The less time you spend preparing the food, the more seductive your cooking process will be. However, if your partner does enjoy helping you in the kitchen, you can work as a team and make the preparation an artistic part of the seductive scheme. Whether you choose to prepare the food separately or together, these techniques will help you enjoy more quality time during the dining hours. If you can, prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking; that way, you are not scrambling around to chop everything while the rest of the meal is over-cooking. Creatively chopping, dicing, peeling, and washing does not need to be overly time-consuming.
Creatively Chopping, Dicing, and Peeling
But you can’t take this step for granted, either; you must master food preparation. Your local butcher or fishmonger can do some prep work at the store on your meat and fish products, but you’ll still have to do some additional work in your kitchen. Keep your knife blades extra sharp and store them carefully—and clean them after each task! Work in a comfortable area, using a large, stable cutting board, and clean as you work (this makes doing the dishes easier at the end of the night). Now you will have more time for playful activities after the meal.
Every vegetable and fruit needs its own brand of TLC when it comes to preparation. Here’s a list of the most common types of slices and dices:
- Batonnet: Long, rectangular cuts. Trim the veggies so that the sides are straight, making them much easier to cut, then slice them lengthwise. Make sure the cuts are of the same thickness—think steak fries.
- Chop: Can be used to describe a variety of cut sizes, ranging from small (finely chopped) to large (coarsely chopped).
- Cube: Cube-shaped pieces ranging from ¼-inch to 1-inch long. Cubed pieces are generally larger than diced food pieces; imagine you’re making many small playing dice.
- Dice: Cubes cut to ¼-inch for small, ½-inch for medium or ¾-inch for large.
- Grate: Shreds created by rubbing food against the small, sharp-edged holes of a grater.
- Julienne: Matchstick-size strips. To julienne, first cut the vegetable into ⅛-inch slices. Then stack the slices and cut them into ⅛-inch strips. Trim them to the desired length.
- Mince: Very fine pieces—smaller than chopped food and no larger than ⅛-inch squares.
- Peel: The outer covering of a piece of fruit or a vegetable stripped away.
- Shred: Long, thin pieces created by tearing or possibly cutting.
- Sliver: Long, thin strips.
- Zest: The outer skin of citrus fruits. When removed, these are often used to flavor a wide range of dishes, from main courses to desserts.
Both methods yield a half cup or more.
No aroma in the kitchen is as inspiring as the smell of garlic. It may be gentle or powerful, depending on the method of cooking, but it is always a promise of good, healthy food. Garlic is a pungent bulb made up of sections called cloves. Roasted garlic is a charming delicacy that is very easy and inexpensive. There are many different ways to roast garlic; here are a few methods you can use.
- Method One: Slice two to three whole garlic cloves in half with a knife. Dribble with olive oil, wrap in tin foil, and place in an oven preheated to 350°F. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown; check for doneness after 20 minutes.
- Method Two: In a sauté pan, warm olive oil over moderately high heat. Sauté peeled garlic cloves (as many or as few as you want), turning as you cook until they start to turn lightly golden-brown. The garlic should be crisp on the outside and soft in the middle.
Chewing on sprigs of raw parsley can significantly cut back on garlic breath, an unfortunate side effect of this delicious treat. Of course, if the garlic love has been spread around all the guests, the unpleasant breath won’t be as noticeable.
Play off of the mystical angle of garlic, too! It has been long reputed to fend off the evil eye, drive away snakes and scorpions, and protect from vampires.
Yields one and a half cups or more.
Choose vine-ripened tomatoes for the highest-quality concassée garnish. For a splash of interesting color, use one red and one yellow tomato. Tomato concassée is made with tomatoes that are peeled, diced, and seeded. The word concassée means “to chop coarsely.”
To prepare tomato concassée, remove the cores from two or three large vine-ripened tomatoes. Make X-cuts on the bottom of the tomatoes using a sharp knife. Plunge the tomatoes into a saucepan of boiling water and cook until skin begins to peel away, about 30 to 50 seconds, or longer if needed. Remove the tomatoes from the saucepan and allow them to cool. Peel off the skins, cut the tomatoes in half and remove seeds (if necessary run under cold water to wash out the seeds), and cut the tomatoes into strips or dice them.
This method yields half cup or more.
Bell peppers are a beautiful, delicious rainbow of color in entrées and salads. Roast the trio of deep crimson red, glossy golden yellow, and glowing orange for mouth-watering flavor and juicy texture. The roast is a term used to describe a cooking method that uses dry heat, like an oven or a place near a hot fire or coals. Roasting adds an extraordinary flavor to peppers and allows you to easily remove their skins.
You’ll need to start by blackening the peppers. Sear one or two peppers over an open gas flame or charcoal fire, or place them under a broiler. Turn the peppers often until the skin is blackened. Remove and place peppers in a bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Set it aside until cooled, 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to blacken the skin of the peppers only; do not burn the inside flesh.
Then, peel the peppers by cutting them in half, removing stems and seeds, and laying the halves flat. Using the dull side of a knife, scrape away the skin and stray seeds. Cut the peppers as needed for your intended recipe.
Cooking with wine intensifies and enhances the flavor of food. Wine is known to release flavors in food that otherwise could not be experienced. Cooking wines are typically salty and include other additives that may adversely affect the taste of your chosen menu, so you do not want to use them. A good-quality wine will provide the same flavor to a dish as a premium wine—though you should save the premium wine to serve with the meal. Cook only with wine you would drink.
The more you cook with wine, the better you will become at predicting how a specific wine will enhance your menu.
For best results, wine should not be added to a dish towards the end of the preparation. Instead, the wine should simmer with the food or sauce to enhance the flavor of the dish. If added late in the preparation, the wine could impart a harsh, undesired quality.
Recipes that call for champagne generally use the beverage for effect rather than flavor. It is best to use a flat or still bottle of champagne, meaning it will be much like a dry white but more acidic.
Refer to this pairing chart for help deciding what type of wine to use:
- Young and Full-Bodied Red Wine: Goes best with red meat and dishes featuring red meat.
- Young, Full Bodied, and Robust Red Wine: Goes best in red sauces.
- Earthy Red and Full-Bodied Red Wine: Goes best with soups with root vegetables and/or beef stock.
- Dry White Wine or Dry Fortified Wine: Goes best with fish, shellfish, seafood, poultry, pork, veal, and light/cream sauces.
- Crisp and Dry White Wine: Goes best with seafood soups, bouillabaisse, and poultry.
- Sweet White Wine or Sweet Fortified Wine: Goes best with sweet desserts.
- Dry and Fortified Wine (or Sherry): Goes best with consommé, poultry, and vegetable soups.
The word sauce is a French word, and it encompasses all relishes that make food more appetizing. A good sauce brings everything to life, moistening and enriching the meal. It makes the flavors of the dish more accessible to one’s palate and gives the meal a sensuous edge. As any great chef will tell you, the secret to romantic cooking is in the sauce!
The supermarket has a wide selection of sauces available, such as brown sauce, chicken stock, and clam juice, so shop wisely and read the labels carefully. One of the most notable differences between bland home-cooked meals and those with a “pop” that are served in restaurants is the flavor of the sauces. A new dressing or sauce will add zest and enjoyment to your traditional dishes. Try a familiar recipe with a new twist by adding a sauce!
A sauce is a flavor enhancer or a substance that increases the pleasantness of the flavor of another substance. It also helps add color and texture to a dish. Like pairing flavors, a basic either-or applies when considering color and texture: enhance or contrast. Balance plain or light-colored food with a boldly colored sauce for a sensual visual treat!
Secret and Magical Ingredients
Once upon a time, a mundane, young, and handsome chef was working in the kitchen of the royal palace. The youngest princess had grown up, and was now a stunning woman; her beauty simply dazzled him. Most importantly, she loved to eat. Although the handsome chef constantly tried to get her attention, she simply blew him off. The handsome chef was frustrated and at wit’s end. So, he decided to visit an old wizard chef in a land that was very far away. Upon arrival, he was summoned to cook for the wizard. However, the food was tasteless, remarkably bland, and commonplace. After weeks of training with the wizard, the handsome chef was summoned to the chamber, and the old wizard chef said:
“My young chef, I have been made aware of your story, and now realize what you need. I will give you a chest full of secret, magical ingredients that will astonish the beautiful, young princess. With your culinary training, and this chest full of magical ingredients, you will become the greatest chef in your kingdom. Take my skills and knowledge, and seduce the glorious prince or princess.”
Secret and Magical Ingredients
“Pearl Dust – Gold Flakes and Leaves
Forbidden Black Rice – Black Vanilla
Elixir of Chocolate – Dom Pérignon
Emerald Green Lobster Fails
Flambé Liquors – Frangelico
Baby Vegetables – Godiva Chocolate Martinis
Rose Water and Petals – White Truffles
Scorpion Lollops – Essences of Herb and Spices
Pearls of Fruit and Vegetables”
Ancient chronicles simply overflow with accounts of secret, enchanting gastronomical ingredients!
- Edible Gold and Silver can be purchased in 4 formats, leaf, petals, flakes, and dust.
Copyright 2014 SeductionAndRomanticDinner.com
Edible Gold and Silver can be purchased in 4 formats, leaf, petals, flakes, and dust.