Tuesday, February 15, 2011

100 Acts of Love

Sometimes it's very hard to not believe in fate. My 100th blog post falls on Valentine's Day, one of my most deliberately catchy menus to fully embrace the notion of aphrodisiacs in food, where I have the ability to not only create great food but be able to explain my every intention and inspiration. To my loyal followers and new readers alike: thank you for being my muse.

Like I said, I once again formulated a menu for this Valentine's Day based on the and fundamentals of cooking with aphrodisiacs. We all know about the classic ingredients like oysters, chocolate and alcohol, but I wanted to showcase a few more, both historic and superficial. And since we all could use a little more romance in our lives I plan on offering these specials for the rest of the week until I run out.

For starters, I concocted a cocktail that embodies the romance of sparkling wine with a play on words that actually makes a tasty, balanced drink. I used a passion fruit puree that I gave an added touch of vodka (to help get you in the mood) that we used as a base in the same way as a traditional mimosa but with more of a sweet and sour pop kick.

For the appetizer course I used local oysters from Totten Inlet to make my oyster pot pies by first poaching them in a little water to release their liquor so I could use it to make a creamy sauce with onions, garlic, celery root, carrots and edamame as a play on the traditional components. Instead of the pie dough I meticulously shaped puff pastry shells with a little heart on top.

Beef has been known to get the blood flowing, if you know what I mean, and spiciness gets the heart rate up, so I went with an entree that is flavorful and light - light enough to ... er, keep your mobility??

Anyways, I braised chunks of beef in a teriyaki sauce made by mixing soy sauce with brown sugar and slowly cooking in an oven until perfectly tender. Once cooled the meat was slightly shredded to be tossed with a warm Asian slaw of carrots, Napa cabbage, bok choy, fresh cilantro and scallions. To accompany the dish and fulfill the orgasm-like spicy attribute I used a little known technique of cooking a white curry. Generally curries are colored by the chile that they are made with, but there is an Indonesian variant that has all of the seasonings without the heat. While I love the flavor that it has, I feel that the missing heat really takes away from what is expected from a curry, so I cooked onions, ginger, cumin, coriander and lemongrass with the white seeds of jalapeno peppers in coconut milk and blended it into a luscious broth to finish the dish.

For the final course, I (of course) had to have a chocolate dessert, but not just any dessert; a Chocolate Baked Alaska! I perfected my baked Alaska skills at the '21' Club years ago and have been wanting to offer it here for a long time. Well, there's no better time than V-Day!!
I started with a base of chocolate cake that I layered with chocolate ice cream infused with creme de cacoa and mixed berries that had been macerated in Grand Marnier orange liqueur. Once frozen solid and cut into portions I decorated them with an egg white meringue that's toasted to order to represent the flames of passion and love.

Here's to a hundred insights, and a hundred more!

With Love,



  1. yup, those do look and sound incredible, even for a special.

  2. I was expecting to like the main, but I even enjoyed the Baked Alaskan that Derek ordered!!