Food to ignite your fire! The special Valentine’s Day spread you can make at home

MILWAUKEE -- It's a feast that could make you frisky! Chef Alisa Malavenda joins Real Milwaukee to talk about foods that put you in the mood.

Aphrodisiac Food to Ignite Your Fire

Nothing is better than delicious foods or aromatic scents to stimulate the senses and make a romantic mood for seductive pleasure.

THE APHRODISIAC STARS

ARTICHOKES, ASPARAGUS, ARUGULA, AVOCADO, BASIL, CHAMPGANE, CHILIES, CHOCOLATE, COFFEE, EGGS, FIGS, GRAPES, HONEY, HORSERADISH, LIBATIONS, OLIVE OIL, OYSTERS, PINENUTS, ROSEMARY, STRAWBERRIES, GINGER, WATERMELON

 THE MIGHTY APHRODITE ( CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL FOR THE LADIES)

  • 1/2 cup Passion Fruit Nectar ( or any fruit nectar)
  • 2 dashes of Bitters
  • 1/2 cup Champagne
  • Raspberries
  • Garnish with Edible Flowers
  • Divide Fruit Nectar and Bitters between 2 champagne flutes.
  • Add Champagne and raspberries.
  • Edible Flowers for garnish makes this as gorgeous as you are!

Champagne: Did you know that Marilyn Monroe bathed in 350 bottles of Champagne?

THE ADONIS (CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL FOR THE MEN)

  • 1 ½ -2  oz vodka
  • 2  dashes Orange Angostura bitters
  • 1 sugar cube or 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 oz Champagne
  • Saturate a sugar cube or teaspoon of sugar in each champagne flute with angostura bitters.
  • Add vodka, fill with champagne, and serve. No need for anything frilly or pretty for this bad boy!

OYSTERS WITH FROZEN CHAMPAGNE MIGNONETTE OYSTERS

Oysters  have been a part of the human diet for thousands of years . One serving boasts a ton of vitamins and minerals (a whopping 220 percent of your daily zinc)

Enough for 2 doz oysters

The Mignonette:

  • 1/4 cup shallots
  • 3/4 cup pickled ginger
  • 1/2 cup champagne
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

Place ingredients in food processor and puree for one minute. Remove and place mixture in 9" pie tin and freeze.

Shuck oysters and place on service platter. Scrape 1 teaspoon of frozen mignonette and place on top of each oyster.

Garnish each oyster with a sprinkle of chives. Serve immediately.

HORSERADISH COCKTAIL SAUCE

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup chili sauce
  • 2-4 T grated horseradish
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2-3 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 t Worchester sauce

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Stir until well combined. Serve with the shrimp and other shellfish

Enough for a pound of Shrimp

SEXIEST SALAD EVER WITH CITRUS HONEY VINAIGRETTE 

Rocket Salad

CITUS HONEY VINAIGRETTE

  • 2 T Honey
  • 1 T Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T Reserved juice from citrus
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 t fresh black pepper
  • ½ cup Olive Oil

SEXY SALAD

  • 1 bunch of Arugula ( spinach is also a good option – also an aphrodisiac – how do you think Popeye won over Olive Oyl)
  • 1 regular or blood orange , peeled and segmented ( reserve juice for vinaigrette
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments or wheels
  • 1 Bulb if Fennel , shaved thin
  • 2 T salty black olives like Sicilian or Kalamata

Peel citrus, removing as much pith as possible and reserving juice. Shave fennel thin.

Whisk together the honey, juice, salt, and pepper; slowly add the olive oil while continuing to whisk.

Place the arugula in the bottom of a salad bowl; scatter the orange and grapefruit segments, fennel slices, and olives over the arugula; drizzle the dressing over the salad to serve.

CREATE YOUR OWN SALAD USING THESE OTHER APHRODISIAC FOODS

ARTICHOKES- They are guarded by their tough leaves and thorns that protect the exquisite beauty found inside. Their HEART.

BASIL – In certain parts of Italy this herb is worn by male suitors to signal the seriousness of their intentions?

FIGS– Oldest known plant and the favorite of Cleopatra – Energy boosting and full of potassium and amino acid that increases libido and drive.

EGGS- from fish to chicken – the egg is a symbol of fertility

TOMATO – The French call the tomato “ the apple of love”

GARLIC - The heat of the garlic stirs up desire and Palestinian grooms often wore a clove in their button hole to ensure a great wedding night.

BLACK BEANS – In 400 AD, St Jermone forbid the nuns to cook or even touch these little gems. Great for fertility.

GRAPES- Imagine a world without grapes ( NO WINE).

AVOCADO- The bumpy skin when peeled away reveals a soft , buttery , melt on your tongue silkiness – Not just for guacamole anymore!

WATERMELON – Has the power to relax blood vessels.

 LUSCIOUS LOBSTER AND CHAMPAGNE WITH ROSEMARY VAPOR

  •  2 Lobster (or Tails), cooked, shelled and diced
  • 6-8 cups Lobster Stock *
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 4 T. Butter, unsalted
  • ¼ C Finely Chopped Onion or shallot or combination of both
  • 1 cup Carnaroli or Aborio Rice
  • ¼ cup Champagne or sparkling wine,  room temp
  • 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ sprig rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 Sprigs rosemary, stripped from branches/ boiling water

In a medium saucepan, bring stock to a boil.  See recipe below. Reduce heat and hold at a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a medium, heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil and ½  butter over medium –low heat.

Add onion/shallot and rosemary and cook, stirring, until softened.  About 2 minutes.

Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until rice is well coated with fat, about 4 minutes.  This is called toasting and should sound like rice krispies when you add milk.

Add the champagne and cook, stirring until the liquid evaporates.

SLOWLY, add enough stock to cover the rice, (about 1 cup) AND REARRANGE THE RICE until the liquid is almost absorbed.

Add another 1/2 - 1 cup of stock and cook, stirring, until the liquid is almost absorbed.  Continue this process until the risotto has cooked for approx. 20 minutes or until the risotto is creamy but still lightly firm in the center and using as much stock as needed. ( try to reserve a little for finishing)

Add the lobster, remaining butter and cheese.  Cook, stirring until the lobster is heated through.  1-2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring 1 quart water to boil in tea kettle. Place rosemary in each bottom of a larger bowl; add risotto in smaller bowl ( it should be a little fluid and not scoopable .

Nestle the risotto bowl on top of the larger bowl filled with rosemary

Pour boiling water into each bowl of rosemary to create vapor.

*Lobster Stock:  Cut 2 stalks of celery and 1 carrot into large chunks.  Fill a 6 qt. stock pot with cold water to cover lobster tails.  Add celery, carrots and a quartered onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves, 4 parsley sprigs, 6 whole peppercorns and 1 t. salt.  Bring the stock to a boil and then add lobster tails. Cook approx. 10 minutes or until lobster tails are almost cooked (do not over cook or lobster will get tough.  Remove the lobster tails from the stock and set aside. Increase the heat to a boil on stock and reduce to half

(This will intensify the flavors) Strain the stock and discard the vegetables.

OR

Add lobster shells to low salt chicken stock and reduce

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH PINE NUTS ( THE KERNEL OF LOVE )

  • 1 T. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • ¼ t. Lemon Zest
  • Bunch of Asparagus Spears
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • ¼ C toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix lemon juice, oil and zest in a baking dish. Add asparagus and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast asparagus until tender and crisp, about 20 minutes.

Garnish with toasted pine nuts

Ménage à Trois of Desserts

DECADENT BROWNIES

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then level. don’t scoop)
  • 2 t water with 1 tsp of espresso powder dissolved
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • ½ t KAHULA or coffee liqueur
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnut, toasted and chopped

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F.

Line 8 inch square metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.

Measure out all the ingredients separately and have them ready to go.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.

Remove from heat; immediately add first  sugar, then cocoa, 2 teaspoons water mixture, vanilla, and 1⁄4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be warm , but attention don’t scramble the eggs).

Add eggs to warm mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously

Stir in toasted nuts.

Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut in squares or cut out with a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Put brownie in middle of plate with a dollop of coffee whipped cream and drizzle of berry sauce.

COFFEE WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1 C  Chilled Whipping cream
  • 1 T Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 T Fine Bakers Sugar or Powdered Sugar

FLAMING RASPBERRY SAUCE

  • 16 oz raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons raspberry preserves, seedless
  • 4 Tablespoons either Chambord or Grand Manier ( raspberry or orange liqueur)

Mix the raspberries with the lemon juice, sugar and preserves.

Warm mixture over low heat.

Flambé until alcohol burns off

Note: If you don’t like the seeds, Put sauce through a strainer before you proceed with alcohol.

GINGER CRÈME BRULEE 

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 T peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 vanilla bean split
  • 5 large egg yolk only ( reserve whites for other use)

SUGAR FOR BRULEE

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place oven proof dishes or ramekins in a  9 inch baking pan.

Mix cream, sugar and ginger in heavy saucepan. Using small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Add seeds and bean to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to simmer. Cover pan, reduce heat to very low and simmer gently 10 minutes to infuse flavors. Strain through a fine sieve.

Whisk yolks in medium bowl until well blended. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture ( first tempering egg with a little of the warm cream). just to blend. Strain through a sieve again into a pitcher and divide among dishes. Pour enough hot water into pans to come halfway up sides of dishes. Carefully transfer pans to oven. One splash of water in the custard and they will not set properly.

Bake custards until almost set in center when pans are gently shaken, about 30 minutes for fluted flan dishes and 35 minutes for  taller ramekins. When cooked completely ) but not over) carefully transfer custard in dishes to a wire rack ; cool 30 minutes then chill at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar evenly over each custard. I usually add more sugar and then turn them upside down to remove excess.  Working with 1 custard at a time, hold blowtorch so that flame is 2 inches above surface. Direct flame so that sugar melts and browns moving in a circular motion.

Garnish crème brûlées with candied ginger, fruit or edible flowers

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES INFUSED WITH GRAND MARNIER

  • 1 Pint Fresh *Strawberries, (washed, stems intact and thoroughly air dried)
  • 8 Oz. Good Quality Bitter Sweet *Chocolate, Chopped
  • 2 Oz. Grand Marnier Liquor

Prepare ahead, a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pour  water into bottom of a pot and heat to hot (almost simmering)

Put chopped chocolate in a bowl that fits on top of pan ….It is important that the bottom of the bowl. Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally until completely melted and smooth.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Dip dried strawberries in chocolate and line on baking sheet.

Refrigerate until they are completely set.

Using a syringe, carefully inject a bit of liquor into center of strawberry, being careful not to overfill. If you have to , poke a hole under the green part of  the strawberry with a skewer to fill strawberry easily.