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As part of your culinary seduction quest, you will be happy to know Arugula (also known as rocket) has a long history of being referred to as an Aphrodisiac dating back to the ancient Romans and Egyptians.
Arugula has a peppery, somewhat bitter taste. It is typically sold with its roots attached and tends to have dirt/grit on the leaves so it needs a good cleaning. When buying arugula, look for bright green leaves that are not wilting. Baby arugula leaves are preferred for salads, while mature arugula leaves are larger, darker green and spicier. The thinner the leaves the better the taste.
In this salad, the arugula is enhanced by the flavors of freshly squeezed lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. This is a light, refreshing salad that is easy to prepare and can be serve with any meat, seafood or pasta dish; or simply eaten alone.
Arugula Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing
1 small bunch of arugula, enough for two, leaves only.
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander powder
4 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
fresh parmesan cheese, 8-10 thinly shaved slices
salt and pepper to taste
Thoroughly wash and dry the arugula. Place dry leaves on serving plates. Set aside.
For the dressing: Mix together the olive oil, coriander powder, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon juice. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Stir or whisk until well blended. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to allow the sun-dried tomatoes to absorb the dressing. Pour the dressing over the arugula salad, add the parmesan slices, salt and pepper to taste. Pour a glass of wine, get some sexy tunes going, light the candles and dig in.
I recently discovered a very cool food blog and on it this beautifully shot and wonderful recipe for Arugula Salad with Figs. The blog is called Big City Small Kitchen. Great name and very cool blog–check it out and bookmark that recipe.
cooking with gourmet salts
There are many varieties of gourmet salts to aid in your culinary seduction. The best salts are mined from seawater and evaporated in the sun, imparting more flavor and enhancement to your gourmet creations.
On a recent shopping excursion I discovered the beautifully designed packaging of Victoria Taylor’s Seasonings and decided to experiment with a few different salts. The three salts I carried home include: Australian Flake Salt, Celtic Sea Salt and Anglesey Sea Salt. I absolutely LOVE the Australian Flake Salt.
When I got home I ventured over to Victoria’s web site to learn some more. You can purchase sea salt and other exotic seasoning as well as sampling kits such as the Culinary Salts of the World Gift Set on her site. I recommend experimenting with salts and moving away from common table salt as soon as you dare for a more exotic cooking experience. I learned that most gourmet salts are best used as finishing salts at the end of cooking. Here is the information I found.
Australian Flake Salt– The brine that is the source of this salt comes from the Murray River, fed by the Australian Alps. When harvested in their natural form, the salt flakes retain trace minerals giving them a pinkish color. This salt has a delicate texture that comes from the fluffy crystals that are reminiscent of snowflakes. Use this to “finish” a recipe by crumbling the delicate crystals between your fingers to provide a finishing touch that will add a wonderful dimension to any dish.
Celtic Sea Salt – Praised by culinary professionals for its flavor and quality and by health professionals for its unrefined purity and naturally occurring minerals. Celtic Sea Salt is a product of natural crystallization of the ocean waters near Brittany, France. Use Celtic Sea Salt for finishing and baking.
Anglesey Sea Salt–The saltiest of the three, this crystallized salt from the Isle of Anglesey is a gourmet finishing salt from the cleanest ocean water off the west coast of Wales, UK. Anglesey Sea Salt has a soft, flaky texture and retains many trace minerals and elements important for good health.
I will use these salts in upcoming recipes and hope to learn the delicate intricacies and characteristics of each. I’ve already tried the Australian Flake Salt–I poured some olive oil on plate, sprinkled some Australian Flake Salt and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes over the oil, brought out a fresh baguette to dip into the oil. There were four of us–we tore small pieces from the loaf of bread and dipped right in. Everyone loved it!
the seducer’s breakfast
This recipe was sent to us by Diane, NYC.
“This Seducer’s Breakfast was served to me the morning after by my very first lover—he was quite a bit older and taught me a thing or two. Since then I have served it to a few lovers of my own!”
Most important is the serve the eggs with mimosas using very good champagne and fresh squeezed orange juice. For the Eggs Benedict the real trick is to get everything ready at the same time. Start by making the Hollandaise Sauce. You will need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 beaten egg yolks
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of water
salt and white pepper
Cut the butter into thirds and bring it to room temperature. In the top broiler (or just a pan or bowl sitting on top of a saucepan of boiling water) combine egg yolks, lemon juice and water. Add a piece of butter.
Cook, stirring rapidly with a whisk until butter melts and sauce begins to thicken. Add the remaining butter a piece at a time, stirring constantly until melted. Continue to cook and stir for 2 – 3 minutes until sauce thickens. Immediately remove from heat. If sauce is too thick or curdles, immediately whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now for the rest–The Eggs. You will need:
2 English muffins, toasted
4 slices of Canadian Bacon, cooked to your liking
You can poach the eggs in an egg poacher, or if you don’t have one you can use a pan of simmering water. Carefully slide the cracked eggs into the water (I use a cup). Simmer the eggs uncovered for 3-5 minutes cooking until egg whites are completely set and yolks are not too hard.
Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place them on toasted English muffin halves which have been covered with 1-2 slices of Canadian Bacon which has been broiled or warmed in a frying pan for a couple of minutes. You can get the toasting + broiling done while the eggs are poaching but you have to keep moving! Top each egg with that delicious Hollandaise Sauce and a dusting of paprika, pop the cork and you’ll soon be ready for the next round!
For your creative morning pleasures, I found these variations on Eggs Benedict on wikipedia:
I had my eye on a recipe I wanted to try–a special mushroom seduction meal– and lucky me, the market was filled with mushrooms galore.The mushrooms I used are photographed below and include portabello, crimini, shiitake and white button.
Other mushroom varieties include: maitake, oyster, beech, enoki, chanterelle, the odd looking morel mushroom, and edible wild mushrooms. And let’s not forget my all time favorite–truffles. Here’s the recipe I was dying to try.
I went to my cookbook / magazine library and took out my copy of Vol 4 Issue 7 of delicious. magazine for Tobie Puttock’s Open Lasagne of Mushrooms with Fontina Cheese recipe. After converting the ingredients from grams to cups as best as I could; and altering the recipe slightly…I made this amazingly seductive dish. I share with you Tobie’s recipe as printed in the magazine.
Mushroom and Fontina Cheese Lasagne
2 lbs of mixed gourmet mushrooms
3 tbsp of unsalted butter
3 tbsp of olive oil, and 2 extra tbsp
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp marjoram, or a small handful of fresh marjoram
1/3 cup of dry white wine
2 tbsp veal glaze or beef stock
3-4 fresh lasagne sheets, cut to make twelve 3″ x 5″ rectangles (I used regular boxed lasagne sheets)
3 cups fontina cheese, thinly sliced. Plus extra grated for top
Preheat oven to 350. Wipe mushrooms using a damp towel. Cut into thick slices.
Melt olive oil and 2 tsp of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. stirring often. Add more butter if needed. When mushrooms are done remove to a bowl. With same skillet heat extra oil over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic, stirring, for 3 minutes until just starting to brown. Add marjaram and wine and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low, stir in mushrooms and glaze and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place pasta in salted boiling water and cook until al dente, then drain. Place 4 pasta pieces on a greased baking tray. Leaving space inbetween each one. Use a slotted spoon (save any mushroom liquid you may have) and top each sheet with mushrooms, then some cheese. Repeat process ending with top sheets of pasta and grated cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes to heat through and melt cheese.
Boil the mushroom liquid over medium heat for two minutes (terry:I didn’t have any left). Serve lasagne drizzled with mushroom sauce.
Seduction and Elixirs of Love
Elixirs of Love–do you have a culinary seduction story to share? Please email it to me or post it in comments below.
Years ago I attended a party in Midtown Manhattan filled with glamorous people, wonderful food and free flowing champagne. The arresting, surreal part of this setting was the 50 foot wall lined with trophy heads of animals from around the world gazing over this haute NY scene. To top off the night an announcement was made. The host, a worldly hunter, just returned from a highly successful jaunt and invited everyone to join him for a celebratory cocktail mixed with Rhino Tusk. Everyone happily sauntered over to the bar and lustily imbibed. I was one of the few who curiously observed (today I would happily knock one back). But really…could a phallic shaped animal part really enhance your libido and turn you into a rock star lover? Do aphrodisiacs really work? Regardless, I had my eye on the door in case everyone suddenly turned into a “pack of dogs in heat”. Luckily this never happened.
Myth of fact? Throughout the centuries aphrodisiacs–and there are many, have been attributed to increased sexual desire, fertility, and the ability to ignite wild lust and passion in us all. Who are we to argue? If you believe, anything is possible. As I’ve said before, a little culinary alchemy never hurt anyone (except that poor rhino!)
When serving Elixirs of Love to enhance your Seduction Meal–not necessarily rhino tusk but perhaps oysters, avocado, honey or chocolate, be creative with your music selection to get the mood going in the right direction. Have a little fun, maybe mix in a little voodoo magic with your romantic tunes:
Music Play List: Elixirs of Love #1
I Put a Spell on You – Screaming Jay Hawkins
Love Potion #9 – The Clovers
Old Black Magic – Frank Sinatra
Black Magic Woman – Santana
Please make suggestions for more…..
kickass BBQ sauce and juicy thighs
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)
“Cooked with rosemary, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese and sunflower seeds, this side dish is a pure mix of aromatic pleasures and is sure to seduce the palette. You can serve this as a side dish for lunch or dinner, or serve it up with your favorite eggs for breakfast”.
Rosemary Parmesan Potatoes
1.5 lbs mixed small red potatoes, mini Yukon’s, fingerlings
Get ready for some serious sighs of satisfaction! When choosing a steak my preferences is rib eye and always medium rare. Serve this juicy grilled steak with the Tomato Blue Cheese salad (see salad recipes) or Roasted Rosemary Parmesan Potatoes (next post to come). Add a nice Bordeaux and you’re good to go! One tip when cooking steak, it is best to let the steak stand at room temperature for 1/2 – 1 hour before cooking.
Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Sherry Mushrooms
Steak: Choose one large Rib Eye Steak for two, at least 1 inch think
cracked pepper and coarse salt, to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp of crushed garlic
2 tbsp of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Pappy’s Sauce for Sissies)
garnish with a tarragon leaves
Mushrooms: This recipe can be used in many ways; Pile mushrooms on top of thinly sliced, toasted baguette and serve as an appetizer. Serve over grilled steak, poultry, pork chops or with eggs. It is delicious on its own and can be served as a side dish to complement most main dishes.
Whenever you can–always buy FRESH. August and September are THE months to experience the true flavor of tomatoes and this salad is the perfect end-of-the summer treat. I am a big fan of Bon Appetit Magazine. A few years ago I discovered this recipe in the magazine and have been serving it up ever since–never without praise. I make it with or without the garlic toasted bread and I typically serve it with a grilled rib eye steak. (See next week’s Grilled Rib Eye Recipe). You can find the original tomato salad recipe at Epicurous.com).
Tomato Blue Cheese Salad 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup grape tomatoes or halved cherry or pear tomatoes 1/2 cup chopped green onions
10 medium heirloom tomatoes of assorted colors, cored, thinly sliced 1 small red onion, sliced paper-thin 3 celery stalks, sliced thin on diagonal 1 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled blue cheese
Combine 1/3 cup oil, cherry or grape tomatoes, and green onions in medium bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Overlap tomato slices in concentric circles on platter, alternating colors. Scatter onion and celery slices over tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon tomato and green onion mixture over. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese.
a passion for food, art and mescal
The James Beard Foundation does it again. Artistically prepared, seductive Mexcican food paired with assorted mezcal all night long..now that’s a Seduction Meal!
Sean Yontz, recognized as one of Denver’s top chef’s with a passion for Latin influenced cuisine, and Chris Douglas, known for artfully combining his experience and love of fine dining with the flavors and flair of central Mexico; togetgher hosted the Contemporary Mexican Celebration at the James Beard Foundation creating one artistic culinary masterpiece after the other.
They were joined by Ron Cooper, founder of New Mexico based Del Maguey whose prized mezcals are produced in small quantities which may help explain their prices: $40 to $200 per bottle. Here’s a link to some of Ron’s Mescal recipes: you’ve got to love names like "Fire Between the Thighs" and "The Xiuhtecuhtli O (The Fire God)" or "Chocolate and Mezcal Volcano Cakes".
Hors d’Oeuvres Tastings
Butter Poached Spiny Lobster with Crisp Potato Cakes
Foie Gras Torchon with Carmelized Plaintains and Onion Salsa
Tuna Nachos with Guacamole and Fresno Peppers
Huitlachoche Quesadillas with Smoked Jalapeno Salsa (looked more like empanadas to me)
Smokin’ Marg > Del Maguey Blanco Mezcal with Orange and Lime Juices and Cointreau or,
I am very excited to have participated in the Super Soup Challenge hosted by Tami of Runing with Tweezers. You have check out her wonderful blog, and if you love soup you’ll thoroughly enjoy the exquisite collection of recipes submitted by people from around the world. I entered this chilled summer soup–one of my favorites.
This simple yet tasty soup is filled with a mix of flavors that will flirtatiously seduce your palate. The chilled lime avocado base is deliciously enhanced by the cilantro and corn. I like to top this soup with a warm mix of seared crab, shrimp and scallops.
Chilled Avocado Seafood Soup
3 ripe Haas avocados
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
6 cups of chicken stock, remove any floating fat
Kernels from 2 ears of corn on the cob
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and olive oil
salt and pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 heaping tablespoons of cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 lb mix of shrimp and scallops (peel and de-vein the shrimp)
There’s nothing as special as a good friend, except perhaps a good friend with a good bottle of wine . . .
Always strive to create temptation – a glimpse of the pleasure to come – SeductionMeals.com . . .
Seduction is always more singular and sublime than sex and it commands the higher price – Jean Baudrillard . . .
Age and glasses of wine should never be counted . . .
He was a bold man that first ate an oyster – Jonathan Swift . . .
A gentleman seduces his lady’s mind before he even touches her body . . .
First we eat. Then we do everything else – M.F.K Fisher . . .
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away . . .
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Terry Dagrosa, founder and publisher of SeductionMeals.com. As President of Digital Marketing Collective and Tara del Mar Productions, she has extensive experience in sales, design, digital marketing and social media.
"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget, so we’re thrilled to introduce our very special and highly-talented contributors and friends. They’ll share their mouth-watering recipes, cheeky anecdotes and delightfully creative perspectives with all of us. Be sure to check out their websites and follow them, too – we promise you’ll learn to love and cherish them as much as we do!" xoxo
I am very excited to have participated in the Super Soup Challenge hosted by Tami of Runing with Tweezers. You have check out her wonderful blog, and if you love soup you'll thoroughly enjoy the e
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About Seduction Meals
Seduction Meals is about Food + Romance, and everything in-between. . . a sumptuous menu, alluring presentation, sensuous music, luscious cocktails and the right ambiance. Like a precious gift, preparing a romantic meal for two is about making that certain someone feel extra special. With just the right combination of ambience and culinary delights, you too can create a memorable, delicious experience for your loved one. Seduction Meals. Everyone has one - what's YOURS?