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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.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pear, Cinnamon and Pecan Crunch Muffins

Yesterday I was bitten by the baking bug.
This happens occasionally and it normally happens the day before I'm due to go shopping. So I must get creative.
I scoured my cupboard and my sister scoured her cupboard and then I combed my recipe books till I found something that matched.
Pear Pecan and cinnamon-crunch-muffins from my Belinda Jeffries book. Her recipes have never yet let me down. And thus was our house filled with the scents of heaven.
The pear in itself is a sensuous fruit.
I love its delicate green flesh, its tempting curves and its luscious moistness. Spice it up a little with the exotic scent of cinnamon and the wonderful crunch and earthy nuttiness of freshly roasted pecans and you're on to a winner.
Also may i say that i am generally dissapointed by the over-puffed, over-sweetened, underflavoured giant monstrosities that are normally sold as 'muffins.'
A muffin should be a little dense, and a lot moist.
It should be light - but not cupcake light. And it should be, above all things, a flavor sensation.
And these are everything a muffin should be. With the added bonus of a cinnamon crunch topping.
They taste like a donut in a muffin - with pear....
I am eating one right now... And it is good.

For The Muffin Batter

2 free-range eggs 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup light olive, or flavourless vegetable oil 1/2 cup pear juice 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups diced, just ripe pears, plus more for eating while you wait 1 cup plain flour 1 cup wholemeal plain flour 3 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp bi-carb 1/2tsp salt 1 tsp ground cinnamon pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (please.. make it fresh!) 1/2 cup toasted pecans 1/2 cup of raisin, (or if you're like me and aren't a great fan of raisins, tear up some dates into raisin sized pieces)
For The Crunch Topping
1/4 cup castor sugar 1/4 cup freshly roasted pecans, bashed into small pieces 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 190 C.
Butter a 12 cup muffin pan
Thoroughly mix the eggs, brown sugar, oil, pear juice and vanilla. Gently stir in the diced pears. Try not to lick the spoon.

In another bowl mix the flours, bi-carb, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the nuts and raisins or date pieces and stir till well mixed.
Very gently and with as little mixing as humanly possible mix the pear mixture into the flour mixture. The less mixing you do, the nicer your muffins will be.
When you have a niced mixed batter spoon it evenly between the 12 muffin holes.

Mix together the crunch topping ingredients and sprinkly evenly over the muffins. Bake for approx 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Your house will begin to smell like the garden of eden, and its wonderful because the pear is not forbidden.
Bide your time and then, when the muffin is ready, slather it in butter and devour it whole. Your face may get sticky - but trust me, its worth it.
Just look...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Damn Fine Speck, Smoked Paprika and Potato Soup

It was cold last night. The first night of the year where I wished I had of taken a jacket out with me. And when I woke up this morning it was raining.
Yay! Soup time!
I had a slab of speck on a shelf in the fridge and it called to me.
It knows how to seduce me.
And i fall, oh-so-easily.
Speck. Not much of a name. When you think of cured meats of a similar caliber (I'm thinking prosciutto, Jamon, etc) the names are so exciting you don't need to sell the product.
But what speck lacks in exotic sounding names it makes up for in taste. A brick of peppery smoked sexiness topped with a luscious layer of meltingly tender fat.
Next to go into my ingredient inventory was the wondrous smoked paprika i have just bought.
And potato.
A base of slow sauteed onions and garlic and I can taste it already. Can you? Or are you too busy salivating?
Enough chit chat. Let's cook.

1 large brown onion - roughly chopped in a fine dice
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2-3 tbls vegetable oil
20gm butter
1 tsp sexy smoked Paprika
3-4 large yellow fleshed potatoes, diced into approx 1-2cm cubes
4 cups vegetable or light chicken stock
150 gm speck, cubed, skin removed and kept

Place your butter, oil, onion and garlic in a pot and saute over a medium to low heat for a good 5-6 minutes, not allowing your onion or garlic to color, but rather become transparent and caramelized.
Add the paprika and speck and the speck rind in one large piece. The rind will infuse the soup with flavor but be easily removable at the end.
Fry a further 2-3 minutes until the whole kitchen smells like heaven then add your diced potatoes and cover with the cold stock.
Don't be tempted to add the stock warm. When you are cooking potatoes it is always better to start with cold water as it provides a more even cooking.
Bring to a gently simmer and cook till the potato is cooked and your salivating everywhere.
Simply serve with some crusty bread or, if you would like the liquid a little thicker, with a tad more viscosity, (great word!) just dissolve 2 tsp of corn flour in a couple of tbls of water and add in a thin stream to the soup, stirring constantly. Cook out a few more minutes.

A Couple of ways with Smoked Paprika

My love of smoked paprika started a couple of years ago when I was working in a restaurant on the coast and I had the pleasure to work with a Spanish chef.
He loved smoked paprika and showed me many delicious ways to use it.
Unfortunately I have not been able to get any of good quality for some time - until now.
Smoked paprika from the supermarket is passable, but it tastes more like the ghost of smoked paprika; like it remembers how it should taste but fails achieving its soaring beauty.

So a couple of days ago I went into Black Pearl Epicure, a fine food specialist and they had the very smoked paprika I was looking for.
La Chinata.
It comes in a range of heats but i went with the sweet paprika, it is a little more... versatile.
So here it is. A couple of smoky, paprikery dishes to tantalize your taste buds and begin your affair with this wondrous spice.
The soup is bubbling away on my stove right now, filling the house with its infinitely enticing scents...
My tongue is tingling in anticipation.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Greetings sexy lads and lasses,
I have been slack these last few weeks.
The good news is i have recently rediscovered my passion for making jewellery.
The bad news is that this means I have not been updating my blog.
The good news is I have been following the challenge and cooking a new recipe every week; just not writing about it (slack, I know).
The bad news is... well there is no more bad news because I am going to be a little more dedicated. I dislike it when blogs I follow just don't update for a whole period of time... What do I read while they are being lazy?

So without further ado I will write up the new recipe's I been experimenting with. Not to mention some old favorites that I cook all of the time. Chances are if they have stood the test of my time others will enjoy them too.
And that means you... Lets get down to business.