get fresh! tomato blue cheese salad

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).

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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".

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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,

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chilled avocado seafood soup

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.

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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)

1 6-oz can of high quality crab meat, drained

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon

3 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper

Tortilla Chips

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curried carrot bisque

This recipe was submitted by the seductress Virginia of NYC.

This recipe was given to me by the chef of the Kitchen Witch–one of the finest restaurants located in Greenwich Village in the early ’80’s, which sadly enough has since closed. It was one of our favorite choices on the menu. I was very fortunate to have seduced the chef Stanley with my wit and appreciation and pry the recipe from him. Curried carrot bisque has never failed to seduce and tame anyone who has tried it; that includes man, woman, child and the occasional four legged furry gourmand dog lucky enough to taste it.

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curried carrot bisque

2 1-lb bags of peeled baby carrots

2 quarts of low sodium chicken broth 

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2-3 tablespoons of curry powder

1/2 point of light cream or half and half

pinch of Cayenne pepper

creme fraiche

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of olive oil

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Eggplant with Lamb, Onion + Tomatoes

This is a variation on the famous Turkish dish, Imam Bayildi which literally means "The Iman Fainted". They say a certain Imam who tasted this dish after observing a holy day and ending a long fast was so taken with the aroma of this dish, he actually fainted. May you be so lucky to witness this same reaction!

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The original dish does not include the lamb, so feel free to remove this ingredient and skip the first 5 ingredients and step 1. Either way, its delicious! This is a stove top dish that I consider easy to prepare, although there is a bit of preparation. This can be served as a main dish or as a side dish.

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creamy strawberry almond biscotti

Using the freshest sweet and ripe strawberries of the season, this dreamy dessert was submitted by Virginia, NYC.

Seizing the moment is key to a quickie seduction. I needed a quick dessert to seal the deal without fuss or missing a beat, which is how this recipe came about. You and loverboy/girl can taste the honeyed creamy mixture and the berry liqueur concoction, and all the ingredients are lickable.

Biscotti is a light yummy finish to any meal. Amaretto is very romantic. Add smooth marscapone ricotta for body and honey for sweetness. Its a surefire way for the perfect finish to a seduction meal or the quickie your meal may lead to. My "quickie Imagination" coupled with a "seize the opportunity and use what was on hand" was successfully rewarded, as this can be eaten before, during and after a truly seductive encounter.

creamy strawberry almond biscotti

4 pieces of almond biscotti

1/2 cup Amaretto

6-8 strawberries, washed and halved (quartered if berries are large)

3 sprigs fresh chopped mint leaves

1/2 cup of marscapone

1/2 cup part skim ricotta

4 tablespoons honey

Soak berries and mint in 1/4 cup of Amaretto – set aside. Mix marscapone and ricotta with honey until creamy, set aside. Soak almond biscotti in remaining Amaretto. Refrigerate all ingredients except biscotti until you moment of Seduction.

Spoon ricotta/marscapone mixture onto a biscotti. Spoon the strawberry/mint mixture on top of that. Feed to your object of desire…lick fingers and any other part the mixture drips onto–enjoy!

You can use flavored biscotti, fruit and liquor can be tailored to your preference, i.e. hazelnut biscotti with chocolate liqueur and raspberries or cherries. Enjoy this guaranteed combo for a quickie seduction

Mushroom + Leek Beggar’s Purse

A wonderful, savory dish that is sure to enhance any Seduction Meal. This one is all about taste, texture and presentation. I typically serve this with grilled rosemary lamb chops.

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First; I hope to spare you the mistake I made the first time I prepared this dish. I never worked with leeks before and had no idea what was to follow. While not complex, this is time consuming process. I painstakingly followed the recipe to a "T". The aroma filled the room; the anticipation was great. I had 6 people over for dinner–everyone  commented on how beautiful the dish looked. We all lifted our forks and savored the moment the food would hit our palette. To my horror, I had an unexpected mixture of mushroom, sherry, leeks and sand in my mouth. It was devastating! Thank goodness it was my family so (to this day) we all laughed it off.

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A little bit about leeks. A member of the onion family, leeks are grown in sandy soil. It is very important to thoroughly wash the leeks as dirt and grit can be found in the white section from the base up. Buy fresh, healthy looking leeks–preferably younger ones. The best flavor is the white part of the leek, which has a sublime sweet, earthy flavor, much milder than cooking with onions. When cooking leeks be sure not to overcook or brown them, rather, saute leeks until soft and remove them from the stove.

Mushroom + Leek Beggar’s Purse

4 Leeks, washed thoroughly

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 lbs of mushrooms (mixed is fine), I used shitake and button mushrooms. You can use chanterelles or criminis too.

Crumbled Gorgonzola blue cheese (optional)

1-2 tablespoons of fresh crushed thyme leaves

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4  cup of sherry or Madeira Wine

6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed in refrigerator

8 tablespoons (1 stick), unsalted butter melted

Long stemmed chives (use for ties)

1. To prepare leeks, cut away the blue/green leaves on top and trim the base. Peel away the first layer. Slice the leeks in 1/4" rings from top to bottom. Using your finger, push through each sliced ring and drop into a colander (this results in a bunch of smaller rings–see photo). Take the colander to the sink and rinse with cold running water. Place the colander in a bowl (or better yet use a salad spinner), and fill with cold water. Let stand so sand/grit falls to bottom. Lift colander out of water, throw out sandy water, rinse leeks again in cold running water. I do this process three times. Lastly, shake away any water and set aside to dry for a few minutes.

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James Beard Softshell Crab Extravaganza

If you enjoy the social experience of food and wine tastings,The James Beard Foundation offers a special alternative to yet another night at your favorite restaurant. When I first discovered the place, I thought: what a wonderful place for a first or second date (and then some). Throughout the year the foundation features ongoing chef hosted events. The cost is $100 – $200 per person per tasting event, perhaps a bit pricey I agree (luncheons and workshops are less). However, if you do not find this a big ticket item the overall experience could serve as inspiration for your next home cooked Seduction Meal.

I experienced my first James Beard event– The Annual Soft Shell Crab Experience. What a night! First, it was completely booked when I called to RSVP. Happily someone canceled so they dialed the waiting list…I was thrilled when the call came through. This year’s event was orchestrated by Michael Sullivan of Brouwers restaurant in New York City.

The Menu: Hor d’Oeuvre / Cocktail Reception

Salmon & Spinach Strudel

Main Crab Cakes with Chipotle Tarter Sauce

Mini Crab Cake Quiche

Tuna and Mango Tartare

Open-faced Grilled Brie Sandwich with Bacon and Tomato

Nino Franco Prosecco NV

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Spicy Garlic Shrimp

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.

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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.

Thin Crust Pizza on your BBQ

This Seduction Meal Story, photographs and recipe was submitted by Jay R. from NY. Thank you for sharing this…Great Job!   

"Cooking something special can be as seductive as eating it. Of course, cooking while entertaining takes a degree of confidence that, in itself, can impress as much as fancy ingredients. To my mind, seduction meals involve conversation, gazing, tasting, touch, and movement. Cooking and serving a meal allows ample time for all five. The only seduction meal that will ever matter to me was making homemade thin crust pizza on an outdoor grill at sunset on the deck of my country house. I made two with separate toppings; mozzarella with olives and fresh basil and a white pizza with chopped clams and garlic. A crisp Italian white wine got the conversation flowing and helped pull everything together. Mission accomplished!"

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Grilled Pizza

1 ball of pizza dough

1 medium size can of crushed tomatoes (San Marzano preferred),

1 ball of super fresh mozzarella cheese, slice ¼ inch thick

1/2 bunch of fresh basil leaves, chop into large coarse pieces

¼ cup of black oil cured olives, pull flesh off of pits

small can (6.5 oz.) of chopped clams, drain liquid

3 cloves of fresh garlic, slice super thin like they do in the movies

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

grated Pecorino Romano cheese

flour to dust work table for rolling out dough

crushed dried hot pepper flakes

salt and pepper

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Salmon Caviar Rolls

I used to take this great photography class at Cooper Union whereby the instructor, Eric Feinblatt, would throw out a word a week and our challenge was to go out and shoot our interpretation of that word. The work presented by the students was extraordinary; filled with creativity, thought-provoking approaches and enough conversation and critique to fill each class. You were inspired to push yourself beyond the expected.

I took this approach when I stumbled upon this image. I loved the way the food was styled, shot and presented; so I decided to reverse engineer this process by concocting a recipe to go with the photo. While I am not a food photographer, and this photo is definitely better than mine, I have to say this dish tasted as good as the original shot looked.

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Salmon Tobiko Rolls

4 oz – 8 oz of smoked Scottish Salmon*

4 tablespoons of creme fraiche

2tablespoons of whipped cream cheese

2 tablespoons of tobiko caviar (fish roe)

1teaspoon of fresh, finely chopped chives

fresh cracked pepper

1/2 cup of mixed greens

2-4 tablespoons of fresh Malossol American Keta Salmon Caviar

*Note: This recipe provides enough of the creme fresh mixture for 8 rolls. 4 oz of smoked salmon makes 4 rolls, 8 oz = 8 rolls.

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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 . . .

Terry Dagrosa


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


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?

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.