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...
Ah, the sweet smell of cinnamon in the morning! Depending on how many people you need to feed, this recipe can be scaled up or down fit any size casserole pan. Serve with maple syrup, your favorite coffee or tea, and a side of sausage. Who doesn't love the mix of sausage and maple syrup!
Cinnamon French Toast Bake Serves 6-8
1 1/2 loaves of fresh raisin bread, sour dough bread or challah
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/3 cup of walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 pint half & half
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
(option) 1/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Coat a 9 x 12" baking dish, bottom and all sides
Tear bread into 2 inch pieces, and toss into the greased baking dish
Whisk eggs, add a dash of salt, vanilla, nuts, cinnamon, raisins, half & half, and nutmeg
Melt butter, pour over bread
Sprinkle brown sugar over the top just before baking
I was visiting my family in Dallas and was steered in the direction to check out their local gourmet food market, EatZI's - an amazing spot for foodies. That is where I discovered these ready-made tamales which they were giving out as samples. DELISH! I LOVE tamales and decided right then and there, I had to make these for breakfast. I bought the Pork tamales. All you have to do is boil the tamales and serve with a poached egg (or two), sliced avocado and your favorite salsa--I prefer hot salsa but that is up to you. Another quick and easy recipe sure to please!
Pork Tamales with Poached Eggs and Avocado
I wish I wrote down the name of this brand before devouring this dish. You see, I had an amazing clean-up crew behind me and before I knew it the place was immaculate, even the garbage was taken out--gotta love that!
We're not quite over that Valentine's Day buzz, and we're betting you aren't, either. So why not join us in a Seduction Meals tradition: February 15th breakfast in bed?
It's up to you whether the first one awake does the preparation, or one of you makes the coffee while the other cooks the food. Any way you do it, it's pure luxury to slip back under the sheets, cozy up to your sweetheart and welcome the morning together over a tasty treat.
First, make your favorite coffee...
Then, whip up an energizing morning meal. For instant gratification you can always pick up some pastries from your favorite bakery ahead of time and simply pop them in the oven to warm up; but for those of you who don't mind a little kitchen time before you're properly caffeinated, here's a few ideas from the Seduction Meals archives.
Before this cherished month of romance comes to an end, first, we hope you enjoyed one of the most romantic days of the year with your loved one; but I always wonder...why just one day? Why not extend this romantic tradition longer?
Why not keep the flames of passion alive after Valentine's Day by spending the day with your loved one, perhaps lingering in bed all day long. I bet you will agree, one of the most romantic things you can do is to serve, or be served, breakfast in bed. You could go all out and prepare an enticing gourmet feast or you can keep it simple with home-baked muffins and coffee--trust me, either approach will be appreciated. Just the act of sharing breakfast in bed is so romantic and comfy. And, you can stay in bed for hours doing all sorts of things together: tackle the Sunday NY Times crossword puzzle, share your deepest secrets and fantasies, read poetry to each other, catch up on this year's Oscar nominated movies, listen to your favorite sexy music and of course... get ready for an afternoon of continued delight. Enjoy the day and revel in each other's company--isn't this what love and happiness is all about?
Having your Cake and Eating it Too! While taking a day off from work might make you feel a bit guilty, shake that silly thought away as you enjoy an enticing breakfast together in bed. If you're thinking it's not healthy to indulge in any sweets, think again. The chefs at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) have teamed up with researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) to dispel the low-fat-is-healthy myth and give you five delicious muffin-makeover recipes to serve to those you love. Below is their reconstructed Blueberry muffin.
But wait....what's this?
HSPH research showed that low-fat diets are no better for health than moderate or high-fat diets--and for many people, may be worse. To support these findings, nutrition experts as HSPH and chefs at the CIA developed five new muffin recipes that incorporate healthy fats and whole grains, and use a lighter hand on the salt and sugar. Their goal? To "make over" the ever-present low-fat muffin, touted as a "better-for-you" choice when in fact it often has reduced amounts of heart-healthy fats, such as liquid plant oils, but boasts plenty of harmful carbohydrates in the form of white flour and sugar.
Take a regular blueberry muffin from a national coffee shop, for example. It has 450 calories on average and most of those calories come from carbohydrates from white flour and sugar. However, now that national chains have eliminated trans fats, a regular muffin does have heart-healthy fat, usually from soybean or canola oil. A low-fat muffin still has about the same amount of calories, but contains more carbohydrates and sugar and about 60% more sodium than a regular muffin. The new made-over Blueberry Muffin recipe below is less than half the size of a coffee shop muffin and contains just 130 calories. It is made with a mixture of whole wheat and white and almond flour, and uses canola oil, a healthy fat.
"There are so many ingredients available to home bakers who want to offer their families healthful, flavorful baked goods," says CIA Chef Richard Coppedge, Jr. "The five recipes not only include a wide variety of whole grain and nut flours; they also demonstrate how more unusual ingredients like canned chickpeas and extra virgin olive oil can be used in baking." Show the ones you love how much you care. Bake up a batch of delicious "made-over" muffins, sure to become favorites, and let them indulge in a more healthful way.
Makes 18 muffins
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 eggs, large
1 1/4 cups low-fat (1%) buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Place the rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Add the fresh blueberries and toss gently to coat the blueberries in flour. This will help keep the blueberries suspended in the batter instead of falling to the bottom.
In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the buttermilk, brown sugar, canola oil, orange juice, and vanilla. Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled or lumpy.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until most of the flour is incorporated. The mixture can be slightly lumpy; don't over-mix. Divide the batter among the 18 prepared muffin cups.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown around the edges.
Nutrition analysis per 6-ounce ounce: 270 calories, 12g protein, 5g carbohydrate, 21g fat, 1,050mg sodium, 50mg cholesterol, 2g fiber. See also the recipes for Cranberry Orange Muffins, Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Muffins, Lemon Chickpea Breakfast Muffins, and Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins.
What is your favorite way to spend a sexy weekend with your loved one? I would think breakfast in bed is a good start and this incredibly tempting version of French Toast is a great start for impressing your sweetheart.
Honey Vanilla Crème Stuffed French Toast
2/3 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/3 cup orange marmalade or apricot preserves
12 slices (about 3/4-inch-thick) firm, day-old French bread
This recipe was sent to us by Virgina in NYC. Here we have one of her favorite breakfast dishes which was inspired by leftover potatoes from the night before. A Spanish omelet or tortilla. In Spain you will find this dish served in tapas cafes. It is served hot or cold and enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Spanish Tortilla Serves 4-6 depending on serving sizes
4 sliced potatoes, 1/4" rounds (in this case the potatoes were cooked leftovers)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Whisk the eggs with milk
Grease an 8" baking dish and add a single layer of potatoes.
Next add a layer of the vegetables
Add another layer of potatoes and continue layering until potatoes and vegetables are all used
Pour the egg/milk mixture over layers
Sprinkle with paprika
Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes until eggs are cooked through. Turn heat up to 500 and cook until moderately browned. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Potato pancakes or Latkes, are simply made of grated potatoes and onion with eggs and flour. It can be served on its own (a wonderful vegetarian dish) or with any meat such as grilled lamb or your favorite sausage; and can be served for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Photograph: Terry Dagrosa / SeductionMeals
6 large apples, peeled and cored
1/2 - 1 cup of sugar (or more if necessary)
1-2 fresh squeezed small lemons
1/2 - 1 cup water
Place apples in a large pot, add water, cover and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
Uncover pot when the water boils and stir mixture from time to time until the apples breakdown, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place apple sauce in a bowl, taste and add sugar and lemon* to taste.
Freeze or refrigerate
*Use lemons for a bit of tartness but not too much. If you are using apples that are tart, like granny smiths you might not need the lemons at all, although they do also prevent the apples from turning brown.
Photo: Terry Dagrosa / Seduction Meals
POTATO PANCAKES Serves 4
6-8 medium potatoes, Idaho or Russet are best
2 medium onions
1/8 cup of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Option: Garnish with snipped chives
Peel potatoes, cut into quarters
Peel onions, cut into quarters
Place potatoes and onions, in batches, into a food processor using the shredder blade. Alternately, you can also grate both by hand.
Place a cotton cloth (or dish rag) in a strainer, place the strainer in a large bowl, and pour the apple mixture into the cotton cloth. Bring the ends together and twist firmly squeezing all juice out of the potato/onion mixture; working quickly so potatoes do not brown.
Place mixture in a large bowl, add eggs, salt and pepper to taste and mix together
Add flour and mix together
Heat 1/8 layer of oil in a large, flat skillet, over medium heat. When the oil is hot
begin adding potato pancakes which are made by dropping two large heaping spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan - pressing down to flatten a bit.
Cook until golden brown on both sides, 7-10 minutes
Place pancakes on paper towels and place on a serving plate. You can keep them warm in the oven as you work, using an oven proof platter.
Spring has arrived and there is nothing more romantic than sharing breakfast outside on a clear day. Well, OK, perhaps breakfast in bed is more romantic but this is a very close second. Here we prepared soft boiled eggs, cracked open, with a luscious runny yolk, served served with buttered toast that is cut into long strips like the size of fingers ---called "soldiers" (a British expression). You want the eggs to be soft boiled and runny, so that when you dip in the toast soldiers, you can pull it out dripping with the delicious runny yolk. So simple. So good!
If you want a more robust breakfast you can serve this with roasted potatoes, creme fraiche and caviar. All you need to prefect this scene is a pot of coffee and cream, your favorite jam, and the NYTimes crossword puzzle. Bon appetit!
Some tips on how to make soft boiled eggs and how to serve:
Use large eggs and cook no more than 3.5 - 4 minutes after the water begins to boil, for a runny yoke
Remove the from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature (about a 1/2 hour - or you can run them under hot water for a few minutes)
Cold eggs straight from the refrigerator is the main reason eggs crack when boiling
Do not use a pot that is too large - find one that easily fits the 2 or 4 eggs you will boil, otherwise it will take too long to boil to perfection and the eggs can bang into each other or the sides, further causing potential for cracks.
Fill the water about 1 inch from the top of the egg. Add salt to the water.
A gas stove boils water faster than an electric stove
When the eggs are done, drain the hot water and run under very cold water for 30 seconds or more to stop the cooking process, and to be able to handle the egg.
Place the egg in the egg cup / server and with the backside of a tablespoon, crack the top of the egg and peel away the shell to open up the egg for dipping. Dig in!
This dish can be served as an appetizer, a side dish, or as a complement to eggs for an extravagant breakfast in bed. You can use black or red caviar based on whatever your budget allows. I use Salmon roe for its larger, firmer bead and juicy sweetness--and its favored cost. Salmon roe caviar cost about $20 a tin, much less expensive than Buluga, Servruga. I also like the mildly salty flavor of this caviar.
I usually buy caviar from Hanson's Caviar Company in the Hudson Valley. Their Keta Salmon Caviar is harvested from the Alaskan Chum Salmon. This roe is large with a golden-orange color, firm texture & clean burst of crisp salmon flavor.
Roasted Potatoes, Caviar and Creme Fraiche Serves four / cut in half for two
12 Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
1/8 cup of olive oil
pinch of salt
2 - 3 oz tin of Keta Salmon Caviar
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash potatoes and pat dry. Cut in half lengthwise, place halves in a bowl and hand mix in the olive oil and salt, and evenly coat the potatoes.
Place the potatoes on a cookie tray or roasting pan. If a potato has a rounded bottom and will not sit flat, cut a sliver off the bottom to allow an even flat base.
Cook potatoes for about 30 minutes until potatoes start to brown to a light golden color. Remove from oven and set aside to cool (about 7-10 minutes)
When potatoes are cool enough to handle, take a spoon and gently dig out an almond-size groove from the center. We do this so the creme fraiche will sit "in" the potato and not roll off.
Place 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of creme fraiche in the center of the potato (depending on the size of your potato and what it will hold)
Using an ivory spoon (or other non-metal spoon) top each potato with a generous scoop of caviar
Using a pair of sciossors gather a bunch of chives in one hand and snip over the potatoes to garnish
Serve with champagne or white wine for a celebratory feast. By the way, you can replace the baby yukon potatoes for thick-cut home-made potato chips for a sexy twist.
Today we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday morning with a simple breakfast in bed: piping hot coffee and cream, fresh hot biscuits with sweet butter and home-made marmalade, the Sunday Times and classical music on my new Denon N7 System. Life is good.. and this lemon marmalade is wonderful. A recipe created by Karen Morss of Lemon Ladies Orchard (someone who knows a thing or two about lemons!), I loved the variation as I typically indulge in orange marmalade. Thank you Karen for sharing this recipe and something I am happy to add to my list of favorite things for breakfast!
Photography by Terry Dagrosa /SeductionMeals.com
Meyer Lemon Marmalade Recipe Courtesy of Karen Morss of Lemon Ladies Orchard
4 cups sliced lemons: Approximately 2 lbs MEYER LEMONS (6 for slicing plus 2 more for juice)
4 cups WATER
4 cups SUGAR
Halve lemons crosswise and remove seeds.
Tie seeds in a cheesecloth bag.
Cut each half into four quarters and thinly slice (1/4").
Combine lemons with bag of seeds and water in a 5-quart non-reactive pot and let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature 24 hours.
Bring lemon mixture to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes.
Skim off foam and remove any seeds that remain floating about.
Stir in 4 Cups sugar and 1/2 Cup fresh juice and boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam.
Taste and add a little more sugar if necessary (1/4 cup at a time).
Cook until a teaspoon of mixture dropped on a cold plate gels, about 30 minutes.
I use a candy thermometer and cook until it reaches 220 degrees.
Put empty jars in 250 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Ladle hot marmalade into jars, filling to within 1/4" inch of top.
Wipe rims with dampened cloth and seal jars with lids.
Put filled jars in 250 degree oven for 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Yields approx. 6 half-pint jars or five 9oz jars Marmalade will store in a cool, dark place, up to 1 year. Recipe originally adapted from Lady Marmalade.
Here is a recipe when you want a healthy, light dinner or a special romantic Sunday brunch. Baby spinach, topped with roasted fingerling potatoes, strips of smoked salmon, cucumber, and a velvety poached egg. Serve with champagne or white wine. Enjoy!
Smoked Salmon, Baby Spinach, Roast Potatoes and a Poached Egg Serves Two Recipe and Photograph by Seduction Meals
3/4 lb of fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 Tsp of olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced in thin rounds
1 small bag of organic baby spinach
1 package of smoked salmon, trimmed slices in long strips 1" - 2" wide
Fresh squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes on a cookie sheet, mix with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle fresh rosemary and a dash of salt on top. Cook potatoes until golden brown - about 20 - 25 minutes
Place baby spinach and cucumbers in a large bowl, add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice with salt and pepper to taste, toss and set aside.
Poach the two eggs
Assembling the Dish
Place 1/2 of the spinach each bowl.
Place potatoes over the spinach
Place 3 or 4 salmon strips on top of the potatoes
Top with one poaches egg, cut to allow the yoke to flow
This year Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday allowing you to leisurely lounge around together all day long. What better way to start your day of romance than with a special breakfast for two in bed? Fill the room with slow, sexy music, pour two glasses of champagne Mimosas. Follow this with a breakfast tray with beautifully cut flowers and culinary delights. I have selected a luscious recipe
created by Zen Chef of ZenCanCook.com and an alluring sweet treat
you will love. I hope everyone enjoys a romantic, remarkable
Valentine's Day! Until next year...
Valentine's Day Menu Breakfast in Bed Champagne Mimosa Potato Latke with Smoked Salmon, Soft-Boiled Quail Egg & Watercress Cream Mini German Chocolate Cakes Cafe Au Laite
This recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers/blogs, Zen Can Cook. Not only is he an exceptional cook, he is also very funny and quite charming. Check out his blog for many seductive recipes and a good dash of fun Click on the title above to get the recipe.
Another, stunning, seductive recipe by chef David Burke that is beautifully presented-- as one might offer a special gift. Even the most jaded gourmand will raise a toast in your honor as you serve this extravagant meal for breakfast, brunch, or a special breakfast in bed. Try it this weekend and email us with the results--we'd love to hear from you. Organic Lobster Scramble with Caviar & Crème Fraiche in an Ostrich Shell Recipe by David Burke, a leading pioneer in American Cooking
4 organic eggs, beaten with two oz milk
2 oz lobster milk
½ oz shallots, minced
1 tbsp tomato fondue (see recipe below)
2 oz lobster bisque
1 tbsp sweet butter
1 quenelle sour cream (quenelle means oval or egg shaped)
1 oz caviar
Crack open ostrich egg shell and clean interior. Use this as a plate. In a sauté pan melt butter.
Sautee lobster until cooked tender.
Add tomato fondue, lobster bisque, eggs, salt, pepper and cook until soft.
Fill up egg shell and top with crème fraiche and caviar. Serve with toast on side.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
4 cups canned tomato purée
1 tightly packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and allow them to sweat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until translucent.
Add the tomato purée and one-half of the basil and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Immediately lower the heat and cook it, at a bare simmer, stirring frequently, for about 40 minutes, or until 90 percent of the moisture has evaporated.
Stir in the remaining basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool.
Store the mixture, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days, or freeze it, tightly covered and labeled, for up to 3 months.
Note: If you want to do this exactly as David Burke suggests, you can purchase an ostrich egg shell online at Ostrich.com for about $21 per. The more you buy the less they cost.
Waking up to the sweet aroma of freshly baked blueberry muffins or scones will put a smile on anyone's face. Sweet, juicy and colorful, right now is the best time to find large, ripe blueberries bursting with flavor. Look for fresh blueberries that are firm, dry, plump, and smooth-skinned. And, a added bonus: Eating blueberries, as part of a healthy diet, may
help ward off several key risk factors for cardiovascular disease and
diabetes, such as an accumulation of belly fat, high cholesterol, and
high blood sugar. So grab a handful of fresh blueberries and pop them in your mouth for a satisfying sweet treat.
Blueberry Mini Muffins Yields 24 muffins
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Lightly grease 24 (1-inch) mini-muffin pan cups.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour and sugar.
Make a well in the center; add milk, egg and butter.
Stir gently until mixture begins to form a soft dough; fold in berries; spoon into mini-muffin cups, dividing evenly.
Bake until tops are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Per muffin: 83 calories, 13 g carbohydrate, 2.6 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat
Recipe courtesy of The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Wake up this weekend with the tempting aroma of fresh baked strawberry scones--the perfect companion to a hot pot of coffee and the Sunday paper... in bed of course. Serve slightly warm with your favorite jam, honey or clotted cream. Fresh Strawberry Scones Yield: 8 Servings Recipe courtesy of California Strawberry Commission
Mother's Day is just around the corner. Why not whip up a sexy souffle omelet with balsamic strawberries and serve your wife a celebratory breakfast in bed. To show how much you really appreciate everything she does for you and your children make this day extra special by setting up the breakfast tray with two glasses of champagne, two creamy chocolate truffles, and for that magical touch, add a love note and small vase of roses. Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. Soufflé Omelet with Balsamic Strawberries
1½ cups (about 8 ounces) fresh California strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, separated
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons butter
Confectioners' sugar, as needed
In bowl, combine strawberries, mint, vinegar and 1½ teaspoons of the granulated sugar; set aside.
In small bowl, whisk egg yolks with vanilla and remaining ½ teaspoon granulated sugar for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
In bowl of electric mixer, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. With rubber spatula, fold yolks into whites until no streaks remain.
In 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. (To make 2 individual omelets, use 6-inch nonstick skillet.)
When butter is sizzling, add egg mixture, spreading it into an even layer with spatula. Cover pan; reduce heat to low. Cook omelet 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown on bottom and barely set on top.
Spoon strawberries down center of omelet; with spatula, fold omelet in half over filling.
Slide omelet onto plate; dust with confectioners' sugar.
Recipe courtesy of California Strawberry Commission
Piping hot cranberry chocolate scones, a bowl of seasonal berries, a pot of fresh brewed coffee, and the weekend paper--what a great way to ease into the weekend. Scones can be served plain or with sweet butter, jam or clotted cream.
To set the right mood: While the scones are baking, pour two cups of coffee and turn up the volume as you embrace the sexy sounds of Getz/Gilberto with saxophonist Stan Getz, guitarist João Gilberto and composer Antonio Carlos Jobim on piano. This quintessential samba CD features the classic hits: "Girl from Ipanema" (sung by Astrud Gilberto, the guitarist's
wife), "Corcovado" ("Quiet
Night"), and the definitive version of
Citrus blini with gravalax and trout caviar, an exotic treat for your next Seduction Meal, be it breakfast in bed, a starter for your three course dinner, or a sexy midnight snack after a night out of the town.
Citrus Blini with Lemongrass / Kaffir Lime Gravlax and Trout Caviar Yield: about 3 dozen (2-inch) blinis Recipe Courtesy of California Caviar Company
This recipe requires: Gravlax Citrus blinis 2 oz trout caviar 4 oz crème fraiche
2 lb smoked salmon fillet, Alaskan wild caught
5 oz sea salt
5 oz sugar
1 oz fresh ground white pepper
2 lemongrass stalks sliced
12 kaffir lime leaves
Place salmon skin down on cheesecloth. Leave enough cheesecloth on all sides to completely cover finished product.
Mix sugar, salt and pepper and spread evenly on fish. Place lemon grass and lime leaves on fish.
Wrap salmon in cheesecloth and place in a perforated pan (place tray underneath pan to collect juices)
Place another pan on top of fish with 2 to 3 pounds of weight.
Cure under refrigeration for 36 hours.
Remove cheesecloth and scrape off the cure. Slice thinly on an angle.
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.
Surprise your lover with an unusual homemade treat--organic fruit Pop Tarts paired with a cup of steaming hot chocolate or coffee. We're all familiar with the store bought variety, but when has someone handed you their very own homemade version? You know its going to taste far superior to the box you find on the shelf at your grocer's, so start cooking! While pop tarts taste best served warm out of the oven, you can also bring them to your next outing. Unwrap this seductive pastry at an outdoor sports event, on a break while skiing, or while lounging in bed on a lazy Sunday morning.
Organic Pop Tarts Recipe courtesy of Foreign Cinema: Chefs Gayle Pirie and John Clark
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cold water for mixing
1 cup homemade preserves/jam from organic fruit such as apple, apricot, cherry, wild blueberry, cherry, mango or your favorite fruit flavor
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the flour in a bowl with the salt, sugar, and cut the butter into small pieces. Work the flour and butter together with your hands, until the mixture is well blended. Sprinkle the water over the mixture to smooth out the any small irregular clumps. Work the dough vigorously until it is relatively smooth. You may also use a food processor, if desired. Wrap in plastic and let the dough rest 30 minutes.
2. Roll out the tart dough on a cold lightly floured surface. The dough should be about 1/8" inch thick. Cut rolled out dough into 3" by 5" shapes, using a postcard as a visual gauge. (For smaller tarts, simply use a smaller measurement.) Cut 8 rectangles, and use a pastry scraper to place 4 bottoms onto cookie sheet lined with parchment.
3. If you have the time to make homemade jam - go for it! If not you can use a high quality store bought jam. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of jam onto the center of each pastry of the 4 bottoms. Place the 4 pastry tops onto the jam centers, aligning the corners. Press the edges with a fork, until each tart is closed, working around the entire rectangle. (These may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen.)
4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tarts are golden brown. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
Note: The filling varies on the time of year. Choose an organic store bought jam if you don't have time to make your own.
Serving caviar, oysters or lobster simply elevates a Seduction Meal to another level. However, you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy quality gourmet caviar. American caviar prices are more reasonable than those of importers, and
this, coupled with some very unique flavors, makes for an excellent
romantic meal for two--be it a simple appetizer or the main course. American
Keta Salmon Malossol caviar cost about $20 for for a 4-oz tin. It's roe
is large with a golden-orange color, firm texture and a clean burst of
crisp salmon flavor.
While caviar does not require adornment, it can be served with a variety
of garnishes such as toast points, unsalted crackers, or blinis
(small flat pancakes), chopped hard-boiled eggs, crème fraîche, sour
cream, minced onions, and tiny new white potatoes. For my Seduction Meal treat, I served caviar with toast points, crème fraîche, snipped chives and shots of Stolychinia Vodka. Enjoy; as this is truly an affordable, indulgent gastronomic experience.
What better way to celebrate the weekend then starting it with a special treat like breakfast in bed. And how enticing would a luscious Crab Frittata served with a French Kiss be? Why not try it this weekend?
These recipes are the creation of Gayle Pirie and John Clark, proprietors of French Cinema restaurant in San Francisco. Long standing tenures at Zuni Cafe and Chez Panisse earned them
critical approval for the purity, quality and consistency of their
The French Kiss Recipe courtesy of French Cinema: Chefs Gayle Pirie and John Clark
2 oz. Grey Goose vodka
0.5 oz cold Lillet
Preparation: 1. Pour 2 oz. of Grey Goose vodka in a mixing glass filled with ice. 2. In a chilled cocktail glass, pour a 1/2 oz. of cold Lillet 3. Strain vodka into cocktail glass and top with cold champagne 4. Rub the rim of the glass with an orange rind and garnish with the twist
Dungeness Crab Frittata
Serves 2 recipe by French Cinema: Chefs Gayle Pirie & John Clark
1 T butter or olive oil
¼ cup pre-roasted potatoes
¼ cup picked Dungeness crab
3 T fresh ricotta
salt to taste
3 whole eggs
1 T chopped chives
Preparation: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 2. Over medium heat melt the butter or olive oil in an oven-proof nonstick skillet. (The pan should measure about 9 or 10 inches in diameter.) 3. Saute the potatoes for 1 minute 4. Beat the eggs in a bowl, season lightly with salt, and add to the pan. 5. Turn the heat to low, stir in the crab meat, and ricotta. 6. Place in oven on middle rack and cook for 6-7 minutes or until the frittata has gently risen. 7. The frittata should be gently cooked throughout, but not dry. 8. Allow the frittata to rest for 1 minute, and then carefully slide it onto a warm plate. 9. Garnish with chopped chives.
French Cinema features a California / Mediterranean influenced menu and full oyster bar and has earned three stars from The San Francisco Chronicle and nine
consecutive "Top 100" rankings. Dinner is served nightly as well as weekend brunch both Saturday and
Sunday. Foreign and independent films are screened in our covered
This Seduction Meal was sent to us by Judi of Long Island NY.
A favorite Sunday brunch for many French Toast can be topped with berries of your choice, pecans, sliced bananas, walnuts--wherever your mood takes you. And always use real maple syrup. Add a dollop of creme fresh, some berries, and powdered sugar for a sweet treat.On a serving tray, present this dish with coffee, and/or champagne, and the Sunday paper--served in bed of course.
Judi's French Toast
4 large eggs 1/2 cup half and half 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon cinnamon 4 slices challah bread cut crosswise, 1 inch thick 2 tablespoons butter Sliced strawberries Real maple syrup
In a bowl whisk eggs until foamy. Add half and half, vanilla, and cinnamon. Dip the challah bread in the egg mixture coating on all sides, and set aside.
In a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat, melt1 tbsp of butter. Add the challah bread to the skillet--all four if they fit otherwise you can cook them two at a time. You can also use a griddle. Press down on the bread with a spatula, when the bottom turns a golden brown (2-3 minutes), carefully flip each slice and repeat on the other side.
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.
No doubt about it, there is something special about being served
breakfast in bed. As you lie there barely awake savoring
images of the night before, your lover is in the kitchen
creating the next interlude for seduction.
The aroma of brewing coffee
permeates the room--a cup is delivered your way with a kiss. Soft sounds of slow, enchanting music
ease you into the day. New aromas waft from the kitchen. In anticipation of something special to come,
twisted sheets are smoothed out, pillows are propped up, blinds slanted to let the daylight in.
Breakfast is served and it is indeed special. On a serving tray with flowers and champagne, sit a plate of Corn and chipotle pancakes with grilled lobster and roasted corn pico de gallo topped with crema for two. A glass of champagne is poured. Now that's a Seduction Meal!
While this recipe is enough to serve six, I assure you the flavors get better the next day so you will LOVE that fact that you can cook up more pancakes and have it again. For this breakfast-in-bed soiree, I highly suggest preparing everything the day before, allowing all flavors to settle in, and giving you more time to enjoy the late morning in bed before and after this memorable meal. The only thing you will have to do is make the pancakes and plate the dish.
And for those who like to dance into the wee hours, once all the elements of this dish are prepared, this can easily be served up as a truly seductive midnight snack after your night out on the town.
Basic Crema (needs to set overnight) Makes 2/14 cups 2 cups heavy cream 1/4 cup buttermilk 2 canned chipoltle chiles in adobe, pureed 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
In a small saucepan, heat the cream to about 90 degrees F. Pour the cream into a bowl, whisk in the buttermilk, and cover with a cheesecloth or dry, clean towel. Set in a warm place such as a gas oven with just the pilot light on, overnight until thickened. (My pilot light isn't always on, however, I placed the bowl in my oven after having been cooking all night and this worked fine). If still not thickened in the morning, leave in for 2-4 more hours. Stir well, cover and refrigerate.
Note: Just before serving the pancakes you will combine the crema, pureed chipotle, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.
Roasted Corn Pico de Gallo 3 cups roasted corn (use 1 cup for recipe above) 1 cup diced tomatoes 1/2 cup diced red onions 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 1/4 cup diced jalapeno chiles 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice 1/4 cup olive oil kosher salt
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the corn and saute until the kernels are lightly browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup for the pancake batter below.
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of corn with the rest of the Pico de Gallo ingredients, season to taste with salt, cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose-flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
5 large eggs
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp melted butter to brush on lobster and griddle
4 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup roasted corn (See below)
2 chipotle chiles (from a can), chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
To make the batter, in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, milk, eggs, 6 tablespoons of the butter, and the honey. Whisk together until smooth. Stir one cup of corn (reserved from the Pico de Gallo prep), the chipotles, and the cilantro into the buttermilk mixture, add the dry ingredients, and mix just until blended. Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.
Lobster 3 1lb lobsters (I went to my seafood market and bought fresh cooked lobster meat)
If you are cooking fresh lobster, in a large pot bring at least 4 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil. Add lobsters, cover the pot, return the water to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the shells are bright red. Remove the lobsters. Let cool. Gather the tail and claw meat whole, and any remaining meat from the shells. Cut the tails in half lengthwise. Set aside.
Next Morning Seduction: Bringing it all together!
In the morning, all you have to do is heat up the lobster meat, spice up the crema, and cook the pancakes, and plate the dish.
1. Take the meat and brush lightly with melted butter,
season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat up a skillet, saute briefly in the skillet to
warm and slightly brown the lobster meat. Remove from heat.
2. Remove the crema from the refrigerator. Combine the crema, pureed chipotle, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.
3. And now for the pancakes. Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with a little butter and ladle on enough batter to make 3- to 4-inch rounds. (I had to add a bit more milk to make it creamy enough for a ladle). Cook the pancakes until bubbles form on the surface and the bottom is golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. (Be careful, as your skillet or griddle gets hot, this will cook faster). Turn with a spatula (press down gently), and cook the second side until golden brown. Prepare 2 pancakes for each person.
Plating the dish On each plate, serve 2 pancakes, one garnished with half a lobster tail, and the other with a claw. Spoon on some Roasted Pico de Gallo, drizzle with Crema, garish with watercress sprigs, a bit of cilantro leaves, and serve.
It doesn't get much better than this! Thank you Scott Linquist!
"This Seducer's Breakfast was served to me the morning after by my very first lover---he was quite a bit older and taught me a thing or two. Since then I have served it to a few lovers of my own!"
Most important is the serve the eggs with mimosas using very good champagne and fresh squeezed orange juice. For the Eggs Benedict the real trick is to get everything ready at the same time. Start by making the Hollandaise Sauce. You will need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 beaten egg yolks
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of water
salt and white pepper
Cut the butter into thirds and bring it to room temperature. In the top broiler (or just a pan or bowl sitting on top of a saucepan of boiling water) combine egg yolks, lemon juice and water. Add a piece of butter.
Cook, stirring rapidly with a whisk until butter melts and sauce begins to thicken. Add the remaining butter a piece at a time, stirring constantly until melted. Continue to cook and stir for 2 - 3 minutes until sauce thickens. Immediately remove from heat. If sauce is too thick or curdles, immediately whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now for the rest--The Eggs. You will need:
2 English muffins, toasted
4 slices of Canadian Bacon, cooked to your liking
You can poach the eggs in an egg poacher, or if you don't have one you can use a pan of simmering water. Carefully slide the cracked eggs into the water (I use a cup). Simmer the eggs uncovered for 3-5 minutes cooking until egg whites are completely set and yolks are not too hard.
Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place them on toasted English muffin halves which have been covered with 1-2 slices of Canadian Bacon which has been broiled or warmed in a frying pan for a couple of minutes. You can get the toasting + broiling done while the eggs are poaching but you have to keep moving! Top each egg with that delicious Hollandaise Sauce and a dusting of paprika, pop the cork and you'll soon be ready for the next round!
For your creative morning pleasures, I found these variations on Eggs Benedict on wikipedia:
I used to take this great photography class at Cooper Union whereby the instructor, Eric Feinblatt, would throw out a word a week and our challenge was to go out and shoot our interpretation of that word. The work presented by the students was extraordinary; filled with creativity, thought-provoking approaches and enough conversation and critique to fill each class. You were inspired to push yourself beyond the expected.
I took this approach when I stumbled upon this image. I loved the way the food was styled, shot and presented; so I decided to reverse engineer this process by concocting a recipe to go with the photo. While I am not a food photographer, and this photo is definitely better than mine, I have to say this dish tasted as good as the original shot looked.
Salmon Tobiko Rolls
4 oz - 8 oz of smoked Scottish Salmon*
4 tablespoons of creme fraiche
2tablespoons of whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons of tobiko caviar (fish roe)
1teaspoon of fresh, finely chopped chives
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup of mixed greens
2-4 tablespoons of fresh Malossol American Keta Salmon Caviar
*Note: This recipe provides enough of the creme fresh mixture for 8 rolls. 4 oz of smoked salmon makes 4 rolls, 8 oz = 8 rolls.
A beautifully presented dish meant for breakfast in bed, the frittata, or open faced omelet, is easy to prepare and impressive to serve.
8 eggs 1/2 cup of half and half salt and pepper 3 tablespoons of sweet butter 3 heaping teaspoons of cilantro, chopped 3 tablespoons of chopped yellow chives (Chinese garlic chives) 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese Tortilla chips
Garnish 1 avocado quartered and thinly sliced lemon juice black pitted kalmata olives Dollop of chipotle
Whisk together eggs, half and half , and salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add cilantro and yellow chives, sauté over medium-low heat until soft. Pour egg mixture into skillet, cover and cook until outer edges begin to slightly brown. Add 1/2 cup grated cheese, replace cover and allow cheese to melt into the frittata.
Heat broiler. Slice avocado and drizzle with fresh lemon--set aside. Place the remaining cheese (1/2 cup), over the frittata and place the uncovered skillet under the broiler until starts to brown and frittata fluffs up, about 2-3 minutes. Slide the frittata on to a plate. Garnish with sliced avocado and place in a pinwheel fashion around the plate. Add olives and place a dollop of chipotle in the center. Grab two cups of coffee, a bag of tortilla chips and hop back into bed.