Cooking for Your Sweetheart
Stay in this Valentine’s day and cook up a feast for your sweetheart. Why not spice up the evening by incorporating a few foods with aphrodisiac properties.
Almonds have been regarded as a fertility symbol throughout antiquity. Some say that their aroma can entice passion, especially in women.
Avocadoes have been considered an aphrodisiac since Mayan times when they were eaten to improve sexual desirability. Avocados are creamy and smooth and full of rich flavor. The Aztecs called the avocado ahuacuatl, or “testicle tree.”
Chocolate contains PEA (phenylethylamine), the “love chemical,” which releases dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain.
Bananans are loaded with potassium and Vitamin B, which are helpful in the function of sex hormones. They also contain chelating minerals and the bromeliad enzyme, which enhances the male libido.
Garlic is full of allicin which gets the blood pumping.
Almond Crusted Chevre and Grape Truffles
4 oz chevre, crumbled
2 oz cream cheese, softened,
2 tablespoons red wine such as Merlot
Salt and pepper to taste,
20 – 24 grapes
½ cup almonds, toasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
In a bowl, mix together chevre and cream cheese with a fork. Add wine and a pinch of salt and pepper; mix until smooth. Chill 30 minutes.
Scoop 1 tablespoon cheese mixture. Press grape into mixture. Using plastic wrap, cover grape with cheese and roll into little ball with grape inside. Remove plastic wrap. Continue making rest of truffles.
Spread almonds onto plate. Finely chop chives and combine with almonds. Roll each truffle ball in almonds and coat evenly. Refrigerate, covered until serving time.
Mexican Avocado Soup
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15-1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon sea salt
10 corn tortillas, cut in strips
2 ripe Hass Avocados, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 cups queso fresco cheese, crumbled
2 limes, quartered
- In a skillet sauté onion and garlic in oil 1 to 2 minutes or until onion is transparent.
- Place sautéed onion and garlic mixture with tomatoes in juice in a blender and blend for 30 to 45 seconds.
- In a stockpot combine puree mixture, chicken broth, cilantro, and seasoned salt.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, heat 1/2-inch oil in a small saucepan.
- When hot, add tortilla strips a few at a time and fry, turn at least once; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oil with tongs. Drain on paper towels.
- Place equal portions of cooked tortilla strips in shallow soup bowls.
- Ladle hot soup over, garnish with avocado, cheese and lime juice to taste.
8 chicken thighs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
1 whole head garlic cloves, peeled, sliced in half
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cup dry white wine
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Cook chicken, skin side down, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn with tongs and cook the other sides, another 3 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm.
- Add garlic to pan and sauté until browned, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the wine, bring to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Warm Bananas with Chocolate and Ice Cream
1 tablespoon butter
3 bananas, sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted or chocolate syrup
vanilla ice cream
Heat butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add bananas and brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until bananas are browned, about 3 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and chocolate drizzled over the top.