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Fish Tales


06-22-2015 Fish Tales - Thai Style MusselsBeloved Food Lovers,

As a weekly practice I write down all of the good things that happen to me throughout the week.  This past Monday I was especially excited about a dinner date.  I spent the weekend contemplating what to make.  First, I thought I would make one of my favorite French dishes, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic but then decided that would be too heavy for a hot summer night.  It was hard to know what to make because this is a person that I am just getting to know and I haven’t discovered his “favorites”.  I love to spoil people with their “favorites”.  Then, out of no where, the idea popped in my head to make mussels.  Last summer a fellow food blogger and colleague of mine posted a recipe for “Thai-Style Spicy Mussels“, as I recalled, it sounded and looked fabulous but I never got around to testing his recipe, so I headed over to Gotham Home Table to refresh my memory.  I took a chance that the guy liked seafood and went to town creating one of my famous seduction suppers.  Everything came together nicely, the ingredients for the broth inspired wonders, I pulled together a beautiful tablescape based on the coconut milk, ginger, pineapple chunks, hot peppers, lime zest and cilantro infusion. 06-22-2015 Fish Tales - Thai Style Mussels - Close up

Earth tones and a beautiful orchid, symbolic of the vanilla orchids that grow wild in Thailand brightened up the table.  I placed a wonderfully rich homemade vanilla cake right in the center, between the setting for two and it looked divine.  Just as I buttered the bread before putting it in the oven, I received a text message, “May have to take a rain check baby girl.  Give me a call momma.”  All I could do was laugh.  Really.  There I was all dolled up, with a yellow flower in my hair and an amazing dinner that I spent two days planning and had just about completed.  Of course, I did not immediately reply to him nor call him.  I took a shot of the cognac instead, yes, Hennessy, it was to be used for the special drink that I had planned for the evening, named “What the Hell??”, and appropriately so.  “What the Hell??” is a concoction of ginger root beer, a splash of apple juice, cognac and lime slices.  I proceeded setting my table and toasted my bread.  I couldn’t let this upset ruin the good thing I had going on.  The sounds of Lhasa Del Sela in the background were as soothing as they were sexy and I wanted to stay in that groove.  After I made up my mind not to express any disappointment, I called.  No answer.  I left No message.  I proceeded.

06-22-2015 Fish Tales - What the HellAs I settled into dinner, I looked at the empty place setting beside me and said, “There must be a VIP reservation for you” and allowed my feelings to flow from my mind to my hand and on a piece of paper in my journal.  I didn’t much feel like dessert, feeling a little too gingerly after drinking for two.  I laid my game down and slept like a baby.  Yes, even a culinary seductress will get stood up.  But like ol’ boy said, “everything happens for a reason” and it’s all good.  Duly noted. 06-22-2015 Fish Tales - Diary

Sensuously yours,

Honey L’Amour

P.S. Do not let this deter you from trying the Spicy Thai-Style Mussels, they are better than good!!! …And I did get a follow-up text message and call.  More on that later.

 

06-22-2015 Fish Tales - Dinner Table

RECIPES

♥ Love is always the first ingredient in amorous cooking ♥

THAI-STYLE SPICY MUSSELS

From the Gotham Home Table kitchen comes this slightly modified sweet and spicy twist on a classic recipe for this delicious Thai-style broth to steam (or flex) your mussels

1 (8-ounce) coconut cream (Gotham’s kitchen calls for coconut milk)

1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks, with juice

1 shallot, diced

2 jalapeño peppers, diced (Gotham’s kitchen calls for serrano peppers)

 1 inch piece ginger root, diced

2 pounds mussels, de-bearded

Fresh cilantro, garnishing

**See Gotham Home Table for cooking instructions.

WHAT THE HELL??

6 ounces ginger root beer

1 ounce apple juice

2 ounces cognac (Hennessy)

 

Burning Desire


Honey - Cherries JubileeNothing is more seductive than the temptation of danger.  It’s exciting!  The exhilarating adrenaline rush makes you feel vivacious and the pleasure experienced reminds you why you love life.  Fire sparks such thrills.  One of the sexiest cooking techniques is to “flambé”.  It is a French term meaning ‘flaming’ or ‘flamed’.  To make a grand spectacular at the beginning of a new cycle for me, I decided that the cherry on top of my year must burn with the same desire I have to transform my life.  To set aflame a new passion and blaze wildly without fear like fire that destroys until it is destroyed was the inspiration for making Cherries Jubilee.  A celebration for setting the captives free.  Cheers to compassion, longing and burning desire.

Sensuously yours,

Honey L’Amour

P.S. Reserve your spot for the “Cooking with Love and CHOCOLATE” experience!!  Click here for more details!!!

RECIPES

Cherries JubileeCherries Jubilee

Easy but impressive

  •  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 16 ounce bag frozen cherries, thawed and drained
  • 2  ounces Red Herring [cherry liqueur]
  • ½  ounce Grand Marnier [orange liqueur]
  • 1 ounce Christian Brothers [brandy]
  • orange zest
  • corn starch
  • ½ ounce Bacardi 151 Proof Rum
  • Pralines & Cream Ice Cream from Baskin Robbins or Haagen-Daz French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet, add sugar, cinnamon, blend ingredients until well incorporated.  Add cherry liqueur, cherries, orange liqueur, brandy and zest of an orange (about a teaspoon), mix together, add corn starch until the desired consistency is reached.  Add the Bacardi 151 Proof Rum to float over the top of the mixture, catch aflame. Ladle over ice cream.

Tip: pre-scoop ice cream in ice cream dish and keep in freezer until ready to top with Cherries Jubilee

Burning DeisreBurning Desire

A dangerously sexy night cap

  • 1 jigger Grand Marnier
  • 2 jiggers Cognac
  • 1 teaspoon Bacardi 151 Proof Rum

In a shaker with ice, add Grand Marnier and Cognac, strain in to a martini glass, float Bacardi 151 Proof Rum over the top and catch a flame.  Let flame burn for 5 seconds or until it dies out.  Take caution! Glass will crack if flame burns for too long.  For show only.

A Man’s Heart


Cafe L'Amour - Tablescaping - Table - Little Italy

The well-known adage, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is on the kitchen table for deeper understanding.  By practicing the ways of a seductress, studying human sexuality and drawing parallels between food and sex, the true wisdom in this old wives’ tale is revealed. 

Cafe L'Amour - Tablescaping - Placesetting and Center - Little Italy

Culinary art is like a seduction, both involve stimulation of all of the senses.  This is as important as the meal itself.  My favorite seduction supper was inspired by the ambiance of an old school Italian restaurant.  Everything was red.  The color of passion.  I built the tablescape using a red and white checkerboard table cloth.  The center of the table glowed with red pillar candles, red roses, a classic bottle of Chianti in a raffia basket, a bottle of Pellegrino sparkling water and scattered tealights.  A round, red placemat, with a white plate and a playing card, representative of each diner, marked our spots.  The cards had double meaning.  Not many people know the esoteric interpretation of playing cards.  They have meaning related to your birthdate, similar to the zodiac, but moreover, the playing cards foretold of events destined for the evening.  While the artichoke stuffed chicken finished baking, my guest and I nibbled on an antipasto platter that I prepared, caprese salad, bread sticks, sipped on wine and played strip poker with the Kama Sutra designed playing cards.  Simple 5-card draw.  It was clear to see that I won.   But in the final hand, my opponent laid down all four kings and the ace of spades, which is his birth card, let’s just say that dessert was done before dinner.

Cafe L'Amour - Tablescaping - Placesetting - Little ItalySeduction is 99% psychological as is our number one erogenous zone, the mind.  Seduction Suppers are designed for pleasure and the indulgence of a good appetite.  Take into high consideration the things your beloved enjoys and include them in abundance.  Their favorite food, colors, scents, and music will arouse their senses, assure their good time and make you irresistible.

 Monteleone's Cannoli

Whatever the recipe, the basic ingredients of a seduction supper are always the same and rooted in sensuality.  With a heavenly aroma filling the air, a gorgeous tablescape, candlelight flickering, and a glorious melody playing in the backdrop, the lovecraft, that is amorous cooking, indeed fills the heart with love and satisfied cravings.

Sensuously yours,

Honey L’Amour

RECIPE

Stuffed with Amore by Moll Anderson, “Seductive Tables for Two”

I prepared Moll Anderson’s artichoke stuffed chicken because of the aphrodisiacal lore of artichokes and the bold flavors that comprise this recipe.  Aside from this wonderful dish, Moll’s tablescapes are inspiring and her sensual decorating tips charming.

  •  1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons drained, chopped roasted red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (Moll has a recipe, which I made, but you can also use Dorot’s basil cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon thawed spinach, squeezed dry
  • 2 (5-ounce) boneless, skin skinless chicken breasts (I used bone-in, skinned chicken breasts)

 MARINADE

  • Artichoke marinade
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt to taste

Additional olive oil for sautéing

Combine the artichokes, cheese, pepper, and spinach in a small bowl.  Cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast, working the knife along carefully.  Divide the artichoke mixture between the pockets.  Press the edge together to enclose the filling.

Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow baking dish.  Add the chicken and turn to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Turn the chicken.  Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the chicken for 2 minutes.  Turn the chicken.  Put the skillet into the oven and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for 45 minutes for bone-in chicken breasts, they are generally thicker or    to 15 minutes for boneless

TABLE ELEMENTS