dish at Momofuku Bar. For those that love creating sensational dishes--here is the recipe and a link to David's cookbook below. Ingredients:
10 pounds bone-in Boston pork butt
2 1/3 cups white sugar
2 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons salt
4 each red and green chiles
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 cups uncooked Korean rice
2 heads Boston lettuce
Sagyegeol ssam jang (Korean soybean paste)
1 pound cabbage or daikon kimchee
The night before:
Place 2 cups each sugar and salt in a bowl or saucepan large enough to hold the butt, add 6 cups water and stir until dissolved. Place the pork butt in the brine solution. Make sure it's submerged (weight it if necessary), and refrigerate overnight.
Clean the chile peppers (leave the seeds in for a hotter flavor) and slice them 1/2-inch thick, on the bias. Mix 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup salt with 1 cup water until dissolved, pour over the chiles, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the pork in a large 6-in deep pot or casserole, and cook uncovered in the oven for 6 1/2 - 7 1/2 hours, basting the pork with the pan drippings every hour.
When the meat is fork-tender and pulls away from the bone, sprinkle the exterior with a mixture of 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon salt. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees, and continue roasting until the outside is well caramelized. Remove from oven.
Rinse the rice well to remove any sediment. Add 7 cups cold water, 1 tablespoon salt, and 4 cups rice. Cook for 20 minutes or until water evaporates..
Clean and wash the lettuce, select the best leaves and set aside.
Assembly and Servings:
Place the pork on a large platter surrounded with the pickled chiles.Arrange the Korean rice, saam jang, salted shrimp, kimchee, and lettuce in separate bowls.
Allow guests to assembe their saam by wrapping each component in a lettuce leaf.
David Chang Restaurants in New York: Momofuku Ssam Bar - 207 2nd avenue NYC 10003 | corner of 13th + second Avenue Momofuku Noodle Bar - 171 first avenue NYC10003 | between 10th + 11th Street KO - 163 first avenue NYC 10003 | between 10th + 11th Street Ma Peche - 15 west 56th street. NYC 10019 | between 5th + 6th Avenue
An enticing seduction meal for seafood lovers: Honey Ginger Soy Salmon topped with Mayan Shrimp. This dish is made by placing a grilled Jumbo head-on shrimp from the Pacific Coast of Guatemala on top of a broiled slice of King salmon that has been marinated in honey, ginger, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, garlic and fresh cracked pepper. so simple....so delicious.
Mayan Shrimp Brush with a simple dressing made of of olive oil, a large clove of crushed garlic, a teaspoon of minced fresh parsely, and seasoned with sea salt and pepper to taste. You can also marinate the shrimp for an hour in the dressing before cooking. Grill or Broil on very high heat for 2 - 3 minutes per side until the shell is charred. Honey Ginger Soy Salmon Marinade salmon for 1 - 2 hours: 1/4 cup of honey, 3 tablespoons of Tamari Soy Sauce, 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1/2 inch of fresh ginger, grated, sea salt and pepper to taste. Place salmon skin side down in marinade. Turn over halfway through the time you marinate. Broil or Bake at 450 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes. NOTE: I placed the Mayan Shrimp in the broiler at the very end so they cooked together.
Plating the Dish Place the salmon on a plate and top with a Mayan Shrimp. You can use a toothpick on one side to hold into place. Serve with your favorite side dish, here I have grilled asparagus sprinkled with sea salt and fresh squeeze lemon juice. Bon appetit!
Another enticing creation from Italy (I love Italian Gelato!), granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings...and, they are super easy to make. Originally from Sicily it is somewhat similar to sorbet and italian ice.
There are different ways of making Granitas: The first method creates a more coarse consistency made by scraping or shaving the frozen ice to produce separated crystals. This is simply done by mixing all ingredients in a blender and placing the flavored mixture in a container in the freezer. When it is frozen you then scrape or shave the ice. This can also be made in a gelato machine for a smoother consistency.
Icy cool Granitas are a great way to get through the sweltering
days of summer. You can also serve Granitas as a
refreshing finale to a spicy meal. Here is my first try at making a Granita:
Watermelon Granita Serves 4
4 cups (about 1/2) watermelon
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of raw or refined sugar
1 tablespoon of rose water
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
Juice of one lime
Garnish with a slice of Lime
Cut watermelon into cubes, removing all seeds
In a small saucepan, add water, sugar, rose water, and red chili, heating until sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute
Remove from heat and let cool down (about 5 minutes)
Place the watermelon in a blender and mix until smooth.
When the sugar water has cooled, add to the watermelon in the blender along with the lime juice, blending all ingredients together.
Transfer the watermelon mixture to a shallow pan and cover with a plastic wrap. Place in the freezer
Let the granita freeze for 4-5 hours when the mixture is completely frozen. Every hour or so, stir or scrape the mixture breaking up the ice crystals.
A half hour before serving place your serving glasses or bowls in the freezer to chill
Remove frozen watermelon from freezer along with serving vessels from the freezer.
Scrape or shave the mixture loosening the crystals of ice.
Spoon mixture into pre-chilled glasses. If you experience difficulty scraping or shaving you can place the frozen watermelon in a food processor and pulse briefly to loosen up.
Garnish with a slice of Lime. You can also squeeze fresh lime juice over the granita as well.
I just read this interesting post on the Wine Enthusiast Magazine by Kim Mack: Ten Wine & Music Collaborations and thought I'd share it
It's an unwritten rule that a successful party requires alcohol and a great soundtrack. But who knew that so many musicians (specifically those in the rock n'roll category) have a hand in wine production? Here are ten wine and rock pairings that may surprise you:
1. Wines That Rock, the brain child of rock business managers RZO and Mendocino Wine Company, has three wines in release that were inspired by iconic classic rock recordings: Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon, The Rolling Stones' Forty Licks Merlot, and Woodstock Chardonnay. According to winemaker Mark Beaman, "With Wines That Rock our focus is to combine these two sensory based experiences into a meaningful sum that is greater than its parts. Think of it as a sort of audio aromatherapy."
2. Dave Matthews' Blenheim Vineyards, established in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2000, features European varietal wines
3. Mick Fleetwood, drummer and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, produces award winning Private Cellar wine, a collaboration with various wineries including Casa Cassara and Firestone.
4. Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle channels his considerable passion into his role as owner and winemaker at Merkin Vineyards and Caduceus Winery in Jerome, Arizona, where he produces the award winning 2005 Nagual Del Sensei.
5. The Rock'n Roll Wine organization produces monthly wine tastings paired with live rock music in cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Guests sip and swirl while enjoying bands like Dashboard Confessional and Everclear.
6. Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain is co-vintner and consultant at delaCain winery in California's Sonoma County, where their first release was the 2007 Chanconne Pinot Noir.
7. Metal rocker Geoff Tate of Queensryche is an apprentice winemaker at Three Rivers Winery in Walla, Walla, Washington. His energetic Insania red and white blends capture the essence of rock and roll.
8. Il Palagio, Sting's 16th century villa and vineyard in the Tuscan Hills in the Chianti region of Italy has a Super Tuscan in the works.
9. Mick Hucknall of Simply Red's aptly named winery, Il Cantante ("The Singer"), is located on the slopes of Sicily's Mt. Etna and features three wines, including the standout Etna Rosso.
10. Landmark Grill and Lounge in Chicago, Illinois offers free wine tastings with a rock and roll theme. Most recently, wine lovers tasted to the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley.