Food Porn – The Ultimate Foreplay

 

food pornI tend to roll my eyes a lot this time of year. I quickly grow weary of articles with titular variations of Eat this and improve your sex life! or The Best Foods for Seduction. Such inanities put the matter of effect before cause — chocolate, no matter how scrumptious, will not do the work for you, Don Juan.

Seduction begins with the head. The one firmly planted on your shoulders.

If you want to create a masterful, sensual Valentine’s Day, or any other kind of intimate dinner, you need to put a little thought into it. The core component of crafting a meal, after all, is love. In my essay Food and Sensuality: A Perfect Pairing from the anthology Food & Philosophy: Eat, Think and Be Merry, I put it thusly:

When one is fully engaged in the act of preparing a meal, one is offered a journey of the senses that brings pleasure in numerous forms; and such enjoyments are not merely left to those who dine. For the passionate cook, each step of the planning – from carefully choosing a menu to hand-selecting each ingredient – is an act of love, a desire to satiate and nourish another. If all goes well in the cooking, each of these small steps builds to a crescendo of smiles as guests offer their sincere thanks and praise. The power to be found in such a moment cannot be discounted, and any chef will tell you so…

…If I am preparing a meal for a lover, the intensity is magnified tenfold. Here is a man I wish to satiate in every way possible, and my act of seduction begins with his palate. I carefully choose the right flavors to heighten his sensual experience, balancing texture and flavor with deft hands to demonstrate my skills, and more importantly, to excite his mind. I carefully watch his face as he tastes each dish, eager to see a reaction. When it is a positive one, my soul does a little dance as I move ever closer to receiving the physical expression of thanks for my efforts. It is one long dance of foreplay.

Now, before you argue with me that aphrodisiacs do work, let me set the record straight: There are ingredients that absolutely have an effect on our senses. As a matter of fact, cardamom and cinnamon send me to a very special place. However, it is because my mind and body are engaged and ready to be sated; my senses are open to the experience, and revel in being titillated with such desirable scents.

If you prefer the idea of dining in before eating out (makes the trip to the bedroom shorter), the following menu is one that offers a variety of flavors, textures and colors to get the party started. The idea in serving these lighter dishes is to eat just enough so you’re comfortable, but not so sluggish that it interferes with sexy times. I would really hate for that to happen.

If you want to omit the truffles you are welcome to do so, but I’ll warn you: They do smell like sex, so you might not want to miss out. If you have a hard time finding real truffles, or they are out of your budget, invest in a good bottle of truffle oil and drizzle it over the hens just before serving. Be careful, as most truffle oils are made from synthetic chemicals, so be sure to find one made with actual truffles.

The following recipes and wine pairings are from the Dinner for Two menu in our cookbook, The Gilded Fork: Entertaining at Home. . Wine pairings are by Lenn Thompson from LENNDEVOURS.com .

Bon appetit. Let me know how it turns out.

Shrimp & Avocado Canapes
Full recipe
Shrimp & Avocado Canapes These hors d’oeuvres are simple to make, but offer a lovely presentation to get things started (in the kitchen, that is). Avocado has a silky, sensual texture that perfectly complements the snap of the shrimp.

Wine Pairing: German Riesling

Feather-light with a beautiful combination of fruit and minerality, German Riesling also brings mouth-watering acidity to the table, which will cut the richness of the avocado and whet your appetite.

Red & White Salad with Candied Pecans, Figs & Chèvre

Radicchio saladThis colorful salad offers a series of contrasts and flavors, from the sticky, crunchy nuts to the tart goat cheese. It’s one of my favorites. And did I mention the figs? There is no more delectable fruit as far as I’m concerned; besides, the leaves were de rigeur in the Garden of Eden, and that’s where we’re heading.

Wine Pairing: Continue with wine from hors d’oeuvres course

Truffle-Laced Hens
Full recipe

Truffled HenThis classic French dish from Lyon, the culinary capital of France, “Poussins en demi-deuil,”  or “Hens in half-mourning,” refers to the effect of thinly sliced truffles in a black lace veil covering the bird. The traditional recipe uses a whole chicken, but using poussins (baby chickens) or Cornish hens allows you to offer individual whole birds to each diner, without destroying the lovely lace pattern for presentation. The dish is wonderful on its own, as the birds will be juicy and the truffles imparting intense flavor. But if you wish, you can serve it with the included pan sauce. Trust us, no one will be mourning when they eat this dish!

Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir

There is perhaps no more sensual wine than an earthy, silky Pinot Noir — particularly from the Burgundy region of France. Ask your wine shop owner for a recommendation — buying Burgundy can be a challenge even for wine aficionados.

Poached Pears with Chocolate Raspberry Sauce
Full recipe

Poached PearsRaspberries and chocolate are a classic combination. Here we pair the sauce with a poached pear, which has a sweet fruitiness and a hint of citrus from the lemon-and-wine poaching liquid. This supple dessert is the perfect finish to a romantic meal; the fleshiness of the pear and the richness of the chocolate are quite a sensual pairing, evoking thoughts of things to come.

Wine Pairing: Vinsanto (fortified Italian dessert wine)

Despite what many experts say, chocolate and wine aren’t usually good bedfellows, but Vinsanto, a rich Italian dessert wine, works very well with chocolate — making it the perfect choice here.

So tell me, do you have a favorite dish that gets you in the mood?

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0 comments

  1. Dear Redhead

    Oh my god: dining in before eating out…I just came a bit.

    Orgasms aside, there is NOTHING sexier…and I mean NOTHING…than the kitchen. To hell with the bedroom. I want my man’s hands on me when I’m mashing avocados for guac…pan-frying tilapia…pouring a glass of water. I want to feed my man and be fed, taste fingers and…

    I have to go.

    (Welcome to ToyWithMe.com, Jennifer! MUAH!)

  2. Poached pear! Great idea. . . Um, I was planning to open a box of god damn cookies for dessert (but hey, we love them!). I admit your menu is way sexier than what I’ve got going on. I’m likin’ your blog though!
    x
    Paula

  3. LadyLover

    I never would have thought to pair avacado and shrimp. What a novel idea!

    The one time I had truffles, they tasted strongly of dirt… but I think that’s because they weren’t washed properly. But that truffle oil sounds fabulous. Drizzling some of that over a variety of meats sounds like a little piece of heaven.

    As for that poached pear, it looks absolutely fantastic. If only anything I cooked turned out looking that good. XP

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’m definitely putting those in my back pocket.

    • Food that gets me in the mood? Well, there is the old standby oysters. Not sure what it is but there is just something sensuous about eating them. Any really well prepared meal with a good bottle can do it though. Food is just so pleasurable for me. If all my senses have been stimulated in the way that a great meal does then there is a pretty good chance that I might get to a second dessert.

  4. Heather, if you’re going to sin, do it with the pear. 🙂

    Ingrid, alas, I don’t know where you are, or I’d oblige. But you could do the salad for one — it is a little piece of heaven on earth.

  5. Ingrid

    oh. my. And I thought being fed dolmas was a turn on. Too bad there’s no one around to do a little cookin’ for me! mmmm mmmm mmmm

  6. Mmmmm food porn. For me this involves forcing my boyfriend to eat cupcakes, pizza, etc. while I watch, since I am gluten, dairy and sugar free (though not by choice.)

    But I just might have to make an exception this V-day with one of these yummy recipes!

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