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09/02/2012Sensual food for Valentine's Day
French cook Stephanie Mazier of A ppetit Voyage suggests exploring foods with aphrodisiac qualities to stimulate your valentine with a sensual feast.Each year, it's the same... I forget about Valentine's day!
I've never been a fan of celebrating this day. Perhaps because I have spent most of my life single, and disregard this as a day for romance, but still enjoyed it with friends.
Who said that being single is a disgrace? Actually, there should be a special day for singles as well!
Anyway, to me Valentine's Day means romantic attention from the person who loves you, not a shopping run to get the last gadget invented by our consumer society. This could be also the reason why I never feel like celebrating this day because as the years pass, it has lost its essence. Having a big party with my girlfriends was perfectly fine for me.
And then.... I fell in love.
I remember that last year I pressed Manolo to think about something to do for Valentine's day... a nightmare for him! Manolo is not a fan of Valentine's Day either, and he was going crazy!
So I just bought a bottle of Champagne and some nice food and we enjoyed it a lot. I think it's nice to enjoy the little things together or spend a nice evening by ourselves.
Of course, the best thing I can offer is to prepare him a sensual and aphrodisiac menu for this day. For me, food has always been linked to pleasure, sharing and caring, and it is even more powerful when enjoyed with the person that shares your life, supports you and stands by you.
So this year, I decided that we will celebrate Valentine's Day -- not commercially, but sensually!
I am sure that you have heard about some foods with aphrodisiac qualities. I conducted some research to find inspiration and found a lot of products and spices on the gourmet sleuth website that I want to share with you!
Here is a short list of aphrodisiac food:
Almond, aniseed, arugula, asparagus, avocado, banana, basil, broccoli, chocolate, cinnamon, carrot, coffee, coriander, fennel, fig, garlic, ginger, honey, liquorice, mustard, nutmeg, oysters, pine nuts, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, truffles, vanilla and... wine!
This gave me some inspiration, so here are my ideas for a sensual and sexy dinner on Monday 14 February.
First, I think that finger food, whenever it is possible, will be more sensual. Let your primal instincts out! This also allows you to share the dish with your partner... so romantic! (sigh).
Second, it is important to open your senses delicately.
For this, some Champagne (I am French, I cannot help it!) would be chic, and in this situation, you should drink Brut. But you can also opt for any kind of sparkling wine, which is more budget-conscious, and prepare a cocktail to warm things up.
You can try a traditional cocktail, like Kir Royal. It is not that well known outside of France, but always impressive. To make it, you put some raspberry liquor in the bottom of your glass then fill it the rest of the way with bubbles. Another cocktail that I really love is to dip a vanilla pod in your sparkling wine glass.
But please....even if you like it a lot, DO NOT HAVE Champagne with strawberries! They do not go together. Instead of strawberries, you can serve some homemade spicy nuts. Reserve your strawberries for dessert with some chocolate fondue, you will enjoy it much better!
To stimulate the sensuous side of your valentine, here are some tasty menu ideas including finger food, spicy recipes and aphrodisiac ingredients.
Ideas for starters:
- Spicy shrimp cocktail - to nibble with your fingers.
- Sushi & maki - You can do a remake Samantha's Valentine's Day gift for her partner in Sex and The City.
- Vietnamese summer roll with shrimp, coriander and carrot - for an exotic trip.
- Thai beef salad - hot, hot, hot!
- Arugula salad with fresh fig, basil and pistachio, and toast with goat cheese and honey.
- Individual tatin tart of turnips served with smoked duck - French chic!
- Cockle salad with a coriander vinaigrette - to eat with your fingers.
- Avocado salad with pineapple, shrimp and coriander - A Caribbean whisper.
- Asparagus with curry mimosa egg dressing - just imagine eating the asparagus.
- Scallop carpaccio with Fennel salad - Trendy and chic.
- Or just some fresh oysters - served with lemon.
Ideas for main dishes:
- Mustard crusted roast beef and stuffed fennel with sauteed carrot and turnips - I´m your man!
- Spicy grilled lamb chops with Basmati rice, flavored with jasmine and cardamom - Exotic treasure.
- Asian style salmon with ginger, garlic, coriander and lemon grass - The power of the Tiger!
- Vanilla lobster - Chic, sexy and... expensive!
To finish in an explosion of pleasure:
- Chocolate coulant with a raspberries coulis - A best seller that you can make yourself.
- Spicy cookies coated with chocolate - with a heart shape?
- Chocolate Fondue served with speculoos (for the cinnamon), fresh figs, strawberries, banana, mini croissants, or just put some chocolate on your skin and let your partner lick it.
- Panna cotta with raspberries coulis - light fresh and fruity, to activate your desire!
- Chocolate sablé with raspberries.
- Petits pots de crème -- expresso, liquorice and chocolate flavours - make them all, then let him guess the flavour of each.
- Banana split - So sexy.
- Profiteroles - traditional but always attractive.
- Flambeed pineapple and banana - you will get hot and dizzy!
Click the menu items with links to find the recipes on my blog. Interested in another recipe from the list? Feel free to contact me here.
Your globe-trotting connoisseur: helping you change your mind about food, wines and cooking!
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Madrid: +34 649 40 04 64
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