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Water. Air. Food. Sex. The essentials in life. The first two? Leave them in their natural state and they'll look after you just fine.. The later two? Fun to play with. Get a little creative with. And if the mood strikes you, mix the two... Food and sex have been linked throughout history. Think about it. I mean really think about it. Is there anything more sexy than good food? Chances are others think the same thing. These recipes are not just about seducing that special someone (or someones) but seducing yourself. Its easy to forget what a pleasure food can be. So take a knife, some nice ingredients, and get Seductive in the Kitchen.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mind-Blowing Mushroom Risotto (with truffle)





Ladies and gentlemen,
In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit,
Hello darkness my old friend,
Mr and Mrs Dursley,
Good morning,
The world is changed,
Butter.
These are the beginings of some of my favorite things. Now the latter, that beautiful dairy product, starting with a nice soft 'B' , ender with a tender 'r' and melting on your tongue some where in the middle is the ingredient of the gods. You ask any decent chef what are the 3 core ingredients of french cooking and they will tell you this ; butter butter and butter.
Now as a rule i try not to keep butter in my house because otherwise i lose my mind and start adding butter to everything, which half of the time, is really not necessary but i just cant help myself.
Sometimes I lose the plot anyway and steal my housemates butter which I then have to replace, and this means I have half a block of butter left and it all goes downhill from there.
But let me tell you something, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the secret to a risotto, a really good risotto, is butter.
Some nice stock, onions and garlic and your flavoring of choice will help improve your risotto no end.
In a wild splurge I went to my local fine food store the other day and baught a few beautiful ingredients and one of my splurges was some Simon Johnson risotto rice. Now a really sexy risotto rice is twice the price but really worth it.





Now I'm not going to say I'm a snob and dont ever cook risotto with the risotto rice you buy in the supermarket, because that would be an outrageous lie... But sometimes, just sometimes, its nice to buy the special stuff and really treat yourself.
The grains hold their shape for a wonderful feeling between your teeth and the way the sauce thickens is a beatiful thing. But I digress, either will work here just fine.
Now it is time for a secret.
A secret that may change your life and your tastebuds, forever.
Truffle Tapenade.
The first few times i tried truffle it was via truffle oil. And though truffle oil is a beautiful product it is very heady. And this just wont do for everything. But truffle tapenade is made by blitzing a small amount of truffles into a mushroom paste and let me tell you that this is warm and earthy in the most amazing of ways.
It still makes your head feel a little funny and your nose start proposing marriage and I personally prefer this to truffle infused oil almost every time.





By god, ive been ranting for far too long, Ive actually made myself hungry again, just thinking about this risotto.

But dont be daunted if your living on the poor side of life; supermarket risotto rice, mushrooms and stock minus the truffle paste will still rock your socks. And possible your cocks, if you have one. Just don't skimp on the butter....

200gm risotto rice
15o gm butter
splash of oil
1 small brown onion, fairly finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced or diced (but NOT minced in a jar)
4-5 button mushrooms
2-3 Field Mushrooms
Splash of dry white wine (maybe 50-1oo ml)
2 tsp truffle tapenade (or to taste)
About 600ml of stock
100 gm more of cold cubed butter
cheese of choice (i suggest parmesan or a soft goats)




Pop your stock on to heat over a medium pan.
In a nice large saucepan softly fry off your onion and garlic in the butter and splash of oil. Keep the heat medium to low and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Dice your button mushrooms and wack into the heavenly sauteing onion mix. Fry out for a further 2-3 minutes, or until soft and sexy.






It may seem like a little too much butter at this point but what you are
going to do next is plonk in your risotto rice and stir until all the oniony garlicky flavored butter coats your grains of rice in a beautiful sheen. Cook for a minute or so, stirring as you go then add your white wine with a lovely splash and let it infuse and absorb.
Get a ladle in your simmering stock and get ready your wooden spoon and arm of choice.
Add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring constantly but without great effort . Let all the liquid absorb before you add your next ladle. Make sure you use your spoon to stir the whole pan, so as nothing is missed.
Continue until most of the stock is added and the rice is cooked but still with a little bite and a wonderful texture.
What you don't want is for your risotto to be stiff. Some things should most definately be stiff... But risotto is not one of them.
Now turn the heat right down and add the cold cubed butter, stirring until the risotto softens and becomes silky and lush. Adjust seasoning, truffle paste and some grated parmesan, if using.
Turn off heat and let sit for 2-3 minutes. This allows the risotto to rest and become the best it possible can be. Add a little more butter if desired.
Ladle onto a plate. The risotto should spread like so...



If it holds its shape it is too thick. Most restaurants, unfortunately, have this wrong.
Garnish with some shaved parmesan, or little chunks of goats cheese.






Taste. Decide that this, in all great likelihood, is what you would order for your last meal on earth.





My friend, apon tasting this said, "This is possibly the best thing I have ever had in my mouth."
Oh yes.















Thursday, September 2, 2010

LIP-SMACKING LEMON LINGUINE

How about a quickie, then?
You want it fast. You want it now. You want it lip-smackingly good.
You don't want a substitute on satisfaction.
But what to do? What to do? Luckily for you there is a handy-dandy super-sexy lemon- linguine recipe coming your way...
You might look at the recipe and think it is too simple, that it will not knock your socks off, but you will be wonderfully wrong.
Enough chit-chat. Its business time. You are about to make a dish that you will go back to time and time again. Guaranteed.
350 gm long pasta, preferably linguine or a nice spaghetti
juice of half a lemon (as long as it nice and juicy)
finely grated zest of half a lemon

Salt and Pepper

75ml cream

1 egg yolk
75gm finely grated Parmesan plus more for serving if desired
(please none of that horrible pre-grated sawdust)





Wack plenty of salted water on to boil. Put a lid on the pot to speed up the process.
Mix all ingredients except pasta in a large bowl.
Cook pasta. Drain. Toss with a knob of butter if desired.




Dump into the bowl and stir through till thoroughly coated. Taste. Adjust seasoning.
Place elegantly into a bowl. Grate over a little more Parmesan if the mood hits you.
Devour.



I made this the other day for the first time in ages and I remembered how ridiculously wonderful it is. It comes from Nigella Lawson's fantastic book 'How To Eat' which everyone should own and I made it even more fantastic by stirring through some chopped preserved lemon and torn rocket.
Darn tasty. This feeds two hungry people but feel free to adjust size as necessary.
Also I am keen to try it with smoked salmon or salmon gravalax but have not got around to it as yet. To be honest its pretty perfect as is.
Tell me if you do. I'd love to hear your feedback.




Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Darkly Seductive Ginger and Plum Pudding

So it was my birthday recently and I decided to celebrate by making a dessert idea I had been playing around with for some time.
When I was a little younger, some while ago I was shown how to make one of the simplest desserts known to man.
Plums in green ginger wine.
You simply open two cans of plums in juice, cover them in Stone's Green ginger wine and leave to infuse for a few hours, preferably overnight.
Once they have soaked up the exotic gingery flavor you simply serve them with generous dollops of cream of mounds of vanilla ice cream. They take the effort of buying a store baught cake but taste like a team of gourmets crafted it for you.
However I have had an idea floating around in the creative part of my head for a while, forming, growing and then, some two weeks past, it came to fruition.
A little more effort, perhaps, but if you're looking to impress - this will knock some socks off.
An exotic twist on tirimisu that is darkly seductive, fascinating to your palette and utterly irristible...

1 Bottle of Stones Green Ginger Wine
800 or so gms of tinned plums in their natural juices
Tub of mascapone
600 ml cream
1 large packet of Saviordi biscuits (they will be in the biscuit isle in the supermarket)
1/4 cup of castor sugar
4 eggs, seperated

Dump the plums into a large bowl and cover with about half the bottle of green ginger wine. Leave to sit for minimum two hours, preferably overnight.

Whip cream to soft peaks. Fold through the mascapone. Mix in the yolks and sugar.
Whip whites till soft peaks. Fold this in. If you have never folded before, it is very simple. The best thing to do is look up a tutorial on youtube... seeing is much easier than describing. But its pretty much just gently mixing.

Get the container you want to serve your pudding in. Place a layer of saviordi biscuits along the bottom. If you have made tirimisu before this is very similar.
Pick up each biscuit and dunk it quite well in the plummy gingery soaking liquid then place it back in the container. Once you have a nice layer of gingery sponge biscuits cover it with half the mascapone-cream mix.
Spread it evenly over the biscuits. Tear apart the plums with your fingers, removing the seeds as you go, and gently tumble half over the cream mix.
Repeat the whole process again. Biscuits. Cream. Plums. Cover with glad wrap and leav in the fridge till its ready to serve.
If you really want to go all out reduce down the extra liquid with 1 cup of sugar until it forms a sticky syrup and drizzle over the pudding. This however, is not necessary.

And remember, if you need a quick fix in a hurry, simply soak your plums and serve with cream. Its damn good.

The pudding, needless to say, was devoured with comments of, 'go on, just a bit more than. Thats right, one more spoonfull.'
Just you watch. Its sinful.






Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two Eggs

And now, time for a bad joke...

Two eggs are sitting in a pan, sizzling away. One egg turns to the other and says, "Wow, its hot it here."
The other egg nearly jumps out of the pan, exclaiming, "Oh my god, a talking egg!"

Pandora's Box - Poached Eggs




Did you know that somewhere deep in Pandora's box was a small cache of recipes?
Whenever a person desired to roast a perfect mammoth or know how to bring the best flavor to their foraged root vegetables a recipe would form in the depths of the box.
And there they sat, quietly basking in their own brilliance, content knowing they alone had the knowledge that humans so desperately desired.
And as humans changed, discovered new foods and dreamt new desires that they never thought possible, so too did this cache of recipes grow within Pandoras chest of forbidden wonders..
Then the box was opened and many things were let free and the recipes, in all their arrogance, boldly strode off to mingle with all the other recipes janging out around the world.

And before long it was hard to tell which was which. The godly from the mundane.

But if you look carefully, throughout your life, you can discover the secret to the simple things.. The perfect scone, the never-forgotten-chocolate truffle or that wonderfully poached egg that only chefs seem to know how to cook..

Luckily for you i have discovered a couple such recipes. Here is the first, in all its beauty...I have been a lover of poached eggs as long as i can remember.

For many years I cooked them the way mum showed me until, glory of glory, i was shown the secret of the Chefs Poached egg...

A smooth white oval, gently wobbling atop your toast.. You ready yourself, with baited breath to cut into its centre and oh! that gorgeous orange ooze of yolk! Only with a poached egg can you create the breathtaking duo of set white and gently warmed yolk. Obviously if you like your yolks more well done you can leave it in a little longer.. But it is, of course, up to you.

I would recommend that you use fresh free range eggs for maximum effect. When i dream of the perfect egg, i prefer for it not to have come from a chicken who has been tortured most of its life... Plus, they genuinely taste better.

My Mums Way;
Boil a kettle, or get your hot tap ready.
Gently heat a tsp of butter in a small pan with a splash of oil. You dont need much. Crack your eggs into the pan and leave them to set for literally about 30 seconds. Pour in the hot water, making sure you are not pouring directly onto the eggs, but rather near them so as not to break them. Add enough water so as to cover them. Simmer gently for 1-2 min until it becomes just a shade paler. To test doneness, lift from the water with a slotted spoon and press gently with your finger. Cook longer if necessary.
This method is the simplest way i know to poach eggs however the problem with these is that the bottom will always be more cooked than the top. Not really a great prowblem i know, but we are looking for perfection here, though it still is pretty sexy.. Admire.



THE CHEFS METHOD

Bring a pot 3/4s full of water to a slow boil. Add a dash of whatever cheap white vinegar you have lying around. You don't need heaps. All the vinegar does is help the whites to set, not flavor your eggs. Don't be tempted to use balsamic or red wine vinegar, it tends to send them a creepy color. Trust me, i have done this.

Get your toast (or desired accompaniment) ready to go and acquire yourself a slotted spoon or failing that a wooden spoon. Swirl the water around till you have a makeshift whirlpool in your pan. Crack the egg into the centre of the whirl pool . As the water swirls around it will elegantly wrap the white around the yolk forming a beautiful thing.


Swirl the water again and crack in your next egg. I would recommend not to cook too many eggs at one time. Depending on the size of your pan. In a small pan try not to put more than 4 eggs at a time. Gently swirl the water again to keep the egg rotating if necessary and then let simmer for about 2 min.
Check done-ness with your slotted spoon and a gentle poke, drain on a paper towel then place atop your fresh toast. Or Salad. Or your head. Whatever. Enjoy.





Notes;
Take a moment while the water is heating to make your life easier. Get your eggs. Put your toast down. Grab a plate and put some paper towel or a clean tea towel on it. Calm down. Its easy.



If you're not very confident in your egg cracking abilities simply crack them into little individual molds or ramekins or cups then simply pour it from your desired container straight into the whirlpool with no worry of splitting your yolk
Also practice cracking your eggs when it doesn't matter if they break, like when your making an omelette, scrambled eggs or a cake. Tell me how it goes.
Pandora's box is not a euphemism for the fun parts of a woman named Pandora. You have a dirty mind.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Inspiration

So I just finished watching the movie Julie and Julia.
And though I watched it previously at the cinema I wasnt a blogger at the time.
For those of you who don't know what the movie is about it follows the tales of the lives of two real people.
One story is that of Julia Child. She is the woman who pioneered good food in America. Way Back in 1949 she learnt at fourty-something to cook in France where she fell in love with the food, the people and with cooking...
She began cooking lessions at Le Cordon Blue, the famous cooking school in Paris, the only female to attend, also the only non proffessional. She is played to perfection by Meryl Streep, one of my favorite actors.
We skip forward to 2002 to the other tale; that of Julie Powell. A woman on the verge of thirty stuck in a job she hates who never manages to finish anything she begins.
And so, she decides to cook her way through Julia Child's cook book. 534 recipes in a year! And she does it! Now that is dedication!
Frankly it makes me feel a little lazy. Granted I work fairly long hours but I like my job and i cook all the time yet somehow i manage not to blog about it. Slack, I tell you, slack.
You shouldn't let me get away with this.
So right now, at 11.25 at night, full of inspiration after watching Julie and Julia I will make a pledge.
I'm aiming for a minimum of 3 recipes a week.
I think part of the problem I have is that I only blog about exciting things, forgetting how excited i was to first learn how to make scrambled eggs like a chef, or discover simple little tricks.
Last night my boyfriend asked how i got my onion to taste the way it does and i told him and he was excited.
So here we go. Three recipes. Per week. About everything.
Keep me dedicated.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ambrosial apple tart





Now listen closely.
The secret to the perfect apple pie, like the secret to the female orgasm or the recipe for turning iron into gold is an elusive and much sought after piece of knowledge.
And in my opinion all three have been kept secret for far too long.
Now while I don't yet know how to turn iron into gold and men everywhere are beginning to discover the clitoris (gasp) luckily for you.. I can help you out with the secret to the perfect apple pie.
In a related note this pie will help take you closer to that fated orgasm...


A crisp sweet pastry.
A tart filling with notes of honey, cinnamon and just the right amount of texture. Do we want apple mush inside our tart? We do not.
The perfect buttery crumble. It's oozing girl-next-door sex appeal.
Served warm with a generous scoop of vanilla icecream (or better yet, home made honey icecream ..) or served cold with dollops of cream.
Moist but not wet. Sweet without being sickening. And most importantly.. It actually tastes of apples.
And talking of moist... Lets make this tart. The sooner we make it, the sooner we eat it....

For The Pastry;

See Luscious lemon Tart

For the Filling;





10 Granny Smith Apples- peeled and cored
3/4 cup sugar
500 ml water
2 sm cinnamon quills
1 heaped tbls of leatherwood honey
1 tbls butter
a pot with a large base and a fitting lid, if possible



For The Crumble Topping;

300 gm flour
2tsp cinnamon
200gm sugar
270gm cold diced butter


Make the sweet pastry, as per the instruction as per luscious lemon tart here.
While it chills, make your filling.

For the filling;
Peel your apples and take the core out. I prefor granny smiths as their delicious tartness works perfectly in the tart, but you can substitute other crisp tart apples if you wish.
Quarter the apples and slice each quarter into thirds like so...





The shape and thickness means you keep some texture within your pie, which is wonderful.
Melt the butter over a medium heat in your large-based pan, swirling to evenly
Tumble in your apples and coat evenly with butter, gently so as to not break up your apple pieces.
Sprinkle over sugar, drizzle over honey. Pour in water and cover with lid. Simmer 4-5 min. You want your apples to go a little soft, but maintain their shape and texture.
Strain liquid. Pour one cup back into pan and thicken with 1 tbls of cornflour which you have mixed to a smooth liquid with 2tbls of cold water. Stir your apples through the slightly thickened liquid and spread out on a tray to cool. While its cooling get on the crumble mix.



For the crumble mix;
Sift flour. Stir through sugar and cinnamon. Mix butter through with your fingertips till it resembles bread crumbs.

Bake your chilled tart case.




Fill with cooled apple mix.

Sprinkle topping over.



Bake at 180 till golden and your kitchen smells of wonder.
If Eve had smuggled the apple out of the garden of eden this is the pie she would have made with it.... Enjoy.





Warm or cold, either is orgasmic. Dont forget to share....