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...
If you are inviting the new hottie in your life to share a dinner at your place for the first time, seafood is a good choice for your romantic rendezvous. It is light and most recipes are easy to prepare leaving you more time with your amore, and less time in the kitchen. Quick tip: It's a good idea to confirm before hand that your lovely guest does in fact enjoy seafood and more important, that they are not allergic to seafood or shellfish. Now wouldn't that be awful! Believe me, I've heard many stories of time spent in the kitchen preparing a lovely meal only to find out their guest could not stand seafood or is allergic. It puts both parties in an awkward situation. OK, now that we have that out of the way.....
We searched the internet and found Five Seafood Recipes that we just LOVE. Click on the Recipe Title to get to each recipe - xoxo
Soft shell crab season is here and I could not resist one of my favorite summer treats. To me the ultimate way to indulge in this delicacy is Japanese style - which can be done tempura battered or you can use panko bread crumbs which I used for this variation. I found a delicious Tempura dipping sauce from Saveur.com. I couldn't find fresh daikon, but it was delicious enough without this one ingredient. Here is the original recipe / http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Tempura-Dipping-Sauce. A true Seduction Meal, serve with chilled sake over ice with a slice of cucumber, your favorite Japanese beer or white wine.
Japanese Style Soft-Shell Crab Appetizer with Tempura Dipping Sauce
Ingredients / soft-shell crabs
2 soft-shell crabs, cleaned
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
coconut oil for pan-frying
Ask your butcher/fish market to clean soft-shell crabs: cut away the lungs, the apron and the head section. Everything else is edible.
Soak the cleaned soft-shell crabs in the milk for 20 minutes
Place the panko bread crumbs on a large plate and season with salt and pepper.
Take the milk-soaked crab and shake the excess liquid off, coat crabs with the egg
place crab on top of the bread crumbs and gently press down, coating all sides. Make sure that the crabs are well-coated
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat and add an inch-of coconut oil.
Pan-fry on both sides until golden and crispy. About 3 minutes per side.
Deep fry each crab separately until the panko becomes golden brown.
Remove and drain crabs; set aside.
Tempura Dipping Sauce
1 piece of KOMBU (about 2" x 10")
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp dried bonito flakes
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1 tbsp peeled and finely grated ginger
Bring kombu and 1½ cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan.
Stir in bonito flakes, and remove from heat; let steep for 5 minutes.
Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, return to saucepan, and add soy sauce, mirin, daikon, and ginger; bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.
I've been meaning to try this recipe by Rocco Dispirito for some time and this past week I finally did it-- with a few alterations. An easy recipe that takes only 1/2 hour to prepare this dish can be made for a quick romantic meal for two--or a "quickie" as I like to say. All you need is a god bottle of white wine and you are good to go.
Shrimp Parmigiano is made by simply grilling shrimp that is lightly coated with olive oil, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and then served over a plate of cannellini beans and marinara sauce that is mixed with an olive tapenade. I made a few minor changes to the recipe by using fire roasted tomatoes instead of plain marinara sauce, and I added 1 shallot and 2 cloves of garlic. The shrimp can be made in a broiler or on a grill.
Shrimp Parmigiano over Fire Roasted Tomatos and Cannelini Beans Serves 2
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (15-oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can Muir Glen organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup olive tapenade
2 tablespoons of olive oil
10 medium/large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsely, chopped
Option: 3-4 kalamata olives as garnish
Preheat grill or broiler
In a large skillet, add olive oil and cook shallot and garlic until translucent, over medium low heat.
Add tomatoes and olive tapenade, stirring to mix together. Add cannelini beans and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer until hot
While bean mixture simmers, line a broiler pan with foil (if using broiler), or place shrimp on a sheet of aluminum foil (if grilling). Brush with oil. Arrange shrimp in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cheese.
Broil for 3 - 5 minutes until shrimp are just cooked through and cheese melts.
Add 2-3 heaping tablespoons of bean mixture to a plate and top with 5 pieces of shrimp
Sometimes simpler is better and this recipe proves it. Your taste buds will agree as you relish the peppery flavor of arugula combined with the sweetness of fresh pink grapefruit and the seductive taste and texture of shrimp. With three key ingredients, it doesn't get much easier than this, although peeling the grapefruit may be a bit time consuming for some.
For the best flavor cook shrimp with the shells on and peel just before serving leaving the tails intact. Shrimp can be sauteed in a skillet (with or without additional flavoring such as red pepper flakes and/or minced garlic), or grilled. In either case be sure to cook them over medium-high heat and quickly to optimize its subtle sweet flavor. Shrimp are cooked when they turn pink, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Be sure not to overcook or they will became too firm and rubbery.
Arugula Grapefruit and Shrimp Salad Serves 4 as an appetizer or side dish, 2 as a main course
1 tablespoon olive oil (to cook the shrimp)
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cups of baby arugula, washed and stems trimmed
1 medium to large grapefruit, peeled and membrane removed, but in half or thirds depending upon size
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (for salad)
1 lb jumbo shrimp (8 - 10 pieces)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
In a skillet, add the olive oil, pepper flakes and a dash of sea salt, let sit for 10 minute
While the flavors are infusing the olive oil, begin peeling the grapefruit. You can also do this anytime and store grapefruit sections in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Place the arugula and grapefruit in a large bowl, add extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to evenly coat and set aside. You won't need vinegar or lemon juice as the grapefruit is sweet / acidic and will complement the olive oil perfectly.
Turn up the heat to medium-high; when the oil is hot add the shrimp and cook until pink and no longer translucent - about 3-5 minutes on each side. Scrape the juices from the pan with a spatula, tossing the shrimp to coat in whatever is left of the seasoned oil.
Place the salad in a serving bowl or individual plates. Add shrimp and serve immediately with a glass of chilled white wine. Enjoy!
Mussels Provencal, a classic Italian dish can be served as an appetizer, main dish or on the side; a perfectly simple Seduction Meal. Serve with warm garlic bread (for some good sauce dipping) and a hearty bottle of red wine. Pleasing your loved one just doesn't get any easier...or tastier.
Not only are mussels affordable and delicious, they are so easy to prepare, steaming in just 5-7 minutes. And let's not forget mussels are an excellent choice for a healthy meal: lean protein, low in saturated fat, a great source for zinc, and twice the iron found in a similar serving of beef.
Mussels Provençal Recipe
Ingredients • 2 lb fresh cultured blue mussels • 3 tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 3 clove garlic, minced • 2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme • 3⁄4 cup red wine • 28 oz can peeled and diced tomatoes • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the fresh blue mussels in tap water.
Place in a large saucepan with a small amount of liquid on high heat. Cover and let steam until shells open (5 - 7 minutes). Strain the mussels, reserving the liquid, and removing the meat from the shells. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté onions under low heat for 6 - 8 minutes, until onions get translucent and soft.
Add garlic and thyme, stirring for 1 minute.
Pour red wine and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and reserved liquid cover and let summer for 30 minutes.
Remove lid and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
Add fresh blue mussel meat, let cook 5 minutes.
Taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.
Serve with bread to dip into the delicious sauce
If you have left overs, the sauce is even better the next day : )
Fresh blue cultured mussels, also referred to as PEI Mussels, are a wonderful ingredient to plan a romantic meal around. Grilled, steamed, dipped in butter or cooked in a curry or wine based broth, mussels are a Seduction Meal in the making. I always wondered why it never made the Aphrodisiac list next to oysters and other shellfish. Simple, healthy and delicious--now that's a great combo!
Here we have Mussels Marinara. The first time I had mussels in marinara sauce was in Italy when I was staying in a tiny fishing village and the owners of the restaurant made a special dish for us. It was magnificent! You can serve this on its own with crusty white bread to dip the sauce or you can serve this over a plate of pasta.
Spicy Mussels Marinara Serves 2
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp red wine
1 3⁄4 tomatoes, crushed
1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 small bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 pinch salt and pepper
24 fresh cultured blue mussels
Rinse fresh blue mussels in tap water.
Sauté onions and garlic in oil until onions are transparent.
Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute.
Add half the wine, reduce, then add remaining wine, tomato, herbs and seasoning. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaf. Cover and steam mussels in small amount of water over high heat until open (5-8 minutes).
In honor of my recent trip to Spain, I prepared this wonderful mixed seafood paella, garlic alioli and a pitcher of Red Sangria to share with my close friends--It was a huge hit! Here is a recipe for a White Sangria if you prefer this. While paella is a wonderful romantic recipe for two; something perfect for a Seduction Meal, this recipe is good for 4-6 people depending on serving sizes. But no worries, if you find you have leftovers you will look forward to sharing the meal again the next day....it's that good!
Photography: Terry Dagrosa / Seduction Meals
Paella is best when cooked in a paella pan, which is a large, shallow, flat pan that allows the rice to be evenly distributed at the bottom of the pan. As such it absorbs the wonderful flavors imparted by the broth, saffron and sofrito. Also the best part about using a paella pan...scraping the crispy bits on the bottom. Note: there is a point in the recipe when you no longer stir the ingredients so be sure to cook until slightly crispy. When serving this dish, the rice should be dry, not creamy like risotto. The first half of cooking paella is to perfectly flavor the rice, after that you then add the meat, seafood or vegetables within the rice to cook. The whole process is about an hour. Not bad for such a delicious meal!
It was a glorious summer night so I put the paella pan on my BBQ grill for consistent heat under the entire pan. I was thrilled to prepare this dish with my new 15" paella pan. I have made paella before, but working with the right equipment does make a difference. The rice had much better flavor, but then again the ingredients I used were pretty great too. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did! (Full Disclosure: I was given the pan by LaTienda.com).
Photography: Virginia Stellweg / Seduction Meals
Mixed Seafood Paella - Paella de Mariscos Makes 4-6 servings Recipe Courtesy of LaTienda.com
6 cups clam or seafood broth
1 tsp thread saffron
1 1/2 pounds firm-fleshed fish, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 dozen mussels
1 dozen small clams
12 large shrimp in shells
2 tbsp parsley, minced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
8 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 scallions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 cups Bomba or Calasparra paella rice
Serve with Alioli (garlic mayonnaise)/ See Recipe BeloW
Heat the broth in a large pot. Stir in saffron.
Pat fish and shrimp dry between paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let sit 10 minutes.
With a mortar and pestle mash parsley, garlic, thyme and 1/8 tsp salt into a paste. Stir in paprika; add water if necessary to form a paste.
Heat 6 tbsp of oil in 15" paella pan over medium high heat and quickly brown the fish 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook. Remove to warm platter.
Add remaining 2 tbsp of oil, onion, scallions and bell pepper to paella pan and cook until the vegetables are slightly softened.
Raise heat, add tomato and cook until it becomes sauce-like, 2 to 5 minutes.
Pour in the hot broth and bring to a boil. Sprinkle the rice evenly across the pan. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring rice and rotating pan occasionally.
Stir in parsley pastime Taste for salt
Add all reserved fish (but not shrimp). NOTE: Do not stir after this point.
Lower the heat, continue to simmer until rice is no longer soupy but enough liquid remains to continue cooking the rice (about 10 min.) / (I closed my BBQ lid)
Add extra liquid if necessary. (I added about 1/4 cup of white white)
Arrange shrimp, clams and mussels over rice, placing edges of mussel and clam shells so they open facing up. Push them down in the rice a bit.
Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until rice is almost done (I closed my BBQ lid)
Remove pan from the heat and cover with foil. Let sit 10 minutes.
Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with fresh alioli.
Alioli Garlic Mayonnaise - Alioli Recipe Courtesy of LaTienda.com
1 egg, very fresh
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Place the egg and chopped garlic in a blender or food processor. Whirl until garlic is smooth.
With the motor running, add the oil in a slow stream, until the sauce is thick and emulsified. Add salt to taste.
The sauce should be creamy and will have a nice garlic bite. If the alioli is runny, this may mean that the egg was old. To fix this problem, either try again with a fresher egg, or add store-bought mayonnaise to the sauce.
A Lobster Threesome: Three different lobster salads that can be served New England style with slightly toasted hot dog buns, or placed over a plate of mixed greens tossed in a light dressing. I bought pre-cooked lobster and crab meat from The Lobster Place at Chelsea Market and set about to create three unique salads based on the ingredients I had at home. Each variation is simple to make and can be done as one salad or you can prepare all three to enjoy this lobster love fest.
Lobster salad with Curry Aioli (Top left)
Asian Lobster + Crab Salad (Center)
Tarragon Lobster & Celery with Mayonnaise (Bottom Left)
My favorite one - hands down was the simplicity and taste of the Tarragon Lobster Salad. Which is yours?
Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Place in a 1-Cup Measuring cup and press down with a spoon on all sides and center. Flip upside down and slap bottom of measuring cup to release the lobster salad.
Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Place in a 1-Cup
Measuring cup and press down with a spoon on all sides and center. Flip
upside down and slap bottom of measuring cup to release the lobster
Tarragon Lobster Salad
1 cup of lobster meat
1 Tablespoon of Lite Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon finely diced fresh Tarragon
Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Place in a 1-Cup
Measuring cup and press down with a spoon on all sides and center. Flip
upside down and slap bottom of measuring cup to release the lobster
Serve with a salad or your favorite bread: hot dog rolls (Lobster Rolls New England Style), Corn Chips or Baguette -- and a bottle of white wine.
I have always been a fan of Susan Spicer; whenever I am in New Orleans I try to dine (at least once) at Bayona. Best known for "knocking cuisine off its pedestal with a healthy dash of hot sauce", Susan is the owner of Bayona and Herbsaint. On June 2010 she opened Mondo in the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans
Here is one of the meals I made this week; a wonderful winter comfort meal from her cookbook Crescent City Cooking: Shrimp Clemenceau. While it is very rich and should be saved for special occasions, this shrimp, potato and pea dish is taken to another level when doused with a tantalizing, spicy lemon, wine, butter sauce. Bon Temp Rouler!
In trying to find the origins of Clemenceau, I came upon this article in The Washington Post: "Chicken was the original main ingredient of this Creole creation,
presumed to be the namesake of Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), a French
statesman who served a second term as prime minister of France during
World War I and was considered a hero to New Orleanian Creoles of his
era. It is also possible that the dish got its name from his grandson,
Pierre Clemenceau, who was a New Orleans bon vivant".
Shrimp Clemenceau Susan Spicer from Crescent City Cooking Serves 4
2 Idaho Potatoes, cut into ¼ inch cubes
3 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. shrimp, headless, peeled and deveined
1 lb. mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp. garlic, minced
½ cup peas, frozen or fresh (or sugar snaps or snow peas, blanched)
½ cup white wine
2 lemons, fresh, juice only
6-8 Tbsp. butter, unsalted, softened
to taste, salt, ground black pepper and hot sauce
¼ cup green onion, finely sliced
Bring Idaho Potatoes to boil in salted water. Simmer 3-5 minutes or until just cooked but still firm; drain.
Shock in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
In large saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil and saute shrimp until pink. Remove from pan and add 2 Tbsp. oil to pan.
Add potatoes and cook until golden brown. Add mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes, adding another tsp. oil if necessary.
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute; add peas and return shrimp to pan.
Stir or toss to combine ingredients, season to taste with salt and a little pepper, then remove all to warm platter.
Pour the wine and lemon juice into the pan and bring to a boil, whisking all the brown bits from bottom of the pan. Let simmer until liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbsp.
Whisk in the softened butter 1 Tbsp. at a time. (Sauce should be creamy and not too sharp.)
Season with salt, pepper and lots of hot sauce.
Pour evenly over the shrimp/potato mixture. Garnish with green onions.
I made this dish this past weekend and it was such a hit that I decided I had to republish the recipe.As nights become chillier, snuggle up with your honey, and serve this supremely
seductive soup for a memorable winter Seduction Meal. Breath in the enticing aromas as you bring a hot spoonful
of this savory liquid to your lips. Indulge in this lobster, potato, corn medley; a true love potion and so good!
Lobster Corn Chowder I discovered this recipe in a Williams-Sonoma catalog and made a few
alterations like adding sherry and clam stock.
Two live lobsters (or 8 oz of frozen lobster meat, thawed and picked over)
Note: You can use one lobster and Haddock and/or Cod for a Lobster/Fish Chowder
1 tbsp Canola Oil
4-5 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (depends on how much fish you add to recipe)
1 cup of clam stock
1/2 cup white wine
3 ears of corn, kernels removed (and corn cobs reserved)
3 strips of bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 cups of heavy cream
1/2 cup of good quality sherry
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 1/2" cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp chopped fresh chives
Fill a large pot with 2" of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil; add lobsters, cover and cook until lobsters are red, about 7 minutes. Transfer lobsters to a large ice bath to cool. Remove meat from claws, knuckles and tails and refrigerate meat until ready to use. Reserve shells and bodies.
In a large pot over high heat, warm oil. Add reserved lobster shells and bodies and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and clam juice (you can also use the broth from the lobster), wine, and corn cobs. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, 25 - 30 minutes.
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, saute bacon, stirring occasionally until crispy and browned, 3 - 4 minutes. Add onion, carrots, celery and corn kernels, and saute stirring until tender, 4 - 5 minutes.
Strain lobster - corn cob broth into Dutch oven, add cream and sherry and bring to a simmer. Stir in potatoes, return to a simmer and reduce heat to a medium-low. Cook until potatoes are tender - about 15 - 20 minutes. Stir in lobster meat, salt, pepper, thyme and chives. Cook stirring occasionally until lobster is heated through, 2 - 3 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve in two bowls - garnish with chopped chives and serve with warm crusty bread and a bottle of your favorite white wine.
Makes 4 - 6 servings, and tastes even better the next day -- should you be so lucky to serve this up twice ; )
An enticing seduction meal for seafood lovers: Honey Ginger Soy Salmon topped with Mayan Shrimp. This dish is made by placing a grilled Jumbo head-on shrimp from the Pacific Coast of Guatemala on top of a broiled slice of King salmon that has been marinated in honey, ginger, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, garlic and fresh cracked pepper. so simple....so delicious.
Mayan Shrimp Brush with a simple dressing made of of olive oil, a large clove of crushed garlic, a teaspoon of minced fresh parsely, and seasoned with sea salt and pepper to taste. You can also marinate the shrimp for an hour in the dressing before cooking. Grill or Broil on very high heat for 2 - 3 minutes per side until the shell is charred. Honey Ginger Soy Salmon Marinade salmon for 1 - 2 hours: 1/4 cup of honey, 3 tablespoons of Tamari Soy Sauce, 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1/2 inch of fresh ginger, grated, sea salt and pepper to taste. Place salmon skin side down in marinade. Turn over halfway through the time you marinate. Broil or Bake at 450 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes. NOTE: I placed the Mayan Shrimp in the broiler at the very end so they cooked together.
Plating the Dish Place the salmon on a plate and top with a Mayan Shrimp. You can use a toothpick on one side to hold into place. Serve with your favorite side dish, here I have grilled asparagus sprinkled with sea salt and fresh squeeze lemon juice. Bon appetit!
Seduction Meals was recently invited to participate in a private Cooking Session with Bertolli's Chef Sarah and three amazing bloggers: Friends Family and Food, No Recipes and Zen Can Cook. We were invited to come up with a recipe using a sauce from their new Famiglia Line. I chose to work with the Arrabiatta, or spicy red sauce. Here is the recipe I created for the event--Lobster Fra Diablo.
This is a super easy recipe to whip up in less than an hour, and if you
enjoy lobster, a spicy tomato sauce wiht a bit of a "kick", and Italian cooking--this is the
dish for you! Serve this with a nice bottle of dry red. Enjoy!
Lobster Fra Diablo Serves 4 - 6
1 lb tagliatelle, linguine or spaghetti
4 Lobster Tails, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large or two small shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 jar Bertolli Arrabiatta Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup clam juice
1/4 cup of clams from same jar
a pinch of red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
garnish: Fresh Basil leaves
Heat up olive oil in deep large skillet over medium high heat
Add shallots and cook until translucent, lower heat to medium
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
Add red wine, parsley, clam juice and clams,- cook for five minutes
Add tomato sauce, tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Add salt & pepper to taste
Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes
Cook pasta according to directions, al dente
While the pasta is cooking, take a pair of scissors and cut vertically from the belly (underside of the hard shell) of each lobster from the top center to the bottom tail, and loosen a bit to make it easier to pull out the lobster meat when you are ready to serve and it is too hot to easily handle
When sauce has simmered for 10 minutes, add the lobster tails, shell side down
Spoon generous amounts of sauce over each lobster and cover to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat
The pasta should be just about ready. Drain and set aside
Plating the Dish Place a serving portion of pasta on a plate, add one lobster over the pasta, or naturally curved along side the pasta and top with spicy tomato sauce. Add a pinch of chopped parsley and fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately with your favorite glass of dry, red wine.
Ogilvy Public Relations extended an invitation to the Bertolli Cooking Session
on behalf of their client Bertolli. I was not provided monetary compensation
nor was I required to post about the event or products upon accepting
the invitation. These opinions are my own."
Sometimes the simplest recipe with minimal ingredients is all it takes, especially when a dish imparts its true flavor such as the essence of the sea. The uniqueness of this recipe lies in the food itself: Dayboat Scallops with the roe still attached. This is not something you typically find in the seafood section of your grocer, or even a seafood market.
They come and go so quickly. If you do find them definitely treat yourself to this sublime delicacy. To spot this special treat, look for scallops that have a bright orange roe
attached. To ensure the fullest flavor, our dish was simply cooked in butter with a bit of olive oil in a hot skilled, seared for a 1-2 minutes on each side. We finished this with a dash of finishing salt (Victoria Taylor's Australian Flake sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper and finely chopped chives--and two glasses of champagne.
You can find scallops with its roe attached online at MarxFoods.com, although you will have to purchase a two pound order - good for serving 4-6 people. The team at Marx Foods offers this: Scallop roe cooks at roughly the same rate as the rest of the
scallop, allowing you to use these in most scallop recipes. Try
lightly sautéing or searing in butter with salt, pepper, and any other
desired flavors. Scallops are generally served rare because they can
become quite rubbery if overcooked. In general, scallops are great in combination with garlic, citrus fruit, bacon, truffles, and wild mushrooms.
A Seduction Meal is a recipe or dish you do really well; one that you know is always a hit. This recipe is one of my all time favorites--one that I love to share with friends and family. Each and every time results in the same words of praise "..these are the BEST crab cakes I've ever had!"
Each bite is filled with luscious crab meat and an array of simple flavors. Fans love the fact that they are not deep fried or overly filled with bread crumbs. And the spicy remoulade is the special ingredient that makes this treat disappear in no time at all. I am re-posting this recipe so you can try and enjoy the Best Crab Cakes EVER!!. I'd love to hear what you think Crab Cakes & Spicy Remoulade
1 cup of mayonnaise
4 teaspoons finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle sauce
2 tablespoons chopped scallions for garnish
Combine all ingredients and chill for 1 hour. Serve on top of each crab cake.
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon chipotle sauce, or any hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 6-oz cans crab meat, drained (be sure to pick out any shells)
1 cup dry, unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup of frozen corn kernels
1/3 cup diced roasted sweet red peppers
1 tablespoon water, if needed
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, egg, pepper sauce and
cumin. Add the crab meat (break up any lumps), bread crumbs and roasted
peppers. Mix well. If the mixture is dry add 1tablespoon of water to
moisten allowing all ingredients to stick together. Cover and
refrigerate for 1-2 hours. This may be prepared up to 24 hours in
Divide the crab mixture into equal bite sized patties, about 1" wide, for appetizer
portions (about 25 - 30), or larger patties for entree portions (about 6-8).
Each patty should be 1 inch thick. Preheat lightly greased skillet or
griddle (use a light coat of olive oil). Cook for about 10-15 minutes
turning every 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Serve right away with a
dollop of the spicy remoulade.
Crab Cakes as a Main Dish - In a medium size bowl
combine 1 cup of mixed greens with your favorite dressing (I prefer a
lighter dressing like olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, a dash of
balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper). Place 1/2 of the salad on the
center of each plate. Place 3 crab cakes over the mixed greens, one
overlapping the other so they slightly rise off the plate. Place a
dollop (2 tablespoons) of spicy remoulade in the center of each crab
cake and garnish with chopped scallions.
The holiday season is upon us and there are many opportunities for serving up festive, traditional dishes to share with our family and friends. Whether you are cooking for a large group or enjoying an intimate meal for two, this classic French dish is the perfect choice for the true seafood lover in your life. Bouillabaisse is an elegant stew consisting of seafood, shellfish, and a medley of vegetables simmered in herbs and aromatic flavoring---white fish, lobster or langoustine, crabs, shrimp, mussels, clams, tomatoes, potatoes, leeks, celery, carrots, saffron, anise, shallots, parsley and wine.
There are two ways of serving Bouillabaisse; as a stew with the seafood, shellfish and vegetables served in a broth. Or, the more traditional French manner in which a mix of seafood, shellfish, and vegetables are served on a platter with the broth served on the side with grilled bread slathered with aioli, a garlic mayonnaise, or rouille, a spicy saffron mayonnaise made of olive oil, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper.
Bouillabaisse Serves 6
1 lb of fresh clams
1 lb of fresh mussels, rinsed and bearded
2 lbs of cod, but into 1" pieces (can use a mix of cod, tilapia, snapper, grouper, John Dory- skinned)
1/2 lb of clam strips (optional)
12 raw jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined, keeping tails intact (shells reserved)
1/3 teaspoon saffron
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 cup chicken stock (or water)
1 cup of dry white wine
2 cups clam juice
10 red or white baby potatoes, cut in half
3 cups of water
Salt & White Pepper to taste
Garlic Aoili (store bought brand such as Saratoga's Garlic Curry Aioli)
Garnish with Parsley leaves
Directions: Step 1: The Broth
Combine the saffron and hot water in a small bowl and set aside to infuse.
Heat olive oil in a large pan, over medium high heat, saute onion, carrot and celery until vegetables soften, about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, add garlic.
Add tomatoes, fennel seeds, saffron, thyme, tarragon, salt, pepper, and juice of one orange. Simmer 5 minutes.
Add clam stock, wine, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. The longer this simmers the richer the flavor.
Note: You always want to have enough water in the pot to cover all ingredients, so start with 2 cups and add more as needed. I used 3 cups total.
Turn heat up to medium and add potatoes and cook until 1/2 done, about 5 minutes
Wash mussels, remove shells from shrimp and devein, and cut fish into 2-3" pieces
Add fish to pot and cook for 5 minutes, gently boiling, over medium heat (lower heat if too high/rapid boils)
Add mussels, cover the pot and cook until mussel shells begin to open. (Discard unopened mussels.)
Add shrimp, cook until they turn pink
Taste broth and season to taste
Plate the Dish:
Ladle soup among large serving bowls and garnish with fresh parsley leaves. Add a dollop or two of aioli to the broth and stir in. Serve with crusty bread on the side. For a heartier treat you can add Gruyere cheese and make open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches to serve with the soup. Bon appetit!
Seduction Meals is pleased to present the first of a six-part series: Vietnamese Splendor by Tastemaker and Trendsetter, Moshe Aeylon.
Moshe fell in love with
Vietnamese food during his first visit to New York City in 1983 when he dined at the
ultra trendy hot spot of the time, Indochine. He was inspired to take cooking classes at ICE with master chef Andrea Nguyen, and quotes his favorite Vietnamese restaurant in NYC is OMAI in Chelsea.
"Every since I was introduced to Thai & Vietnamese cuisines, two of my favorites, I have always loved most of the salads dishes. These tangy but sweet, crispy but wilted, crunchy but hot salads are always perfect starters and an appetite teasers for me. I am happy I finally can prepare them in my kitchen for my friends. Here is one of my all time favorites-- Vietnamese Cucumber & Shrimp Salad."
Cucumber and Shrimp Salad Serves 4 to 6 Recipe and photo by Moshe Aeylon Adapted from a recipe by Andrea Nguyen
Start by making the Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 or 2 Thai or Serrano chilies, finely chopped (optional)
If you are ever in need of an exceptional catering experience here is one hot tip....check out Martin & Fitch Events. For the past two decades Maura Martin and Phoebe Fitch have been serving up their celebrated dishes in New York and Hollywood's most discerning circles. Happily, an exclusive invitation is no longer necessary to savor their stylish and satisfying cuisine.
Having combined their talents, the duo Martin and Fitch are fulfilling their dream of bringing vibrantly modern home cooking to all New Yorkers. From market-fresh organic meals for home entertaining, to *innovative* food for any business event, to your most elegant affair, Martin and Fitch have the culinary range (literally) and expertise to suit your palette as well as your lifestyle.
Celebrating Summer: I am honored to share a Peach Trilogy, 3 amazing peach recipes in my next three posts, from Martin & Fitch. We start with a main course of seared scallops. This can be served as an appetizer or main course.
Seared Scallops with Peach and Cilantro Salsa Serves Two Recipe courtesy of chefs Maura Martin and Phoebe Fitch Photography: Noelle Grosso
This dish is a true delicacy....sent to us by Stefan in NYC
"Scallop with its fish roe intact is hard to come by, but when you see this...make a grab for it! This is something you will find in your local seafood market or gourmet store. Simply pan sear in a bit of olive oil & butter, season to taste and garnish with snipped chives. Serve with chilled white wine and your favorite side dish or salad".
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.
If you are planning a big bash and want to serve something unique, Oyster Po' Boy Sliders (mini sandwiches) will do the trick. These mini treats are just the right size for serving on platters at your next big party.
A standard from New Orleans, Oyster Po' Boy (aka Peacemakers), are fried oysters, served
on a French bread, with lettuce., mayonnaise, tomato--and for me; topped
with hot sauce. A key ingredient that differentiates po' boys from a
hero sandwich, is the bread. Louisiana French bread is different from
traditional American baguette, in that it has a flaky crust with a
soft, airy center.
Oyster Po' Boys Enough for about 50 sliders Recipe Courtesy of MarxFoods
~ 5 tablespoons ground dried de arbol peppers (optional)
12+ oz peanut oil
2 bunches of fresh lettuce
Brioche, sourdough, or French bread rolls
Note: 64oz is a lot of oysters. We recommend using multiple pots/pans
of oil in order to fry as many oysters at once without overcrowding the
oil. If using shallow pans, you'll only need an inch to an inch and a
half of oil in each pan. Alternatively, you can simply fry the po'boys
to order...but that can reduce your ability to mingle with your guests.
Sometimes the name of a recipe will conjure up images of temptation or extravagance such as Gem Oysters on the Half Shell with Champagne Mignonette and Fresh Horseradish. Or how about Heirloom Tomato & Gorgonzola Salad with Garlicky Croutons and Balsamic Syrup, or Valhrona Spiked Mousse served with Cinnamon Financiers and Citrus Sorbet in a Snap Biscuita.
Here is a recipe that instantly caught my eye--Angry Lobster on a Bed of Nails. I couldn't help but think of Nine Inch Nails or Joel Peter Witkin, but I had to stop myself knowing that David Burke, a master of presentation and culinary seduction, would have something magical under his sleeve; which of course, he did.
The dish is named for its clever presentation. Here David uses a round frog, a small holder with spikes used for flower arrangements, and places this on large plate. He then impales lemon eighths around perimeter of the frog and impales lobster pieces in the center. I have included the recipe below as well as a video I found of ChicTV illustrating a step-by-step demonstration. Of course for those that live in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas or Connecticut you may make a reservation at one of Chef Burke's wonderful restaurants and have this intriguing dish placed before you.
If you love curry you will love Camellia Panjabi's wonderful cookbook, 50 Great Curries of India. This is the ultimate celebration of authentic Indian curry,
encompassing both classic and unusual dishes from across India. You will find curry recipes for vegetables, beef, lamb, shellfish, and seafood.
I tried her recipe for Shrimp with Scallions and Fenugreek Leaves, with with a few alterations. I added scallops, a teaspoon of curry, and increased the garlic. This dish was a big hit in my home.
Shrimps and Scallops with Scallions & Fenugreek Leaves Recipe adapted by Camellia Penjabi recipe in 50 great curries of India
Directions: Soak the scallion greens and fenugreek leaves in a bowl of water with 1/4 tsp of salt added. Leave to soak for 15 minutes (This lessons the bitterness of the leaves). Drain, pat dry, set aside.
Mix 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, the red chili powder, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Add the shrimps and scallops, covering them well with the mixture and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
In a deep skillet, the oil, and when hot, add the chopped white part of the scallions, the chiles, curry, garlic and ginger. Saute on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until the scallions are translucent. Add the remaining turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon of water and cook for another minute.
Add the cilantro, soaked scallion greens and fenugreek leaves and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Just before serving, add the shrimps and scallops, the remaining scallion greens, and saute with the soaked greens for 3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add 1 cup of water, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the shrimp and scallops are cooked. Taste to check seasoning. Add a little lime juice if desired. Serve with rice or cous-cous
Clam Miso Soup, a delightful way to step into Spring. Light, satisfying, and deliciously flavored to tempt the most discerning gourmand. This creative slant on a classic Japanese dish is worthy of top billing for your next Seduction Meal. Serve with a chilled glass of premium Saki and toast to your good fortune.
Miso soup is a staple in Japan, where it can be found at breakfast, lunch, or dinner meals, usually served in a small bowl to the side of the main dish. Miso is an excellent source of protein, and so this soup is a great source of low-fat energy. Many people make miso soup using instant soup or instant dashi packets. Unfortunately these products usually contain a great deal of salt and MSG. Making dashi from scratch is quite easy, and once you've done that you're half way to being done with the soup.
What is miso? Miso is fermented tofu. As the tofu ferments it becomes a richly flavored, aromatic paste that is very high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Which miso should I use in my soup? There are two commonly found types of miso: light miso, and dark miso. You can actually use either in miso soup with great results. Light miso has a milder flavor that the Japanese like to use in miso soup served in the morning with breakfast or in the afternoon. It is commonly paired with silken or fried tofu, green onions, and sometimes seaweed. Dark miso (aka red miso) has been fermented longer, and has a much more robust flavor. Miso soups made with dark miso are usually served in the evening at dinner. You sometimes find stronger flavored ingredients in these evening miso soups, such as baby clams.
An extraordinary Seduction Meal, this Crab Cake recipe from Marx Foods, is served with a luscious truffle cream sauce and pairs perfectly with a crisp white wine or a glass of chilled champagne. End this meal with a refreshing bowl of fresh sliced figs drizzled with a bit of honey.
Dungeness Crab Cakes w/ Truffle Beurre Blanc Recipe by Paul Hughes, MarxFoods.com contributor Note: Crab cakes can be made the day before.
2 lb. Fresh Dungeness crabmeat - lightly picked for shells
3 cups of unseasoned bread crumbs
6 tbsps of melted and cooled unsalted butter
2 eggs beaten
2 tbsps of chopped shallots
2 tbsps of chopped green onions
2 tbsps of chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsps of fresh lemon juice
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 eggs beaten with 2 tbsps of water.
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
3 tbsps canola/corn oil/clarified butter or other high smoke point oil
Sharing a bowl of pasta, one of my favorite comfort foods, is always a treat. For this dish, I seared scallops and large shrimp, and finished them off in a butter wine reduction sauce. I tossed the cooked pasta in garlic and red-pepper infused olive oil, and complimented the meal with sauteed broccolini. If you prefer a heartier flavor, you could add a 1/4 cup of diced pancetta.
Linguini with scallops, shrimps and broccolini serves 4
For the Pasta:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1 lb spaghetti or linguine
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 scallions, cut in thin rounds (or you can use chives)
For the Shrimp
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails intact
This has always been one of my favorite Mexican dishes. Chilis en nogada, or stuffed chili pepper with walnut sauce--a truly seductive Mexican meal. Typically made with poblano peppers stuffed with beef and/or pork, I decided to try this recipe with crab instead. I paired this dish with a bottle of chilled 2007 Adelsheim Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley. Just delicious!
Crab Stuffed Poblano Peppers in Walnut Sauce. Walnut Sauce
1 cup fresh walnuts
3 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup Mexican crema (or 1/2 cups sour cream &1/2 cup heavy cream)
There are a few magazines that I relish reading for recipes, photo essays, travel stories, and food and wine pairings: Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Wine Spectator, Gastronomica, and Saveur. I dog ear recipes I want to try, save images that are inspiring, and visit restaurants that are featured--in this country and abroad. Here is a recipe that I saved from Bon Appetit Magazine years ago (1998) for Shrimp Madras which can be found on Epicurious.com. (everyone loved this dish!)
Madras curry or Madras sauce is a fairly hot curry sauce, red in color. It originates in the south of India and gets its name from the city of Madras now known as Chennai. Madras sauce goes great with poultry, pork, lamb, seafood and vegetables and can be used at any stage of cooking; use it to marinade, grill or finish. When you are looking for a quick Seduction Meal (this dish can be made in less than 30 minutes) and your significant other is a fan of spicy, curry dishes I highly suggest this Shrimp Madras recipe. I served it with rice pilaf and a mixed green salad. Fast, easy and delicious--everyone loved it.
Next time you want to celebrate in style, try this captivating Carribbean lobster dish made with an equally enticing rum butter dipping sauce. Perfect for a first time date you want to truly impress, an anniversary celebration, or for a gourmet feast.
caribbean lobster with rum-jerk butter recipe by Mount Gay® Rum
two to three 1-2 lb lobsters (or tails) halved and cleaned 1 tbsp melted butter ½ cup chopped onion 1 tbsp jerk seasoning ½ cup chopped sweet pepper ¼ cup Mount Gay Eclipse Rum 2-3 tbsp butter ¼ cup fresh lime juice ¼ cup chives and parsley chopped ½ cup tomato concasse* for garnish
* tomatoes that have been peeled, seeded (seeds and membranes removed), and diced in small chunks
1. Parboil the lobster until bright red, then put into a 300 F oven with a little melted butter until the sauce below is done. 2. Sauté onion, jerk seasoning and sweet pepper in remaining melted butter and cook until onion turns translucent. 3. Removing from heat pour in the rum and add butter stirring until it has melted evenly and turns creamy. 4. Add lime juice and herbs, stirring together
plating the dish
Take each lobster tail and cut in half keeping shell in place. Pull all lobster meat from the rest of the lobster. Keep the body shell for plating your dishes.
Place a bed of greens on each plate. Next place a hollowed lobster shell on each plate (as seen above) on top of the greens. Add lobster meat in a mound next to shell opening and place lobster tails on plate. Pour sauce over lobster and serve the rest in dipping bowls. Garnish with chopped tomato concasse.
You can add grilled asparagus to this meal --it will work well with the dipping rum butter sauce or served plain with some fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of sea salt.
The first time I ever tried a soft-shell crab po' boy I was in New Orleans eating at a place, that in my opinion, served up the best--Ugeslich's. Not much for a hero sandwiches (give or take a few), this sandwich blew me away. So much so, that every trip to New Orleans started with a meal of this splendid treat, plus some oysters and a cold beer or two served by the owners, Anthony and Gail Uglesich. On my last trip to NO, I was saddened to hear the restaurant closed. It was a conversation before Hurricane Katrina, so it wasn't a complete surprise.
So, in this glorious soft shell crab season, I tip my hat to Anthony and Gail for the many years of culinary seduction they gave us all, while I prepare one of the few sandwiches I would consider serving as a Seduction Meal.
panko crusted soft shell crab po' boy
2 cleaned soft-shell crabs flour 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup Japanese Panko breadcrumbs Peanut or Vegetable oil Crusty Italian or French bread mayonnaise (you can use plain, garlic aioli, a basil or cilantro mayonnaise) mixed green lettuce sliced cherry tomatoes fresh squeezed lemon garnish: sliced scallions
In a deep heavy-bottom pan, heat 1 inch of peanut oil over high heat. You want the oil to cover the crab 1/2 way
Dredge cleaned soft-shell crab in flour, coating all side
Dip floured crabs into beaten eggs and then dredge into panko breadcrumbs, coating well
Reduce heat to medium and place the soft shell crabs into the pan
Fry crabs until golden brown and cooked through, turning a few times so as not to burn
Drain the crabs on paper towels using a rack
Warm the bread for the sandwich in the oven for about 3 minutes
Remove the bread from the oven. Slather mayonniase on both sides
Lay a small hand-ful of greens on the bottom of the sandwich and top with one of the crabs
the legs will hang over the sandwich--this is a good effect and allows you to nibble on the legs first
Next add sliced cherry tomatoes, sqeeze fresh lemon juice over sandwich, and garnish with scallions
Salt and Pepper to taste, and dig in. I like a nice chilled glass of beer with my sandwich
San Francisco is a city filled with some of the best chefs and restaurants in the country. Add its close proximity to world-class wineries and you can easily understand why so many food enthusiasts travel to this city to revel in its culinary delights.
With this in mind, I happily purchased a cookbook that lets me bring San Francisco's top recipes to my Seduction Meal arsenal-- 86 San Francisco, a concept cookbook designed to look and feel like a traditional recipe box with 86 recipe cards. Each card features one authentic recipe, adapted for home cooks, from a selection of top restaurants in the Bay Area. Included are recipes from Chez Panisse, Gary Danko, Michael Mina, Boulevard, and One Market to name a few. In addition to San Francisco, 86 Recipes offers recipes from the top restaurants in New Orleans and and New York as well. Here is one example of an 86 San Francisco recipe.
Created by Michael Mina restaurant, this recipe for Butter-Poached Main Lobster wrapped in vanilla crepes served with a coconut Thai creme sauce is one of the many gems you will find in this cookbook. I've also had much success serving up char-grilled oysters with roquefort cheese and red-wine vinaigrette which is a recipe from the 86 New Orleans recipe box by Chef Scott Snodgrass of One Restaurant & Lounge in New Orlean
Butter-Poached Main Lobster with Vanilla Crepes Serves 4
Note: For this recipe you will need a fine mesh strainer, and allow at least 30 minutes for the crepes to rest in the refrigerator. You might want to prepare the dough first, refrigerate and proceed to the Thai Coconut Reduction.
Thai Coconut Reduction 2 Tbsp canola oil 1 inch of ginger, peeled and sliced 6 shallots, peeled and sliced 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped 2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste 1 cup mirin 1 cup orange juice 10 oz unsweetened coconut milk, canned 2 cups heavy cream 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed medium sauce pot over a medium flame
Just before the oil begins to smoke, add the ginger, shallots, garlic and lemongrass. Stir to coat well with the oil.
Saute for 3-4 minutes until very fragrant.
Add the curry and stir well. Cook for an additional 2 minutes
Add the mirin and orange juice to the pot and reduce the heat so the liquid just simmers. Reduce until half the liquid is gone.
Add the coconut milk, cream, and cilantro
Simmer for about 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have come together. Strain through a mesh strainer and hold warm.
6 oz all-purpose flour 1 Tbsp sugar 6 Tbsp butter 1 1/2 cups whole milk 1/2 of a vanilla bean, seeds scraped 3 whole eggs 3 egg yolks Nonstick spray
Sift the flour, sugar, and salt together in to a mixing bowl
Place the butter, 1/2 cup of the milk, vanilla bean pulp and pod in a small pan and heat gently to melt the butter
Once the butter has melted, temper the mixture into the remaining cold milk and then whisk in eggs.
Combine the liquid into the dry ingredients being sure that there are no flour lumps
Strain the mixture through a fine strainer to remove any lumps and the vanilla been seeds/pod
Allow the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using. Batter can be made up to a day ahead of time
When you are ready to cook the crepes, place a 6-inch nonstick pan over a medium-low flame. Be sure to allow the pan to fully preheat before attempting to make any crepes. Generously spray the pan with nonstick spray and ladle about 1/4 cup crepe batter into the pan swirling to coat.
If there is any excess of batter, pour it off before returning the pan to the heat.
Return the pan to the heat and allow it to set--this should take about 30-45 seconds. Once the edges just begin to look "dry", the crepe is done. You do not need to flip the crepe to release the crepe.
As you make the crepes, lay them onto an oiled piece of parchment paper or platter to cool. Continue working until you have the desired number of crepes.
Once the crepes have cooled, cover loosely with plastic wrap so they won't dry out.
1/4 cup Sauvignon Blanc 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into chunks 4 sprigs of thyme 1 fresh bay leaf Kosher salt and black pepper (4) 3-4 oz lobster tails, shelled
When I think of Spain I think Tapas and Paella--two signature dishes adored by many. Once you try paella you'll fall in love with this famous rice dish; and to top it off, its surprisingly easy to prepare, the recipe below was done in half an hour, which makes this a great choice for a quick seduction meal.
If you've never had paella (shame on you!), and want to try it first, there are many restaurants that specialize in this dish. One of my favorite places is El Quijote in New York,
next door to the famous Chelsea Hotel. Their Paella Valencia is served
with chorizo (a spicy sausage), chicken on the bone, clams and mussels,
roasted piquillo peppers, and saffron-colored rice. Valencia con
Langosta is served with Lobster. Other favorites in New York include El
Faro in the west village and the smaller, trendier Boqeria in the Flat
There are three main ingredients to good paella: the rice; the toppings (usually chicken, seafood, and/or vegetables) which with the broth flavor the rice; and saffron and "sofrito" (see below), the foundation for the dish's wonderful flavor and color. One piece of advice that always holds true in cooking: always use quality ingredients, and this is especially true for a good Paella.
There are a few secrets I found to ensure your dish is the best it can be:
1. Use a paella pan. A round shallow pan, called a paellera, with a large cooking surface that allows the rice to spread evenly along the bottom and easily absorb the flavors of the broth and the ingredients set on top. A delicacy of this dish is to discover the caramelized rice at the bottom of the dish. Be sure your stove (or outdoor grill) entirely heats up the bottom of the pan, otherwise you will have to rotate the pan to evenly distribute the heat.
2. Use a medium grain rice, preferably Spanish Calasparra or Bomba rice. If you can't find this rice, Goya has good rice and is easily find in local supermarkets.
3. Create a delicious "sofrito", a well cooked and fragrant sauce the serves as the foundation of flavor. Typically this is made with sauteed tomatoes, garlic, paprika and sometimes peppers.
4. If you can, get hold of some saffron. I know its expensive but its worth it. In addition to the sofrito, the saffron is an important part of the color and flavor of your paella. If you can't find saffron, don't worry, you can find medium grain rice that already has saffron in it, but you will sacrifice some flavor.
Paella Recipe Serves 6
1/3 cup olive oil 1 red bell pepper 1 orange pepper 4 Tbs garlic, chopped 1 whole chicken breast bone in, cut in 4 parts 2 thighs, each cut into 2 parts salt and pepper 2 cups Calasparra rice, or other medium grain rice 1/2 tsp saffron threads 1/4 lb of cooking chorizo, in 1/4 inch slices* 2 cups chicken stock 2 cups shellfish stock (I used clam juice) 1 tsp parsley, chopped 6-8 pieces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined About 10 clams and 10 mussels, scrubbed
* I couldn't find cooking chorizo, so it is not shown in the photo, but I love the flavor this imparts on this dish.
garnish Chives, snipped with scissors Lemon wedges
Preparing the Meal When cooking paella, there is no need to use the cover of the pan. Most pans do not come with covers for this very reason.
Preheat a 15" paella pan at high heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil, 1/2 of the garlic, and sliced peppers. Salt and pepper the chicken and add chicken pieces, frying
over high heat until golden. Remove to a platter. Add the chorizo and stir fry about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and half of the saffron for about 2 minutes. Place the chicken back in the pan. Add the chicken and shellfish stock and simmer.
In a separate bowl or mortar, mix the remaining garlic and saffron, parsley, a tsp of water, and a dash of salt (I prefer sea salt) - mix well. Add the mixture to the pan and place the seafood in the pan. Mussels and Clams first, then shrimp on top. At this point you no longer need to stir the ingredients. Add salt and pepper and cook for 3-10 minutes or until the shrimp is a nice pink color.
plating the dish Remove some of the seafood and chicken pieces to get to the rice. Place 1 cup of the tasty rice on each plate. Arrange chicken and seafood on top of the rice, and add a few pieces of the spicy sausage on top. Add the colorful pieces of pepper all around and garnish with chives (or chopped parsley) and a wedge of lemon. Serve immediately with a tall glass of
Red Sangria Serves 6
1 bottle, about 3 cups, of dry red wine 1 orange, sliced in wheels 1 lemon, sliced in wheels 2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup caster sugar 1/2 cup brandy
garnish: ice to serve sliced lime wheels, cut 1" slice, and slip the lime over the glasses edge
Place the orange, lime and lemon slices in a glass pitcher. Add the lime juice, orange juice and caster sugar, stir with a wooden spoon to mix all ingredients. Add the red wine and brandy, stir. Chill in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours letting all of the flavors blend and settle in. Just before serving add ice cubes to the pitcher, stir the sangria and serve
Hot Tip: With the tag line: The Best of Spain in America; LaTeinda.com is a good resource for all you paella needs..
This wonderfully prepared Lobster dish was sent to Seduction Meals by Tony in Dallas...now that's a Seduction Meal! Thank you Tony
"Picture this...A while ago I decided to make a romantic dinner for two on Valentines Day; Lobster Thermador, that traditional dish of a lobster shell filled with cooked lobster meat, mushrooms, and cheese. Found a great recipe, followed it to a 'T', extracting all of the raw lobster meat from the shell by using a meat mallet to crush the shells, remove the meat, and cook it. Well, low and behold, who knew lobsters bleed??? There were red specs all over my white kitchen tiles! I didn't notice this until after dinner when my partner asked, 'what the heck did you slaughter in this kitchen?'--a little exaggeration of course, but true. With that in mind, when you remove the inner body cavity from the shell, as my recipe instructs, you may see a little red blood. Don't panic. For the light hearted, you can always ask your butcher to kill the lobster before you take it home."
The following recipe is derived from an original recipe for Lobster Thermador but redefined to create a lighter, healthier version; or so I'd like to think. Serve with your favorite side dish or salad and a fine chilled white wine.
Lobster with Chardonnay Sauce 1 ½ - 2 lb Maine Lobster 4 oz sliced mini Portobello mushrooms (cut into 2" x 2" semi-circle halves) 3 tbsp Olive Oil 1/3 cup minced shallots 2 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp fresh, coarsely chopped parsley ½ tsp dried thyme 1 bay leaf 2 oz tomato paste 2 ½ cups Chardonnay wine 1 cup heavy cream 1 T shredded Mozzarella or Emmental cheese, optional Salt and white pepper to taste
Note: A good pair of kitchen shears will help cut the lobster shells, as opposed to a knife.
Who can resist hot and spicy? This is a guaranteed hit and very easy to prepare. You can serve this as an appetizer with French bread to soak up the garlic flavored olive oil, or you can toss in some of your favorite cooked pasta and serve as a main coarse.
Spicy Garlic Shrimp
1 lb of medium size shrimp, peel and devein (I leave the tails on, but that's up to you) 1/2 cup of olive oil 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 3 medium cloves of crushed garlic A dash or two of sea salt
To infuse the flavor of garlic and pepper, pour 1/2 cup of olive oil
in a large skillet, add pepper flakes and crushed garlic and let stand
for 1/2 hour. When you are ready to cook, turn up the heat high to get
the oil nice and hot. Turn heat down to med-high and add 1/2 of the
shrimp. Cook shrimp until they turn pink on edges (about 2 minutes per
side), turn each shrimp and cook until the entire shrimp is pink (2
minutes). Remove immediately, do not overcook. Place shrimp in a plate
and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining shrimp (there should be
plenty of oil left). Place shrimp on a serving dish, pouring some of
the oil over the shrimp. Serve with crusty french bread to soak
up the flavored spicy olive oil.
One of my favorites, crab cakes can be served as an appetizer or a main dish. Served with a glass of wine or champagne this is also a great way to jump start your date with a moment together at your place before heading out for your favorite restaurant.
1 cup of mayonnaise
4 teaspoons finely chopped scallions
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle sauce
2 tablespoons chopped scallions for garnish
Combine all ingredients and chill for 1 hour. Serve on top of each crab cake.