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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm starting to think early this year about Valentine's Day! How about some special recipes for your loved one????

All's fair. What is the special appetizer that sets the mood? The ultimate main course? Of course, dessert.

Ideas! I need ideas!!!


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I wish I could remember last years thread on "V" day, It was a very well thought out thread;)

For me, I keep things simple nancy as to not take away from the meaning of the evening.

I share fresh shucked oysters with only a grating od horseradish root...Ofcourse we feed eachother these tiny little mollusks.

a few glasses of sancerre intermingle perfectly with the sweet/briner/spicy flavors.

Then, For our "Entree"Simply a seasoned, charred blood rare prime porterhouse steak with "roasted" garlic bread (No bad breath);)

But for dessert I get alittle funky, I hope this is not over the edge but I make a shaffenberger chocolate fondue, with vanilla scented pound cake and cherries. Only Champange will we drink with the fondue, Just something else to elevate your sences

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Seriously Bond.

Can you imagine ME having to do anything with this mushy day? Even astrologically speaking.

Dr Love, my foot...
Athenaeus is focused on History of Food lately and not on stars...

But for that cute night ,I strongly suggest Souvlaki with tzatziki in front of the fireplace hearing to Tom Wait's mourns.
Or beers and cheese burgers watching TV.

Come on guys! Do something original. Don't be predictable with this champagne and chocolate thing...


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh, mon est cher Athenaeus. Est-ce que vous ne savez pas que ce chocolat soit la langue d'amour?

Chocolate and Champagne may not be completely unusual....but sometimes the classic is the best!

I do not, however, care for oysters. Even though Brad is a pearl beyond price!

And yes, Mr. Bond, I believe in being prepared. Planned spontantenaity!!!

By the way, for love songs I happen to enjoy Michael Tomlinson.

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Ok I posted to the Robert Burns thread but it's most appropriate for you Nancy!
Robert Burns it's classical and original I think ( for the States at least )

It's not food but it's food for sentiments. I wouldn't suggest to escort this poem with tzatziki;)

O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho it were ten thousand mile!

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I seem to recall last years' thread discussing the food from the movie, Like water for Chocolate. To answer your post, however, last year we feasted on:

Pre-meal 'milkshakes' of chambord, cream and rasberry sorbet
Crab chowda' with a smackerel of salmon caviar
Boston-lettuce salad with chevre croutons, strwberry v'gette
Broiled salmon 'hearts' with champagne-poached asparagus, lobster risotto
Jim's famous chocolate-peanut butter & jelly souffle
Gruet Sparkling Wine (from New Mexico... trust me, if you can find it buy it!!! The Blance de Noir is tops!)

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Since you asked so nicely Nancy, I have to reply. First a list of food that are said to be aphrodisiac.

A very popular aphrodisiac with many culinary uses. It has been used as an aphrodisiac since the Greeks and the Romans, who believed aniseed had special powers. Sucking on the seeds is said to increases your desire.

Given it's phallic shape, asparagus is frequently enjoyed as an aphrodisiac food. Feed your lover boiled or steamed spears for a sensuous experience.

Associated with passion and fertility, their aroma is alleged to excite women and is therefore a common ingredient in creams and soaps. Try serving Marzipan (almond paste) in the shapes of fruits for a special after-dinner treat.

Arugula or "rocket" seed has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. This ingredient was added to grated orchid bulbs, parsnip. The added to pine nuts and pistacios. Arugula greens are frequently used in salads and pasta.

The Aztecs called the avocado tree "Ahuacuatl which translated means "testicle tree". The ancients thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled the male's testicles.

As well as an erotic shape the banana has also been associated with erotic energy in the tantric tradition. Bananas are also rich in B vitamins believed to help manufacture sex hormones.

Basil (sweet basil)
Is said to stimulate the sex drive and boost fertility. It is also said to produce a general sense of well being for body and mind.

One of the undisputed kings of aphrodisiacs, the Indians called it the "nourishment of the Gods". Chocolate contains chemicals thought to effect neurotransmitters in the brain and a related substance to caffeine called theobromine.

The phallus shaped carrot has been associated with stimulation since ancient times, and was used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid seduction. They have a high vitamin content and a great source of beta- carotene. In Asia carrots are eaten as a substitute for ginseng and we all now they make us see better in the dark!

We all know how powerfully enlivening roasted coffee beans are so stimulate your body and mind and wake up and get going for a sex marathon.

Coriander (Cilantro seed)
The book of The Arabian nights tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and but was cured by a concoction that included coriander. That book is over 1000 years old so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back far into history. Cilantro was also know to be used as an "appetite" stimulant.

This erotic, fleshy fruit is said to act as a powerful sexual stimulant and has been thought of for centuries as a symbol of fertility and love. Also it is no coincidence that the fig leaf has been used to cover the genitals of those embarrassed by their nakedness.

Garlic has a great history of being a great healing aid, which at the same time acts as a stimulant. The Romans dedicated it to Ceres, The goddess of fertility and the witches have used it in their love potions for centuries.

The root contains an essential oil, which enlivens and stimulates the body and mind, so add some to your curry and get spiced up.

If you're making your lover an aphrodisiac drink, honey is crucial. It is said to have many healing properties, including guarding against sterility and impotence. It also stimulates and strengthens, so don't resist your sweet tooth.

Said to be an aphrodisiac that stimulates women in particular.

Believed to have a powerful effect on the sexual glands, to be stimulating and to increase sexual desire.

Its not really a nut but a seed and has been one of the most popular seasonings since the 16th century. So sprinkle some over your food now and wait for the stimulating results.

Oysters were documented as a aphrodisiac food by the Romans in the second century A.D as mentioned in a satire by Juvenal. He described the wanton ways of women after ingesting wine and eating "giant oysters". An additional hypotheses is that the oyster resembles the "female" genitals. In reality oysters are a very nutritious and high in protein.

Pine Nuts
Many nuts are rich in zinc, a lack of which is said to cause impotence and infertility in men so get eating your nuts today. Pine nuts especially have been used for centuries to make up love potions an effective and powerful aphrodisiac.

Rich in vitamin C and minerals, it is considered highly powerful for potency when soaked in rum and honey, Caribbean style.

Raspberry & Strawberries
Both raspberries and strawberries, combined with Champagne are regarded as powerful aphrodisiacs. Both invite love and are described in erotic literature as fruit nipples.

These mushrooms are the rarest and most sensual of fungi they both stimulate and sensitize the skin to touch.

The scent and flavour of vanilla is said to increase lust, especially when eaten with chocolate, it is said to be stimulating and energy giving. Homeopathic doctors prescribe vanilla as a cure for impotence. We love combining Vanilla pods with champagne: pop a bit of one into a glass of your favourite bubbly.

Along with all the other forms of alcohol, wine is very intoxicating and relaxing. It is often used for ritual purposes to experience ecstasy and has been said to be the most powerful aphrodisiac. A moderate amount of wine has been said to "arouse erections" but much more than that amount with have the reverse affect.

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Before I post recipes, I should tell you nancy that I haven't tried them.

To start your meal:

Love Snails

2 medium-sized tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
30 grams celery
50 grams butter
2 garlic cloves
0.2 grams saffron
thyme and sage

Remove the skin and seeds from the tomatoes Remove the seeds from one green bell pepper.

Chop the tomatoes and the bell pepper, together with a piece of celery, coarsely, using a food processor for 5 seconds.

Melt the butter, add two pressed garlic cloves, saffron and generous pinches of thyme, sage and salt to the melted butter. Let stand for a few minutes, then add the chopped vegetables.

Place 24-48 snails (depending on size) in special snail porcelain ramekins with handles or simply in two individual gratin dishes and cover with the butter-vegetable mixture.

Cook in the preheated 500°F for 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to turn slightly brownish. Serve together with a baguette type bread and a glass of Chablis.

Pine Nut Soup

100 g pine nuts
3 egg yolks
250 ml chicken broth
250 ml cream

Purée a mixture of the pine nuts and the egg yolks in the food processor until you have a fine, smooth paste.

Transfer to a saucepan, add one cup of chicken broth and one cup of cream. The chicken stock can be added already at the food processor stage if you have difficulties in obtaining a smooth paste.

Heat over a gentle fire under constant stirring until the mixture thickens. It must not be brought to a boil. Serve immediately.

If desired, the aphrodisiac properties can be reinforced by suitable spices such as saffron or cayenne pepper.

Since a meal without bread is like a day without sunshine, how about this bread:

Aphrodisiac Bread

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup warm water
2 pinches parsley
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon garlic minced

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast into water & dissolve. Add the rest of the ingredients in order & beat well.

On a floured surface, knead dough lightly for 5 minutes. Form into a round bread & set aside until its has doubled. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes till light brown.

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For main course, a few choices...

Angel Hair Pasta with Truffle Oil

8 ounces fresh Angel Hair Pasta
3 tablespoons Truffle Oil, plus additional for drizzling
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Drain the pasta in a colander, saving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Put the pasta in a warmed ceramic bowl.

Add the truffle oil, a little cooking water, salt to taste, and a generous amount of freshly ground white pepper. Toss gently, adding a little more cooking water if necessary.

Divide the pasta evenly into soup plates. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese. Do not mix. Drizzle a little additional truffle oil , if desired.

Rozanne Gold

Scallops in Saffron

250 grams scallops
200 ml dry white wine
50 grams finely chopped shallot
100 grams finely chopped chestnut mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
2 grams saffron
150 ml fish stock
150 ml creme fraiche

Soak the saffron in the fish stock. Separate the coral from the scallops. Cut the white meat in half horizontally.

Place both coral and white meat in a saucepan and cover with white wine.
Bring the liquid to a boil. Remove from the heat immediately and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the shallot and the mushrooms and cook over a low heat for a few minutes.

Pour the saffron/fish stock over the shallots and mushrooms, bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes.

Add the creme fraiche, let simmer for another 7-10 minutes. Add the scallops, let simmer for another minute. Serve together with toast and a salad.

[B}Adult Baked Macaroni[/B]
10 Servings

8 sprigs fresh thyme
8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
12 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 lemons cut in half
4 1 1/2 pound live lobsters, preferably from Maine
Handful of coarse salt
2 1/2 pounds dried penne
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups provolone cheese (imported, grated)
1 pound fresh spinach, washed, dried, and chopped
3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon truffle oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: 1 to 2 medium truffles (black or white), slivered

To cook the lobster fill an 8-10 quart pot three-fourths full with water. Add the thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Squeeze in the juice of the lemons, then drop them in the pot. Cover and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the lobsters and cook 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the lobsters in a colander, cover with ice, and let cool.

When the lobster is cool enough to handle, pull the tail from the body and remove the claws. Discard the body, or reserve for use in a sauce or stock. Cut the shell from the tail using a knife or scissors and remove the meat. With the blunt end of a knife chop off the tips of the claws as close to the ends as possible (this will help release the meat from the claws). Crack the claws in the center, break open, and carefully remove the claw meat without breaking apart. Meat from the larger claws will have a piece of cartilage in it; this can be pulled out from the area where the claw fingers meet. Cut the tail meat into 1/2 inch slices. Leave the claws whole to use as a garnish. Set the lobster meat aside until ready to assemble the pasta dish.

To cook the pasta, fill a 6 to 8 quart pot with water, add salt, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and stir. Cook the pasta for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Pour into a colander to drain. Do not rinse the pasta; just toss it to remove any excess water. Sprinkle the oil over the pasta and toss with a large chef's fork. Pour the pasta onto a sheet tray or shallow dish to cool (if it looks too sticky, sprinkle some more oil on at this point). Let the pasta cool to room temperature.

When the pasta is cooled pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the cooled pasta in a bowl with the Parmesan and provolone cheese, spinach, heavy cream, and lobster meat (except claws). Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large round, oval, or oblong baking dish and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until bubbling hot. Garnish with the lobster claws and truffle slivers (if using).

Carole Peck

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And for dessert, chocolate of course but not exclusively...

Bouche Noire

12 ounces Baker's bittersweet chocolate
1 and one-half cups sugar
One-half cup bourbon
1 cup butter, softened
6 eggs (at room temperature)
One and one-half tablespoons flour
1 cup whipped cream (optional)
2 cups Louisiana strawberries, sliced (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Butter a 9-inch springform pan, then place a buttered parchment sheet in the bottom of the pan. Cover the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil to keep water from entering the pan during the cooking process. Place the cake pan into a large roasting pan with 1-inch sides. Set aside. Chop chocolate into one-quarter inch pieces and place into a large stainless steel mixing bowl. Place 1-inch of water in the bottom of a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl of chocolate on top of the sauce pan, stirring occasionally as chocolate melts. In a separate sauce pan, combine 1 cup sugar and bourbon. Bring mixture to a low boil, stirring occasionally. When sugar is fully dissolved, pour the hot mixture over the chocolate, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted thoroughly. Remove the bowl from the sauce pan to a table or work surface and add the softened butter, a few at a time, melting completely before the next addition.

In a separate stainless steel mixing bowl, whip the eggs on high speed with the remaining one-half cup sugar and flour until pale yellow and thickened, approximately 5 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture into the melted chocolate and blend until well incorporated. Pour the batter into the springform pan and smooth the top with the spatula.

Fill roasting pan with hot tap water until it reaches half way up the side of the springform pan. Place cake in oven and bake for 1 hour. The top of the cake should have a thin dried crust when cooked. Do not over bake. Remove cake from oven and allow the cake to cool 1 hour at room temperature. Cover the pan with clear wrap and place the cake in the refrigerator a minimum of 4 hours. When ready to serve, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan.

Place a cake plate or cardboard cake circle on top of the cake and invert to remove the bottom of the pan and parchment paper. This cake is extremely rich and truffle-like in consistency. Cut portions into one and one-half inch slices and top with fresh fruit and unsweetened whipped cream. Garnish with julienned mint leaves.

John Folse

Almond Fig Ice Cream
1 quart

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 cup ripe figs, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the almonds and sauté until just golden. Remove the almonds and dry on paper towel. Put aside for later.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In a stainless steel bowl, or double boiler, whisk the yolks with the sugar and salt for 3 minutes, or until pale yellow. Add hot milk slowly while whisking. Place the stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmer water and cook whisking constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the custard from the water and stir in the chilled cream, mashed figs, vanilla, and almond extract.

Chill the mixture for 30 minutes, then pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.

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Finally, for later in the evening, should you need a little more energy...

Strawberries and Candied Ginger Dipped in Chocolate
32 pieces

6 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
16 large ripe strawberries with long stems
16 large pieces of crystallized ginger

In the top of a double boiler set over hot water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the chocolate from the heat and keep it over hot water to keep it from becoming too thick.

Holding each strawberry by the stem, dip it into the chocolate, coating two- thirds of the berry. Let any excess drip off. Put the strawberries on a baking sheet lined with foil or waxed paper. Chill until hardened.

Pierce each piece of ginger with a toothpick and dip it into the chocolate to coat two-thirds, letting excess drip off. Place on a tray until hardened.

Rozanne Gold

Lover's Potion

2 vanilla beans
1 litre milk
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 litre water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 pinch salt
1/4-1/2 cup rum

Warm the vanilla bean in the milk at low heat for about 10 minutes.

Remove the beans, cut the ends and press them to extract all the seeds. Make sure to scrape them to get every seeds. Return the seeds to the milk.

In a bowl, mix the cocoa with lukewarm water until smooth. Slowly add to the milk, making sure to mix well. Add the honey and sugar. Whisk in the pepper and rum.

The potion can be drink either hot or cold.

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Given that Isa has sent the most amazingly comprehensive list of aphrodisiacs, i can only add that in India a few centuries ago (may 10 but to my shame I cannot remember!) the most prized aphrodisiac was canaries tongues. just incase you wanted something different;)
As for french fries - when potatoes first arrived in Europe they were thought of as aphrodisiacs - so you never know!
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