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...
So you are spending Valentine's Day at home with your loved one. Here is an alternate Thanksgiving menu that is perfect for your holiday Seduction Meal.
Our menu includes Grilled Oysters, a succulent Magret Duck Breast with Foie Gras and Balsamic Cherries, String Beans with Roasted Garlic, Lemon and Slivered Almonds, and Pumpkin Dessert Bars. You can start your meal by pairing the Oysters with a bottle of champagne and serve a light red Burgundy, Pinot Noir or Beaujolais with the Duck dish.
This Duck Breast recipe is out of this world delicious! I found it online at the GourmetFoodStore.com. We are going to use Magret duck breast. Magret ducks are prepared for foie gras so you get a larger, leaner meat than regular duck. Given the time of year, I could not find fresh cherries, which I am sure would have been the best option. I used dried cherries and used a little less balsamic vinegar as dried cherries are sometimes sweetened. The Foie Gras was a luxurious addition to the duck and the cherries beautifully complemented both. This recipe is a keeper!
Celebrating a Thanksgiving dinner for two? Why bother with a whole turkey and eating turkey leftovers for weeks, when you can roast a turkey breast and have ample left overs to still enjoy post-Thanksgiving sandwiches.
The first menu we have put together for our Romantic Meals on Thanksgiving series is for a traditional menu featuring roast turkey breast, cranberry sauce, wild rice, roasted butternut squash and seductive mini caramel dipped apples. Luscious cocktails, food, music, and romance for the holiday - what could be better?
I tried a roast turkey breast recipe I found online at Cookstr by Molly Stevens and really loved it. The key is to baste the turkey breast overnight in an a savory Herb Paste. I would suggest doubling the recipe for the paste so you can generously smear it under the skin and over the entire bird. The next step to ensure a succulent, juicy bird is to sear the herbed turkey breast and then slow roast it at 300 degrees.
Now that you've picked out your appetizer and your soup or salad course for your red-hot Valentine's dinner, it's time to take a look at a few entree options. Whether you prefer steak, seafood, poultry or vegetarian, we've got you covered - four fabulous dishes, each with an aphrodisiac twist (naturally). It's all part of our mix and match Rhapsody in Red.
I was inspired by a recipe found in Cook's Illustrated, and with a few revisions, made Chicken Kiev for the first time and LOVED it! It was so incredibly juicy inside and the homemade bread crumbs are the perfect touch. Chicken Kiev is made with breaded chicken cutlets that are stuffed with herbs and butter. The melted butter spreads across the plate and instantly forms a buttery sauce for this dish. Can you say...Delicious!
1/4 cup of fresh parsley and fresh tarragon, finely minced
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
Directions: Mix all ingredients, blending together. Place butter on a sheet of Saran wrap and form a 1" roll, wrap tight and place in refrigerator for 1 hour, or freezer for 15 minutes
Home Made Bread Crumbs
5 slices of peasant bread, or other white bread, lightly toasted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat over 300 degrees.
Toast bread slices until lightly toasted
Cut slices in 1/4 " cubes
In batches of 3 or 4, place cubes in blender and pulse until coarsely ground.
Place all bread crumbs on a baking sheet, add salt, pepper and olive oil
Using hands, toss together, coating bread crumbs
Adjust oven rack to middle position, bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes
Remove from oven and set aside to cool - about 5 minutes
You should have about 2 cups of breadcrumbs
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to a 1/4 inch thickness (I ask my butcher to prep this for me)
salt and pepper
2 cups of bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 - 1 cup all purpose flour (start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Place thin chicken cutlets on a sheet of wax paper
Season with salt and pepper to both sides of chicken
Unwrap butter and slice into 1/2" rounds
Place 1-2 rounds of butter on the bottom half of each chicken breast
Roll the bottom edge of the chicken over the butter, then continue to firmly roll to the top, pushing edges together to seal
Repeat with all pieces of chicken
Place on a plate and place uncovered in the refrigerator for 1 hour
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place three bowls out and add flour with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in one; season bread crumbs with salt and pepper in another, and 3 eggs and mustard, whisked together in the third.
Dredge rolled chicken in flour, shaking off excess - coat with egg mixture, shake off excess, and roll in bread crumbs, thoroughly covering all sides of rolled chicken
Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Add chicken on top of the wire rack and place into oven, cooking for 45 minutes until chicken is golden brown.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes and serve.
Satay is a dish from South East Asia made of meat that is marinated (ideally overnight) in coconut milk and spices then threaded on skewers, grilled and served with a succulent sauce. The recipe below is for chicken satay served with a spicy peanut sauce dipping sauce. According to Wikipedia..."turmeric is a necessary ingredient used to marinate satay, which gives the dish its characteristic yellow color. Meat commonly used includes beef, mutton, pork, venison, fish, shrimp, squid, chicken, rabbit and tripe". I found the recipe for the chicken in Fresh Thai an excellent cookbook by Oi Cheepchaiissara and the peanut sauce was inspired by a few recipes I found online that I altered to the recipe below. Serve with a Thai beer or white wine.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 shallots, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 cilantro roots, finely chopped (I used cilantro leaves/stems)
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred
2/3 cup chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon palm or coconut sugar
Presoak 10 bamboo skewers in a long shallow dish for about an hour to prevent burning while cooking
Cut chicken into 1 1/2 x 4 inches long and 1/4 inch thick and place in a bowl
Make the Marinade: Use a mortar and pestle or food processor to blend the shallots, garlic, cilantro and ginger into a paste. Add the mixture and and the remaining marinade ingredients to the chicken. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight, turning the chicken occasionally.
Skewer the Chicken: Thread a piece or two of the marinated chicken onto each presoaked bamboo skewer as if you were sewing a piece of material
Preheat the grill (or broiler) to high heat and cook the satay sticks for 5 - 7 minutes on each side or until they are cooked through and slightly charred. Turn frequently and brush the marinade sauce over the meat during cooking.
1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter
1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sambal red chili paste
1/4 cup of coconut milk, unsweetened
1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 lime, juiced
1/8 - 1/4 cup of hot water
1/4 cup of peanuts, chopped
Using a food processor or blender, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, brown sugar, lime juice and coconut milk--pure to combine all ingredients.
Pour the hot water slowly into the blender or processor, starting with 1/4 cup and adding more to thin-out the sauce as needed.
Pour the peanut sauce into a small serving bowl, reserving some on the side to drizzle over the chicken
Garnish with some of the peanuts
Plating the Dish
Place the cup of peanut sauce on a large serving dish
Add the skewered chicken to the plate and drizzle with some of the peanut sauce over the chicken and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped peanuts
As much as I love to cook, I am always grateful for an invitation to dine in the company of fellow foodies, and in this case Stacey and Eric prepared a delectable meal for a group of six adults and two children: Roast Goose with Cherry Compote, served with Shredded Brussels Sprouts. The goose recipe was inspired by combining two recipes Eric found online. The goose recipe started by looking to Allrecipe.com, but he replaced the port with red wine, and he choose to give the goose a pre-roast soak in a bring for added flavor. Take a look at this quirky but educational video by Alton Brown to learn all about brinning:
And one of my favorite things about this meal, serving the goose with a
fabulous cherry compote. As stated by Stacey, "I don't usually care for
fruit sides but since the cherries were fresh and not a ton of sugar was
added, they were very good. I wish I hadn't waited until my last bite
to try them". Poor Stacey, at that time they were all gone. The recipe
for the Cherry compote was found on SmittenKitchen.com;
however fresh, regular cherries were used (not sour cherries). The
cherries need to be pitted, so having a cherry pitter is a handy tool
for this recipe if you want to keep your cherries whole.
1 (10-12 pound) fresh goose, giblets and neck removed
2 stalks celery
4 slices French bread
1 cup boiling water
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup tawny port wine (we used red wine)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
Discard loose fat from goose. Remove neck, cut into large pieces, and reserve.
Rinse goose inside and out, and pat dry. Pierce skin of goose all over, and season with salt and pepper.
Loosely pack neck cavity with enough bread to fill out cavity. Fold neck skin under body, and fasten with a small skewer.
1 onion and all the celery, and place inside the body cavity of the
goose. Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string, or insert legs
through slit in lower skin flap.
Transfer goose, breast side up, to a rack set in a deep roasting pan.
remaining 2 onions and carrots into 2 inch pieces. Scatter onion and
carrot pieces, neck pieces, and giblets in roasting pan. Roast goose at
425 degrees C (220 degrees) in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Carefully pour boiling water over goose; juices may splatter.
roasting goose, skimming off fat and basting with pan juices using a
metal bulb baster every 20 minutes. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours more, or
until a meat thermometer inserted in fleshy part of thigh registers 175
degrees F (80 degrees C). When done, the juices should run clear when
thigh is pierced with a skewer.
Transfer goose to a heated
platter. Remove skewer and discard string. Keep goose warm, loosely
covered with foil, until ready to serve.
MAKING THE GRAVY
With a slotted spoon discard vegetables, neck pieces, and giblets from pan. Spoon off fat from pan juices, and reserve.
On top of stove, deglaze pan with white wine and port (or red wine) over moderately high heat; scrape up brown bits.
Add chicken broth, and boil mixture until reduced by about half.
a 3-quart heavy saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup reserved fat and
flour; cook roux over moderately low heat, whisking to prevent lumps.
chicken broth mixture into the roux. Bring gravy to a boil, whisking
constantly. Turn down heat. Simmer gravy, whisking frequently, for 5
minutes or until thickened.
While I wouldn't necessarily consider this a Seduction Meal (or romantic meal for two), sometimes having a simple "go-to" meal, especially a comfort dish like Roast Chicken, is good to have in your repertoire. It's super easy to make and always taste good. And, you may be surprised to find out how many people actually count roast chicken as one of their all time favorite meals. Here we have a meal of roast chicken, roast potatoes, creamed carrots and peas and a bottle of white wine. Enjoy!
1 whole chicken
1 Vidalia onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of paprika
6-8 medium Yukon gold potatoes
Preheat oven to 375
Wash chicken season inside and out
Cut whole onion and lemon in half, stuff each inside chicken along with generous
handful of rosemary
Tuck a few sprigs of rosemary under the skin of chicken
salt and pepper
and sprinkle paprika on
Pour a little olive oil over chicken
Place in a roasting pan
Add potatoes to pan and cook for 1 1/2 hours (maybe longer depending on size of chicken)
Serve with roast potatoes, creamed carrots and peas (fresh or frozen will do)
OK, here is a guilty pleasure of mine...I LOVE crispy chicken, especially the skin. The kind that is super crispy, perfectly salted with juicy succulent meat inside. And all it takes is a three-step little trick to achieve this wonderful treat.
First, be sure the chicken is pat dry top and bottom, we do not want any liquids to "steam" the chicken while cooking. Second, do not use butter or oil (except a super light spray of oil on a cooking sheet to prevent sticking). And third, use high heat. That's it! That's all there is to it. I also use minimal seasoning: rock salt, pepper and thyme. So basically this is a 4 ingredient simple recipe that is sure to please. This can be served as appetizers or a main coarse. I like to serve the chicken with roasted rosemary fingerling potatoes, which can be cooked at the same time as the chicken.
Cracklin' Crispy Chicken Thighs
8 chicken thighs with skin
1 teaspoon of sea salt (coarse crystals)
fresh ground black pepper
fresh thyme leaves and/or rosemary
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Wash and thoroughly pat dry the chicken
Add fresh ground black pepper, season to taste (I like a lot of pepper)
Sprinkle sea salt over chicken and gently pat the rocks into the skin
Sprinkle thyme leaves over chicken
Cook for 35 - 45 minutes, checking toward the end so nothing burns. You want the skin to be very crisp when pierced with a knife. Serve immediately
Here is a very easy dish that packs a wonderful flavor - thin chicken breasts are coated in seasoned flour, browned on both sides and set aside as you saute the mushrooms and then add Marsala wine, sherry, a bit of lemon juice. You want to make a Marsala reduction sauce by reducing the wine to nearly the consistency of a syrup. The sauce is what makes this dish shine! Chicken Marsala can be served with rice, pasta or mashed potatoes. And for Dessert, since you have Marsala wine on hand, why not try your
hand at another Italian Classic: Zabaglione; in this case, Marsala wine Sabayon
with wild berries. I found an easy recipe for this, see link below.
Chicken Marsala Serves 2
1/2 cup of flour
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 large or 4 small skinless chicken breasts, pounded to flatten 1/4" thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
1 lb mushrooms - white button, sliced or go for an exotic blend: baby bella, oyster and shiitake, sliced
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 cup Marsala Wine
1/4 cup cooking sherry
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
Garnish, fresh parsley, finely chopped
In a bowl mix flour, salt, pepper and oregano
Coat each chicken breast
Heat up large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, when hot, add chicken breasts and lightly brown on both sides. remove and set aside.
In same skillet add olive oil and butter. When hot, add mushrooms and garlic and cook for about five minutes.
Add Marsala wine and cook for about ten minutes to reduce the wine.
Add lemon and sherry and blend well. Add chicken pieces to the skillet.
Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts, cooking until chicken is done.
Prepare the potatoes, rice or pasta - whichever you prefer (I opted for mashed potatoes)
Plating the Dish
Place a cup of mashed potatoes just off center of the plate. With a spoon, push down the center. Pour a bit of the Marsala wine sauce in the well.
Place 1-2 chicken breasts over 1/2 of the potatoes. Spoon a good portion of the mushrooms and saucer over the chicken and potatoes and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!
I was recently inspired at a dinner party thrown by a dear friend (who is an amazing cook) to try my hand at Moroccan cous cous. This is the same friend that I traveled to Paris with many years ago where I had my first taste of this marvelous dish. To this day it was the best I've ever had...if only I asked for the recipe.
Having enjoyed this dish many times since Paris and most recently at my friend's loft, I was excited to give it a try, so I put together a list of ingredients and headed to Chelsea Market (in NYC). First stop, the butcher for Merguez sausage. To my dismay I learned they do not carry Merguez sausage! This is not a good start; for what is Moroccan cous cous without Merguez sausage? While Merguez is definitely the preferred sausage--really, any hot sausage will do, so I went with the flow and chose a Chorizo Sausage. Combined with the chicken and vegetables it was actually quite good. Sometimes the unexpected works just fine, and in some cases even better.
The rest of my shopping journey was a success. As was this dish. I was told it was the BEST cous cous my guests have ever had. A nice surprise, but I insisted they come back when I make the next batch with lamb and merquez sausage. Post to follow one day soon.
One piece of advice, when serving this wonderful stew made from a delicious blend of spices and your choice of vegetables, lamb, sausage, seafood or chicken, it is best to first add the cous cous to your plate or bowl, moisten it with the broth of the stew and then place the vegetables and/or meat or seafood and top with more broth, and of course a good pinch of harissa to kick up the heat a bit.
Chicken Sausage Vegetable Stew
Moroccan Cous Cous with Chicken, Sausage and Vegetables
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3 Tablespoons sweet butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, 1/2 diced, 1/2 thinly sliced
2 skinless chicken breasts, cut in 2 x 1 1/2" bite-size pieces
2 chicken thighs
1 tablespoon paprika and a pinch of salt (for chicken)
This Rosemary Chicken dish is made with chicken breasts spiked with garlic cloves, lightly coated with mustard and then simmered in rosemary spiked wine (or sherry). I serve this with sauteed Portobello mushrooms and mashed potatoes. It is packed with flavor, super easy to prepare, and will fill your kitchen with an enticing aroma that will have your guest asking what time dinner will be served.
Start your Seduction Meal with a refreshing Parisian Cosmopolitan
1 ½ oz CHAMBORD Flavored Vodka ½ oz Sour 2 oz Cranberry Juice Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Sauteed Portobello Mushroom andRosemary Chicken for Two
Note: I did not include the recipe for mashed potatoes, so be sure to include this in your cooking routine so all three items are done at the same time: Chicken, sauteed mushrooms and mashed potatoes.
2 chicken breasts
2 cloves of garlic, cut in 1/8" slices
1 Tablespoons of mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine or sherry
1/2 onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons. of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 medium portobello mushroom caps, cut in 1/4" slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon of sweet butter
salt and pepper to taste
Cut small slits in chicken breasts. Insert garlic slices into the slits.
Rub each breast with mustard, add salt and pepper to taste
Heat a dry skillet for approximately 2-3 minutes over high heat.
Place breasts in skillet and brown on both sides. At first the chicken will stick, but as the juices are released (about 3-4 minutes) you will be able to turn the chicken over to cook the other side.
Remove chicken from pan.
Pour white wine into pan and reduce heat to medium-high
Add onion and rosemary and cook until onion is translucent.
Add chicken to skillet and cover tightly. Reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes.
While chicken is cooking, prepare the mushrooms. In a skillet add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of sweet butter, when skillet is hot add portabello mushroom slices and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes until mushrooms are golden brown, stirring often. Halfway through, when the oil/butter has been completely absorbed, add you can add a few tablespoons of wine or sherry and cook until all liquid has been absorbed.
Plating the Dish
Serve with Mashed Potatoes, placing 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes in the center of the plate. Press down with a spatula to flatten top.
Please chicken breast over the potatoes and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Add the mushrooms to the plate, salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken Parmesan, is for many in America, the first Italian dish experienced outside of pasta. It tastes great and is very easy to prepare: breaded chicken cutlets, tomato sauce, mozzerella cheese and parmesan cheese. Serve with your favorite pasta, garlic bread, a mixed green salad, and a bottle of Tiziano Chianti.
This recipe calls for the "King of Italian Cheese", Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is a hard granular cheese that is cooked, not pressed. Parmigiano-Reggiano. is named after the producing areas near Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and Bologna (all in Emilia-Romagna), and Mantova (in Lombardia), Italy. Under Italian law only cheese produced in these provinces may be labelled "Parmigiano-Reggiano", while European law classifies the name as a protected designation of origin.The same cheese manufactured elsewhere is referred to as Parmesan. (wikipedia) .
Chicken Parmigiano Serves Two
Two boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1/4 cup egg starter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 12-oz bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar marinara sauce
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Place bread crumbs on a dinner plate
Whisk together egg and milk
Dip the chicken breasts in milk and egg mixture and then in bread crumbs
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil on both sides until golden, about 3 - 4 minutes on each side. Set chicken in an 8 x 8 baking dish.
Place 3-4 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese on each chicken breast.
Pour marinara sauce overall. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a little more mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Savory Mushroom stuffed Quail served with a nutty, sweet, and sour walnut sauce. Creamy, earthy, with a hint of game flavor, this is a very elegant dish that's really easy if you use partially deboned quail. Pair this Seduction Meal with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy or Poulsard/Ploussard from Jura. Enjoy!
Mushroom Stuffed Quail Makes 2-4 appetizer or 1-2 light entree servings Recipe Courtesy of MarxFoods
Directions 1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 2. Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven until slightly darker, crispy, and aromatic. Remove the walnuts, let them cool and turn your oven temperature up to 350 degrees. 4. Sweat the shallot in a pan with a little oil until translucent, deglaze with the balsamic and briefly simmer to reduce to a syrup consistency. Then, blend the balsamic/shallot mixture, walnuts, chicken stock, and olive oil together until smooth. 5. Fill the central cavity of each quail with 1 tbsp of the duxelles and stitch closed with a wooden skewer.
6. Get a thin layer of oil hot in a cast iron skillet on medium and lay the quail in on their backs, until they develop a well seared crust. Then turn them and continue to sear as much of their surface as you can.
7. When the quail have been completely seared, move them (in the skillet) to the oven to roast for about 20 minutes.
Plating the Dish Once the quail has finished cooking, spread a smear of the walnut sauce on a plate, and put the quail down on top of it. Finish the plate with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar. Serve with your favorite side dish and a great bottle of wine.
From Thomas Keller's Cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home, comes this amazing Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe.
"If there's a better fried chicken, I haven't tasted it. First, and critically, the chicken is brined for 12 hours in a herb-lemon brine, which seasons the meat and helps it stay juicy. The flour is seasoned with garlic and onion powders, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. The chicken is dredged in the seasoned flour, dipped in buttermilk, and then dredged again in the flour. The crust becomes almost feathered and is very crisp. Fried chicken is a great American tradition that's fallen out of favor. A taste of this, and you will want it back in your weekly routine." --Thomas Keller.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken (Serves 4-6)
Two 2 1/2- to 3-pound chickens (see Note on Chicken Size)
The key ingredient here is the lemon, which goes wonderfully with
chicken, as do the herbs: bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. This amount of brine will be enough for 10 pounds.
Combine all the Brine ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil.
Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat
and cool completely, then chill before using. The brine can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Full Recipe Below
Ad Hoc at Home was voted by Amazon.com as one of the Best Books of the
Month, November 2009. As reviewed on Amazon: "You don't often see the
name Thomas Keller mixed with words like "accessible" or "home cook,"
but with Ad Hoc at Home, the award-winning chef presents a collection
of recipes destined for the center of the table at casual family
gatherings. Don't throw away your whole notion of "quick and easy,"
though, as this is still a casual cookbook filtered through the genius
mind of the man behind The French Laundry Cookbook, but the sense of
whimsy and the pure joy of Keller doing his version of comfort food
proves irresistible. The inspiration for his restaurant Ad Hoc was the
simple family meals created and served by the staff at his
restaurants. As he says in the introduction, "here is food meant to be
served from big bowls and platters passed hand to hand at the table."
And with dishes like Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Pineapple Upside-Down
Cake, who's going to argue with that?
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.
Here is a chicken dish with a little pizazz--something a little more
special that just roast chicken. I remember having
this dish prepared for me when my Parisian friend came to visit: Sauteed
Chicken with Apples in a brandy-based cream sauce. My version includes sauteed mushrooms, and a less heavy, but still seductive sauce. Here is my take on it:
Seduction Meals is pleased to present the third of a six-part series: Vietnamese Splendor by Tastemaker and Trendsetter, Moshe Aeylon.
"This dish is soooo satisfying. The layers of flavors are robust and the applause will truly make you feel like an iron chef. Although super simple to prepare the results are restaurant quality. You can't have enough of this savory sauce over your simple canvas "white rice".
Chicken Stir-Fried with Lemongrass and Chile Serves 4 to 6 with 2 or 3 other dishes Recipe and Photo by Moshe Aeylon Adapted from a recipe by Andrea Nguyen
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¾ inch squares
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 or 4 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped
In a bowl, combine the chicken, salt, sugar, curry powder, and fish sauce and turn several times to coat the chicken evenly. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and for up to 1 hour.
In a wok or large skillet heat the oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shallot, chile, and lemongrass and stir-fry for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
Add the chicken mixture and the bell pepper, quickly move them around to coat them with the aromatics, and then let the chicken cook, undisturbed, for about 1 minute, or until nicely seared. Using a spatula, flip the chicken pieces over and cook, undisturbed, for about 1 minute, or until nicely seared on the second side.
Add the coconut milk, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. As the coconut milk reduces, it will simmer vigorously. The chicken is done when the coconut milk is barely visible; it may have even begun to render some of its oil.
Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with the cilantro, and serve immediately.
I've been hearing a lot lately of luxurious recipes using the organic and all natural Blue Foot chicken and had to find out what makes this bird so special and costly--roughly 10 times the cost of most other chicken.
The Blue Foot chicken is an American variety of the rare French chicken breed, Poulet de Bresse. Like many other chickens, the Blue Foot has a red comb and white feathers, however, where it differs, true to its name, is that it has steel-blue feet. It is slaughtered later than the usual chicken and then air-chilled. These two factors attribute to its highly praised stronger flavor and lean yet firm texture. Out of respect for the Blue Foot's rarity and quality, and to authenticate its breeding, the feet are traditionally included in tableside presentation.
Also called the California Poulet Bleu, you can easily find Blue Foot Chicken at MarxFoods, who gracioulsy provided this recipe for Seduction Meal readers. It is an easy alternative to roasting the whole blue foot chicken, however, the recipe can easily be adapted to most poultry. If you purchase the whole chicken, you will first need to fabricate the whole chicken in order to obtain the breasts and leg-thigh combos this recipe calls for. Click here to find out just how to "fabricate" the bird.
Pan-Roasted Blue Poulet with Roasted Yams and Herbs Recipe courtesy of MarxFoods.com (serves 4-5)
2 Blue Poulet breasts and 2 thigh-leg combos.
2 yams or sweet potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tbs of butter
½ cup dry white wine
Oil for the pan (peanut, vegetable, olive (not extra virgin)
This recipe is an easy, delicious meal that will warm you both on a cold winter night.
Drunken rum punch chicken stew Recipe courtesy of Mount Gay Rum serves 4
1 whole chicken cut into pieces
1 tsp lime juice
¾ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves chopped
½ tsp minced scotch bonnet pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 liter pineapple juice
1liter orange juice
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
chives, parsley and tomato to garnish
Season chicken with salt and pepper and lime juice.
Sauté onion, garlic, minced pepper in olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add chicken and cook until chicken turns white turning so as not to burn.
Add orange and pineapple juices, sugar, and Rum.
Stew 1 ½ -2 hours.
Plating the dish Fill two serving bowls with stew and garnish with chopped chives and parsley and cherry tomatoes cut in half. We also have a few thin slices of yellow bell pepper for added color. Serve with warm, crusty bread to dip up this tasty sauce.
As we get ready for Valentine's Day its a good idea to try out a few recipes you might not have prepared before so you are sure the meal will be a success. While this recipe requires marinating overnight, this is an easy, seductive recipe where pomegranate juice adds flavor and color to these spicy, honey-kissed holiday hens.
Honey Roasted Game Hens with Pomegranates recipe from the Pomegranate Council -- serves 6
1 cup fresh pomegranate juice
1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cloves garlic, smashed
3 game hens, split in half
Salt and Pepper
Pomegranate seeds for garnish
Chopped, roasted pistachio nuts for garnish
To make 1 cup of juice, put 1-1/2 to 2 cups of seeds in a blender; blend until liquefied. Pour mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve.
Mix pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup honey, and next 5 ingredients; pour over hens. Marinate, covered, overnight or at least 8 hours in the refrigerator. Turn occasionally.
Every major region of India brings its own unique dishes. Murgh makhani or Butter Chicken is an Indian dish
from the Punjab region and is usually served with naan, roti, parathas
or steamed rice.
This dish is made by marinating chicken overnight in a yogurt /spice mixture that is usually made of garam masala, ginger, lemon or lime, coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli, methi and lots of garlic. The chicken is then grilled or roasted. Makhani sauce is made from butter, tomatoes, almonds and various spices, often including cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, fenugreek and sometimes cream. Once the sauce is prepared, the marinated and grilled chicken is chopped and added to it.
Enjoy, this is truly a delicious, exotic Seduction Meal.
Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken) Serves 4
Chicken Marination Marinate for 4 hours or overnight
6 chicken thighs and 3 whole chicken legs, skinned
7 large cloves of garlic
1/2" cube of ginger
1 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder or paprika
juice of 1 small lime
1/4 tsp of salt
16 oz of plain yogurt
Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces
Make slits on the chicken pieces with a knife, set aside
Place all of the ingredients except the yogurt in blender and puree
Place chicken in a bowl and with your hands thoroughly blend in the spiced garlic/ginger paste
Next add the yogurt and blend well
Cover with Saran wrap and let stand for a few hours or refrigerate overnight
Cooking the Chicken
5 tbsp vegetable oil
dash of salt
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat add vegetable oil and a dash of salt
Add the chicken pieces covered in the marinade. Cover and cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through, turning chicken over during cooking
An intoxicating Mexican sauce made from a blend of chocolate, chiles, garlic, onions, nuts and more, depending on the chef, this chicken mole (pronounced MOH-lay) is an enchanting elixir well-suited for your next Seduction Meal. With its rich reddish-brown hue, a flash of heat, and a hint of chocolate you'll be amazed as bold, mysterious flavors flirtatiously dance on your palette.
This recipe was submitted to Seduction Meals by Stefan of NYC.
"Have you ever had a real homemade milk shake? So rich, thick and creamy? Your taste buds in 7th heaven? Well, that's what real mole sauce is like, not the thickening agents plus chocolate plus sugar variety. My favorite mole sauce is from a company called El Costeno and is made with 3 different kinds of chiles, mulato, pasilla and ancho. Yes, there is chocolate in the ingredients, just a hint (remember my motto, "a little surprise goes a long way"). Serve this dish with your favorite ice cold beer and a slice of lime, or go for margaritas. One bite and you'll both be chanting, Holy Mole!"
chicken mole and guacamole serves two
roast chicken 1/2 chicken, quartered El Costeno mole sauce
preparing the chicken and mole sauce I get the best Mole Sauce made by El Costeno, at a little Mexican grocer in New York. You can call El
Costeno at 973-652-3756 to find out their distribution. Normally, I make sauces from scratch, but why waste precious time in the
kitchen when El Costeno does it perfectly, allowing me to spend more
time with my lady.
Boil 1 cup water, slowly stir in 2 tbsp of mole sauce at a time adding more mole until sauce is thick and creamy. Place chicken on aluminum foil on a baking sheet; pour over mole sauce; place another aluminum foil sheet over top and crimp edges tight (you want to seal in the juices). Bake at 350 for approx. 40 minutes.
Another resource for Mole Sauce can be found at MexGrocer.com, and of course there are recipes for making this from sauce from scratch if you wish..
4 avocados, ripe 1/2 small yellow onion 1/2 yellow, orange or red pepper (adds color to the guacamole) 2 heaping tbsp finely chopped cilantro
Gently mash the avocados into small chunks, being careful not over mash. Mix in remaining ingredients and set aside until ready to serve.
plating the dish Arrange the chicken on a plate.Spoon extra mole sauce over the chicken, Garnish with a pinch of finely chopped cilantro. Add side of guacamole with a tortilla chip inserted in the middle. You can top this with sliced tomatoes and onions if you like.
Calling all foodies, gourmets and hot food fanatics. Have you ever eaten meat, chilli and chocolate together? If not, then the Mole Fair of San Pedro Atocpan (Feria Nacional del Mole) is calling you.Mole, sometimes known as mole poblano, is a pre-Colombian recipe with a combination of ingredients that would turn your mother's face green, if she knew you were eating it.Chillies are the main ingredient. Mulato, ancho, pasila and chipotle chillies along with unsweetened chocolate are what gives it the tanned black colour. Sesame seeds, garlic, ground cloves, coriander and cinnamon infuse the dish with multiple flavours. Other ingredients include turkey, lard, onion, tomatoes, raisins and sugar.
The fair dates back to 1978 and takes place in the mole capital, San Pedro Atocpán, which boasts some 50 mole mills where the ingredients are ground, sorted and packaged before being sent all over the world. Other attractions at the fair include a rodeo and fireworks.
review from NY Times
By CINDY PRICE Published: November 17, 2006
......When most Americans hear the word mole, they
often think specifically of mole poblano, but there are several types
of moles, in a variety of colors and flavors -- and not all of them
include chocolate. I had just witnessed this diversity
firsthand at the annual October Mole Festival in San Pedro Atocpan, a
tiny farming town on the outskirts of Mexico City. In the kiosks there,
women slapped at big balls of dough, shaping fresh tortillas to scoop
up mole from steaming pots. Local suppliers waved their hands
magicianlike over fat slabs of mole paste -- varying shades of rich
brown mole poblanos; bright green cilantro-infused mole verdes;
orangey-red pipián moles made with pumpkin seeds; peanut-butterlike
cacahuate moles; and mole almendrado, a dark almond mole that's the
local pride of San Pedro Atocpan..... Continue Reading...
A wonderful French classic, Coq Au Vin, is a special dish to serve up for your Seduction Meal. In this dish we feature another "fiery meal", igniting the cognac as it blends in with the slow cooked red wine sauce, pearl onions and mushrooms. The special ingredients here are the apple smoked bacon and the cocoa powder. Delicious! Definitely serve this with warm crusty bread to soak up this savory sauce.
Coq Au Vin
Overnight marinade (24-48 hours) 3 chicken breasts halves 3 chicken legs, cut in half 2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice 3 shallots, peeled and diced 2 carrots, peeled and diced Bouquet Garni (handful of parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, and 5 bay leaves) 8 cloves of garlic, peeled 2 bottles of red wine
salt and pepper for seasoning the chicken 1/4 cup olive oil 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1/4 cup Cognac 2 cups chicken stock 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 6 oz. apple-smoked bacon, diced 1 lb button mushrooms 1 pt small white onions
Garnish Minced Parsley (option) toasted croutons
Coq Au Vin Place chicken pieces, onions, shallots, carrots, bouquet garni and garlic in a large bowl. Add wine, mix all ingedients and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 - 48 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade and dry on paper towels, reserve marinade. Season Chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil n a large casserole over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in batches and brown well on all sides. Remove pieces as done and set aside.
Add flour to casserole and whisk for 1-2 minutes on low heat. Return chicken. Remove casserole from heat. Add cognac and carefully ignite. Return casserole to heat and add marinade. Bring to a boil over high heat, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the casserole. Add Chicken stock and return to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender; about 1 hour. Remove chicken from casserole and set aside. Strain the sauce through a sieve and discard solids. Return sauce to casserole.
Pour cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk in about 1/2 cup of sauce and mix until smooth. Add cocoa mixture to casserole, then reduce sauce over medium heat to about 4 cups. Re-introduce the chicken.
Meanwhile, saute bacon, mushrooms, and white onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove this mixture from the saute pan with a slotted spoon and add to chicken casserole.
Plating the dish: Serve the finished dish in a bowl; top with chopped parsley and croutons (optional), and serve with a warm crusty bread and a Red Burgundy (Pinor Noir). For a more hearty meal, serve with a side of creamy mashed potatoes.
The culinary and mythological virtues of pomegranates have been extolled in art and literature since the time of the Ancient Greeks. Clearly, this exotic fruit has withstood the test of time for a reason. Famed for its lively color and refreshing juice, pomegranates add
beauty and flavor to appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages.There are many wonderful recipes using pomegranates that are worthy of a Seduction Meal. Try a few before deciding upon your favorite as there is surely one that will add sparkle and a boost of love to your romantic soiree.
Featured are three cocktails using PAMA liquor: The Blushing Lady, Pama Passion, and Champagne Dreams.
The Blushing Lady
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur 2 oz. Vodka 1 oz. Pink Grapefruit Juice Lemon Wedge Course sugar, for garnish
Rub a wedge of lemon around the rim of a martini glass and dip the glass into a plate of coarse sugar. Set it aside. Pour the remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the garnished martini glass.
Go to the bottom of this post for the other two recipes.
Halibut Rolled with Pomegranate Stuffing recipe from the Pomegranate Council -- serves 4
1 large or 2 pounds firm-fleshed, 1/2 inch thick halibut 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup olive oil or butter 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 1 cup pomegranate juice or 3 tablespoons pomegranate paste 1 tablespoon slivered candied orange peel 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
fish in cold water. Pat dry with paper towel and rub both sides with 1
teaspoon salt. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan and brown onion
and garlic. Add all ingredients except the saffron water and lime juice
and cook for 3 minutes. Mix well and remove stuffing from heat.
oven to 400 degrees. Lay fish out on the baking dish. Place a layer of
stuffing on one end of the fish about 1 inch long and gently roll from
the stuffing end and pin closed if necessary. Pour the saffron water,
the rest of the oil, and the lime juice over the fish. Place in the
oven and bake 10-15 minutes (until the fish flakes easily with a fork),
basting from time to time.
Arrange the fish on a serving
platter. Pour the sauce from the baking dish over the fish and garnish
with walnuts and pomegranate seeds.
Pomegranate and Papaya Salad withGinger Dressing recipe from the Pomegranate Council -- serves 6
Pomegranate seeds add lively color, flavor and crunch to this ginger-spiked salad.
1 medium pomegranate 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 clove garlic, chopped finely 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or a generous 1/4 teaspoon powdered 1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup olive oil 2 heads endive, separated into leaves 3 quarts baby lettuce or other torn lettuce leaves 1 medium papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green part of green onion
Separate seeds from skin and pulp of pomegranate (you should have about 3/4 cup seeds); reserve. To make dressing, mix lemon juice and next 6 ingredients; whisk in oil. Reserve. On a large serving platter, arrange endive leaves like spokes with tips pointing out. Toss papaya with 1 tablespoon dressing; reserve. Toss lettuce with remaining dressing; mound over endive leaves. Top with reserved papaya; sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, then with green onion.
For a main dish--try adding a mound of crab or lobster salad in the center.
CHAMPAGNE DREAMS 1 ounce Pama 1 ounce Cointreau 1 ounce Fresh orange juice 3 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
Assemble the first three ingredients in a cocktail glass with ice. Slowly pour in the Champagne while stirring very gently to retain the bubbles and chill the mixture. Strain into a Champagne flute and garnish with an orange zest.
PAMA PASSION 1 1/2 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur ¾ oz. Peach Schnapps Orange Juice and Lemon Lime Soda Splash Grenadine Garnish with a lime
I am enjoying a new love affair with another Australian culinary hit. First Donna Hay (to me a queen of seduction meals), and now delicious. magazine. As per their site, "delicious. celebrates food and the people who produce it, from celebrity chefs to passionate foodies from around Australia and the rest of the world. So whether you want a simple but scrumptious midweek meal or an impressive dinner-party menu, we've got the recipes you need."
In Volume 4 Issue 7 you will find the recipe for Kickass Barbeque Sauce. I chose to try this recipe because it uses a mix of spices that I wanted to explore: coriander, cumin, allspice and cayenne pepper. The resut was truly kickass as I used way too much cayanne pepper the first go around--having missread 1/2 teaspoon as 1 teaspoon. Let me tell you, tears were shed...but the taste was awesome. Not to worry, the measurement below is the right recipe, although I did increase the ketchup from 1/3 to 1/2 cup.
delicious. kickass barbecue sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tspn ground coriander
1 tspn ground cumin
1 tspn ground allspice
1/2 tspn cayenne pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of water
2 sprigs of onions, finely chopped for garnish (optional)