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...
It is Meatless Monday time and here we have a wonderful treat - grilled baby artichokes! This dish calls for sauteing baby artichokes in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon and white wine--cooked until tender, as only a baby artichoke can be. The sauce artichokes and lemon/wine sauce are then served over a bed of spaghetti. Serve with a glass of your favorite white wine. This recipe would pair perfectly as a side dish to grilled skewered shrimp.
Baby Artichokes in Garlic, Lemon Wine Sauce served over Spaghetti Serves 4
8 baby artichokes, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1 cup dry white wine
1/8 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
Grated fresh, Parmesan cheese
Garnish: Fresh parsley, chopped
Remove outer layers of artichoke leaves until the white inner leaves are reached. Trim stem to length of 1/4"
Trim the tip of the artichoke cutting about 1/4" from the top; cut the artichokes in half lengthwise
Place artichoke halves in a bowl and coat with the flour, salt and black pepper
Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté for 3-4 minutes until garlic is softened.
Add the artichokes and sauté for about five (5) minutes. Stir in the rosemary and the lemon juice and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium, add wine, salt and fresh black pepper to taste and cover, simmering for 15 minutes.
While artichokes are simmering, cook pasta as per directions on box.
Test artichokes, they should be tender. You can still remove outer leaves that are not tender. Remove artichokes from pan and set aside, covered.
Remove artichoke bits if any are left in the skillet. Add olive oil and garlic and a dash of salt and pepper, cooking until garlic is softened. (do not burn garlic)
Drain pasta and add to the skillet. coat with garlic olive oil.
Place pasta in a large serving bowl and mix well to evenly coat pasta. Top with artichokes, Add grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh parsley.
Option: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Serve with white wine. Enjoy!
I have always been a fan of Beef Stroganoff, but in honor of Meatless Mondays here is a vegetarian variation. You can use your favorite mushroom mix: go for white button, crimini, portobello, shiitake, morel, chanterelles, morels, and/or oyster mushrooms. And as I like to spice things up a notch I top each dish with a pinch of red pepper flakes. For those meat lovers who insist...here is the link to a delicious Beef Stronganoff recipe.
Mixed Mushroom Stroganoff serves 6
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion or 1 large shallot, finely diced
1 pound mixed mushrooms, chopped and washed
1 leek, thoroughly cleaned, sliced into 1/4" rings
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
1/4 cup white wine to deglaze the pan
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/8 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Pappardelle or Egg noodles
Cook the egg noodles per the instructions (al dente)
In a hot skillet add butter, olive oil and shallot cooking until the shallot is translucent.
Add and saute the mushrooms. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes.
When the water from the mushrooms dissolves, add a dash more olive oil, oregano, lemon juice and add leeks. Cook for 5 more minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until all liquid dissolved and mushrooms are browned.
Note: If adding asparagus tips do so now
Add white wine to deglaze the skillet, scraping all bits to the center of the pan.
Add sour cream and slowly mix together, blending all ingredients.
Sprinkle flour over the sauce to slightly thicken
Add parsley and mix together.
Add cooked pasta and heat thoroughly.
Season with salt and pepper, if needed and serve with your favorite red wine.
I whipped up this recipe when experimenting with different ways to use Arrabiatta sauce (a spicy tomato sauce) for the Bertolli Private Cooking Session with Chef Sarah Page. My experimentation evolved into this recipe: Spicy Tomato Shrimp with Risotto and Fresh Summer Peas. I placed the final results on a platter and served it to my two taste testers--it elegantly disappeared in minutes when I was asked for seconds. Love that!
Spicy Tomato Shrimp with Risotto and Peas
1 lb Large shrimp, deveined and peeled, leave tails on
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of Arrabiatta Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup of dry red wine
1 Tbsp tomato paste
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Risotto:1 box of instant risotto (I used garlic basil risotto)
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup of fresh of frozen peas
In a large skillet, add olive oil and a pinch of salt, heating up over medium-high heat.
Add shallots and cook until translucent and soft--about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic cook for 2 minutes
Add tomato sauce, tomato paste. red pepper flakes and wine, cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Make risotto according to directions on box.
Cook peas (fresh or frozen) in a skillet with butter. Cook over medium low and remove as soon as they are done. Add butter (if any is remaining) and peas to risotto.
Add shrimp to the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, shrimp will turn pink
Plating the Dish
Place the risotto in a small bowl or cup and firmly pack. Turn upside in the middle of the serving plate
Add shrimp in tomato sauce on both sides of the risotto
Garnish with flat leaf parsley and (optional) hot pesto sauce as small circular mounds on the plate
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."
Another delicious Italian recipe from the cookbook: Ciao Italia: Five-Ingredient Favorites, where Mary Ann Esposito shows you how to turn just five ingredients into an easy, delicious dish bursting with Italian flavor. Here we have an Italian classic--Coal Miner Style Spaghetti or Spaghetti alla Carbonara.
"Just about everyone I know has a recipe for spaghetti alla carbonara. This simple but heavenly dish is said to get its name from the coal miners who could easily make it with readily available ingredients: eggs, cheese, and guanciale, cured and salted, pig's jowl and cheeks. A likely story, but the fact is that this dish is superb when made correctly and a completely balanced meal. The eggs should be of the highest quality and at room temperature so they will mix well with the spaghetti. The cheese should be none other than true Parmigiano-Reggiano, or pecorino Romano. Today, the more readily available pancetta is used in place of guanciale. And a pepper mill is essential for the right grind of black pepper."
Coal Miner Style Spaghetti: Spaghetti alla Carbonara Recipe Courtesy of Mary Ann Esposito Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounce chunk pancetta, diced
1/2 pound spaghetti
3 large eggs at room temperature and lightly beaten
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Good grinding coarse black pepper
Salt to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and stir in the pancetta. Cook until crispy. Set aside and keep warm.
Cook the spaghetti until it is al dente, in 4 quarts of rapidly boiling, salted water. Al dente means still firm but no uncooked flour is visible when a strand of spaghetti is broken in half.
Drain the spaghetti in a colander, and save 6 tablespoons of the water. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved water to the sauté pan with the spaghetti and toss well for a few minutes over low heat to get the spaghetti really hot. Remove the pan from the stove top and rapidly stir in the beaten eggs, 2 more tablespoons of the reserved water, and half the cheese. Combine well. If the spaghetti seems dry, add the last 2 tablespoons of the cooking water.
Add the reserved pancetta and any drippings. Stir well. Add a good grinding of the pepper. Add salt if needed.
Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Serve immediately.
This recipe is from Ciao Italia : Five-Ingredient Favorites by Mary Ann Esposito. For another delicious treat, try her Cheesey Stuffed Meatballs.
At a party I recently attended, someone mentioned a Sicilian recipe that intrigued me. The pure simplicity of the dish was appealing - spaghetti with breadcrumbs, garlic, and anchovies. I typically do not like anchovies so I thought I would try Boquerrones, or white anchovies, that are supposed to have a mild, more subtle flavor than the dark salty, hairy anchovies typically found in Cesar salads or on pizza. I used White Anchovy Fillets by La Conserviera di Burano, which I now refer to as "the one and only anchovy" for connoisseurs.
Spaghetti with Anchovies & Breadcrumbs Spaghetti con Acciughe e Mollica
1/2 cup toasted fresh breadcrumbs (see below)
1lb spaghetti, reserve 1/4 cup of water from the spaghetti
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons of EVO
6 cloves chopped garlic
8 white anchovy filets
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
1/8 cup capers
Garnish with parsley and breadcrumbs
(option) Grated Sicilian pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese per plate
INSTRUCTIONS Bread Crumbs To prepare the toasted breadcrumbs it is preferable to make them from stale, dry bread. Pulse the breadcrumbs in a food processor until you have coarse crumbs. Its best not to use pre-packaged breadcrumbs--they are too fine for this purpose.
Over medium heat, lightly coat a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and allow the pan to warm
Add the breadcrumbs, stirring constantly to prevent the breadcrumbs from sticking or burning. Cooking until evenly toasted to a nice golden brown color
Remove them from the pan setting aside 1/4 of the bread crumbs for garnish and the rest will be added to the sauce.
Just before starting the Anchovy Sauce, bring a large pot of salted water to rapid boil. Add the spaghetti, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking. Cook per instructions, until tender to the bite, preferably al dente.
When the spaghetti is done, drain and set aside.
But first, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water - set aside. While the spaghetti is cooking, prepare the Anchovy sauce.
Chopped the garlic. Chop the parsley. Rinse the capers - set all three aside
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add crushed garlic, and saute for a few minutes, stirring so they do not overcook.
Add anchovies and crushed red pepper flakes, mashing the anchovies in the pan with a wooden spoon.
Add capers and 1/8 cup of the pasta water to the pan and stir ingredients together. Remove from heat
When the spaghetti is done and drained, return the anchovy sauce to the burner and over moderate heat, add the spaghetti to the Anchovy sauce coating all strands.
Add breadcrumbs and parsley. Add more of the reserved pasta water if it seems too dry, tossing everything together.
Plate the dish Add a serving size portion of the spaghetti to each dish. Top with some of the reserved bread crumb and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Add cheese if using, and if you like to spice things up--a sprinkle of red hot pepper flakes. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
Here is a recipe for an easy-to-prepare Seduction Meal. This recipe uses fresh fettuccini pasta as a bed for fresh porcini
mushrooms sautéed with game sausage and garlic, then topped with
seasoned bread crumbs and black truffle butter at the last second for a
truly decadent result. If you don't eat meat, you can simply cut the
sausage from the recipe for a vegetarian version.
Pasta with Sauteed Porcini Mushrooms, Sausage, and Truffle Butter Serves 4-6 Recipe courtesy of MarxFood.com
3-4oz fresh fettuccini per person (or whatever noodles or filled pasta you like)
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
I am honored to present a truly seductive recipe straight from Italy, complements of Chef Simone, from Lucca.
He creatively combines courgettes, or zucchini as we call them in the US, and a Béchamel sauce for a
twist on an all time favorite comfort food--lasagna. If zucchini isn't your thing, you can substitute this with a vegetable of your choice such as
mushrooms, artichokes, eggplant, or asparagus. Chef Simone's vegetable lasagne is made with alternate
wide pasta, vegetables, cheese, and a bechamel sauce.
Remember lasagna is a
dish that taste even better the next day so you have a very good reason
to extend your date.
Wild Boar Ragu with Papardelle by Marxfood.com, a juicy, flavorful meal that will keep you warm on cold winter nights. This just might become one of your favorite winter comfort foods. Served with a nice full bodied red wine, this is a simply delicious Seduction Meal for two. This can also be made with pork instead of the wild boar.
See Recipe below (Continue Reading)
Tips on Cooking Wild Boar
Wild Boar dishes are show up more frequently on restaurant menus. A good thing to keep in mind when cooking Wild Boar or Wild Pork; the meat contains much less fat than the typical store bought pork so it is important to pay special attention to how its prepared. The wild boar's light fat layer can be easily trimmed; however, many cooks believe the fat layer provides a "self-basting" element and helps retain succulence.
Tips from AskTheMeatMan.com: Wild boar is lean meat that should, as a rule, be cooked at lower temperatures than other meats. Avoid overcooking. Wild boar, raised like beef, is range fed and therefore can be served on the rare side. A rule of thumb for cooking wild boar is "low and slow". The temperature for cooking roasts for example, is 250-275 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of time depends on your personal preference as to how well done you would like to cook your meat. For chops, bake with a sauce for best results or if you prefer, pan-fry at a medium heat. Always check frequently so as not to overcook.
When preparing wild boar for cooking remember, never thaw or cook this meat in a microwave, as it will become very tough and dry. Slowly thaw meat the day before and marinate overnight for best results. Pineapple juice or wine is a particularly good choice for marinade because it contains an enzyme that actively breaks down muscle fiber. Therefore it is highly effective as a meat tenderizer.
A hearty meal for a cold balmy night, this recipes for Spaghetti Carbonara blends the sweet taste of sun dried tomatoes and salty pancetta with a creamy parmesan cheese sauce I like to serve this with a tomato basil bruschetta and a bottle of chilled white burgundy like Domaine Vocoret 2006 Chablis. I typically do not add salt to this dish as the pancetta is salty. The best things about this delicious dish--including the wine and bruschetta, this Seduction Meal is less than $40 for two, and it can be made in less than 1/2 hour.
If you are looking for a simple way to boost your sex life, try adding basil to your meals. Reputed to stimulate one's sex drive and increase fertility basil has been favored as an aphrodisiac for centuries. And like Cleopatra and Cassanova, masters of seduction, be sure to set the tone of the night by whispering a tale or two of the amorous affects that basil is known to evoke as you pour each other a glass of white wine and enjoy this simply sumptuous meal. For an added kick - start you evening with an avocado, lobster salad and champagne--all believed to be aphrodisiacs.
penne with basil, tomato and ricotta
1 box of your favorite penne pasta 3 tbsp of olive oil 1 tsp oregano
1/8 cup of shredded fresh basil 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup of olive oil 1 pint of cherry tomatoes left whole 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
ricotta cheese, sliced and crumbled red pepper flakes
1. Cook pasta al dente, according to directions on the package. Drain when done and place in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, oregano, Parmesan cheese,and salt and pepper to taste. Be careful not to add too much salt as the cheese can be salty. Tip: Always use fresh parmesan, nothing in a can and not the kind that comes in a pint container grated. You want fresh.
2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet making sure there is enough to cover the bottom. If your skillet is exceptionally large you may need a little more oil. When hot, add the cherry tomatoes and saute for a minute or two. Add the garlic over the tomatoes and cook for another minute. Carefully stir the tomatoes so garlic is mixed in to the oil. In another minute or two, when the tomato skin start to wrinkle, they are almost done--you want to keep them in long enough so the skin starts to slightly char. If you need to, add a bit more olive oil to the pan (you want about 1/8 cup of garlic infused oil to add to the pasta).
3. Remove the tomatoes from the heat. And pour tomatoes/olive oil over the pasta, gently tossing ingredients together.
4. Place the pasta on two plates. Top with the remaining chopped basil, a dash of red pepper flakes, and some fresh grated parmesan cheese.
5. Bring you plates to a table lit with candles. Pour two glasses of red wine. Toast to each other and enjoy!
For a luscious quickie that will satisfy all senses, this seduction meal will delight the eyes, tease the imagination and grab you with its divine taste. A sure winner that can be made in 1/2 hour.
crab ravioli in saffron cream sauce
saffron cream sauce 2 tbsp butter 1 shallot, minced 1/2 cup dry white wine 2 good pinches saffron threads 2 cup whipping cream 1/4 tsp of cayanne pepper salt and pepper to taste fresh chives
crab ravioli 1 dozen crab ravioli
I used all natural crab ravioli from The Ravioli Store
lobster 1/2 lb of fresh, cooked lobster meat, preferably with two small lobster tails cut the lobster tails in half lengthwise 2 tablespoons of butter
1/8 cup of dry white wine
preparing the dish
saffron cream sauce Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallot and cook until translucent. De-glaze by ading wine; cooking and stirring until wine evaporates--about 3 minutes. Add cream and saffron. Lower heat and simmer, cooking until sauce has reduced to just about half. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Finish with a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir. Set aside.
ravioli Cook lobster ravioli per directions. Drain
lobster While ravioli is cooking, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add lobster pieces and toss to coat with butter. Add wine. Cook until you have nice medium brown color on the white meat, carefully flipping the skillet, or stirring, to cook lobster on all sides--about 3 - 4 minutes. Set aside
plating the dish Reheat the sauce, if necessary. Add 3-4 tablespoons of sauce on each plate. Place 3-5 ravioli on top--depending upon whether you are serving this as an appetizer or a main course. Spoon the sauce over ravioli. Top with a few pieces of the lobster meat. Garnish with snipped chives and a strand of chives that you will a lay on top and across the entire dish. If you like a little kick, sprinkle with a tiny bit of cayenne pepper. Another great garnish would be caviar or tobiko--I'll have to try that next time.
Serve this with a chilled bottle of Chablis and wait for the praise and adoration to follow.
For a truly seductive, lighter pasta meal try Linguine alle vongole; an Italian dish made with fresh clams, parsley, garlic, white wine and butter. To start, serve up a simple salad like the radicchio salad with thinly sliced parmesean cheese slices.. Next serve up this great linguine dish with a bottle of chilled white wine and hot crusty bread and the night is yours.
Salad 1/4 cup extra olive oil 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar salt and pepper to taste Medium size head of radicchio lettuce
Fresh Parmesean cheese, long thin slices
Tear the radicchio in
separate leaves. Place in a salad spinner filled with ice cold
water--add some ice cubes if your water isn't ice cold. Let stand for a
5-10 minutes. Drain. Set aside. Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar.
Plate the Dish
Place the salad on each plate. Using a cheese slicer to get very thin
slices, carve long thin slices from the brick of cheese. Arrange slices
over the lettuce. Drizzle with salad dressing, salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Linguine alle Vongole serves 4
4 Tbsp olive oil 1lb fresh minced clams 12 oz clam juice 2 dozen cockles 1 1/2 little neck clams 1 head of garlic, finely chopped 1 medium white onion, finely chopped 1 cup white wine 1/2 stick sweet butter 1 Tbsp finely chopped red jalapeno 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley 1 box linguine Salt and Pepper to taste
Preparation Simmer the onions and garlic in olive oil in a skillet over low heat (you do not want to brown them, only soften). When soft, add minced clams. Continue to cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Add remaining liquid (wine and clam juice), turn heat up to medium, cooking until liquid just begins to boil, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.
Cook pasta as per directions being sure to remove when al dente. Strain the pasta and place in a large bowl, add 1/2 stick of butter and toss. Salt and pepper to taste.
Steam cockles and little necks clams until shells just open. Remove from heat, set aside
Plating the dish Heat up the minced clam juice. Place linguine in large serving bowl. Arrange littlenecks and cockles over the pasta and add minced clam mixture over the pasta and make sure its hot. Sprinkle red jalapeno (to taste), salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with the minced parsley.. Serve with your favorite wine, and toss the pasta at the table for maximum effect.
This recipe was submitted by Stefan of NYC, and a Seduction Meal it is!
For those who like it hot, and we know you do, this dish will have you both flush with desire as you devour this medley of calamari, shrimp, clams, garlic, and hot peppers slowly simmered in a hot diablo sauce, topped with a special garnish and a pinch of red hot pepper flakes.
Mediterranean fare is my absolute favorite. Lemons, figs, olives, almonds, eggplant, tomatoes, cheese and pomegranates--all wonderful tasty morsels and healthy food choices. Throw in lamb, seafood, pasta, a bottle of wine, and some fresh baked bread and I could live on this food forever.
If you love vegetables, you will LOVE this dish. Oven roasted eggplant, mushrooms, olives and tomatoes bring out an intense flavor for this Seduction Meal. This garlic infused vegetable medley can be served over polenta or pasta as in the recipe below.
1lb of your favorite pasta, I used Gragnanese
5 baby eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch slices and cut in half
9 large button mushrooms, quartered
¼ cup of olive oil
2 cloves of crushed garlic for the vegetables
2 large tomatoes, quartered and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup of pitted Kalmata olives
½ cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed for the olive oil sauce
Tradition. It stays with you your whole life. The rituals, memories, scents, tastes and sounds hopefully all conjure up feelings of love and comfort. My family tradition--every Sunday was Pasta Day. My entire family would gather at my grandfather's house in Brooklyn to share the day and feast on a 5 course meal.
We would start with a mix of artfully prepared appetizers such as stuffed artichokes, shrimp croquettes, and stuffed mushrooms. Coarse two: Pasta. This would be accompanied by a meat platter filled with hot and sweet Italian sausage, the best meatballs, and pork so succulent it would fall apart as you tried to fork a piece. This was followed by a light green salad. And the grand finale: A mix of Italian pastries and fresh fruit served with coffee and Sambucca. You can just imagine the aromas that filled this house every Sunday.
For my Seduction Meal of today, and in honor of my Italian heritage, I am preparing a simpler version of our Sunday Italian feasts.
Olive oil, bite-sized pieces of fresh Parmesan Cheese, and Ecci Panis European Baguette
Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil Salad
Macaroni served with Mushroom Tomato Sauce and Succulent Pork
Cannolis, coffee and Sambuca
The macaroni is served with slow-cooked pork that simmers in a tomato sauce for about 3 hours. At the last hour of cooking I add sauteed Portabella mushrooms. This dish is served with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and served with a nice red wine like Barolo or Chianti Classico Reserve. The recipe that follows serves four hungry Italians.