How To Make a Super Romantic Meal | Tarreyn Land: How To Make a Super Romantic Meal

Friday, February 10, 2012

How To Make a Super Romantic Meal

In keeping with this week's Valentine's theme, today's how-to is an easy-peasy, delicious and romantic menu! Avoid all the rush at restaurants on Heart Day and stay in with your sweetie and cook at home! This 3-course menu has delicious items that are tasty aphrodisiacs! 
These step by step instructions may look a little overwhelming at first, but trust me - This is a minimum effort, maximum effect meal!

Appetizer ~ Steamed Artichokes with Lemon Butter Dip
This quick and easy appetizer is so delicious, and a fantastic snack to share over a dimly lit conversation! 
*Trim Artichoke: Cut stems down close to the base of the artichoke, Cut Off the Crown & Clip off the thorns (optional), pull off the tough outer leaves
1. Bring 1/2 inch of water to boil in a pan deep enough to hold the artichokes upright
2. Add a teaspoon or two of salt
3. Set artichokes in boiling salt water, cover the pan, reduce heat to a steady simmer, cook for about 20 minutes
4. Check to see if they're done by pulling off a leaf from close to the center - if it pulls off easily they're done, if there's resistance continue cooking and check every 5 minutes. (The whole thing could take up to 40 minutes depending)
*Microwave Recipe
*Don't forget to cut all the little hairs off the top of the heart (how to clean artichoke hearts)
Dipping Sauce:
Literally just melt some butter in a little bowl and mix in lemon juice to taste! While I'm partial to the simple butter/lemon combo, you can make it a little different by mixing in garlic, parsley, mint or chile! 
*To be a little fancier, you can make an aioli!

Main Course ~ Roasted Chicken with a Rose Petal Chocolate Almond Sauce
This dish is an adapted version of a recipe from the book Like Water For Chocolate, a very romantic story of a girl who cooks her emotions into her food. In a particularly sensual chapter, she makes this dish and all who eat it are consumed with desire and passion. Hopefully your meal will yield the same results...
This recipe is easy because all you really need to do is make the sauce!
- Roasted Chicken - I buy a pre-made rotisserie chicken from the grocery store! So easy!
- A Couple Ogranic Roses

And the ingredients for the sauce:
- 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 cup Onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons Garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons Chili Powder
- 3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Raisins
- 2 Tablespoons slivered Almonds
- 2 Ounces Dark Chocolate

*Chocolate is the king of natural aphrodisiacs, it contains a host of compounds including anandamide, the psychoactive feel-good chemical, and PEA (phenylethylamine), the "love chemical," which releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain! PEA is said to help induce feelings of excitement, attraction and euphoria!

How To Make The Sauce:
1. Heat Olive Oil in large sauce pan, then lower heat
2. ADD onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon
3. Cover and cook until onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally, for about 10 min
4. Mix in Chili Powder and Flour, stir for 1 minute
5. Gradually whisk in Chicken Broth, and increase heat to Medium High
6. Boil until reduced, about 35 minutes, Stirring Occasionally
7. Remove from heat and let cool slightly
8. In blender or food processor, blend raisins, almonds and sauce until smooth
9. Heat over Medium Heat until hot, and whisk in chocolate
10. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 3 minutes until blended

Place chicken on platter or plates, spoon sauce over the top and allow it to drip down the sides. Garnish the platter and chicken with rose petals (organic roses are edible if you so choose!). Use the rest of the sauce for dipping!
* Pair this with a nice bottle of wine OR champagne! A nice South/Central American Red Wine would be great!
* A great side with this dish if you want one is sauteed Asparagus - another aphrodisiac (but you probably wanna do something different if you choose to make the artichokes)

Dessert ~ Strawberries and Creme
And now, for the easiest dessert ever! Get some strawberries, or mixed berries if you want, wash, put in a bowl, sprinkle sugar over the top and leave in the fridge over dinner! Take them out with some cool whip on the side, dip and enjoy!
OR If you wanna be slightly more ambitious, try some of these options:
~ Pair with Pound Cake! Sarah Lee from the freezer section is Bomb, or you can find it in the bakery section of most grocery stores!
~ Get a bag of frozen mixed berries from the frozen food section, throw in the blender with half a cup of sugar and some Grand Marnier or Amaretto (basically any sweet liqueur of your choice). Blend, then drizzle over vanilla ice cream, pound cake or whatever you like! *wink wink*

Hope you enjoy your meal. Perfect to share with a sweetheart! Don't forget the music!

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