Mar 11, 2010

Kitchen burlesque

In my cuisine/lifestyle manuscript (sitting in a drawer, waiting for a brave publisher to give it life), besides illustrating traditional Italian dishes, typical holiday food and a wide section dedicated to comfort food, or those recipes that satisfy nocturnal cravings and healthy kids' appetites, there is a chapter titled "seduction." 

I am not limiting this to the pleasures of the alcove. When I cook for others–be it for a single special individual or for a significant group–I want to play and tease, making my guests and their appetites feel loved and tickled. I want to attract them, tempt them into the guilty pleasures of the dinner table, and see the abandon in their eyes as they indulge in a third helping. I use my culinary seduction weapons (apron and wooden spoon, mostly) to astound and revive indolent couch-bound friends, or see a smile surface on a gloomy face. I like to provoke with food, it gives me the power to balance out lost harmony. Anyone who loves to cook, has then certainly pursued undecided suitors on a special date with a challenging dish. Offered large portions of plenty as a peace sign to grumpy in-laws. Or fed noisy dinner guest a meal to remember just to enjoy the silence as they speechlessly ingested. That, too, is the 'kitchen burlesque' I advocate.

So it's only natural for me to believe that the noblest form of persuasion and beguiling titillation is through the art of cooking a perfect meal. Food is sexy, period. The obvious oysters, copious amounts of caviar eaten with fingers and fountains spilling gallons of chilled champagne? It may be surprising to some, but many sensual foods and preparations are, on the contrary, affordable and quite unsophisticated. 

Were you aware, for example, that anchovies are a potent aphrodisiac? On a par with chili peppers, pine nuts, anise, basil, carrots, pistachio nuts, almonds, arugula, sage, turnips, parsley, and one of the supposed intimacy-spoilers, garlic? Also, think pomegranate kernels loosely scattered on rare grilled meats, lightly steamed asparagus wantonly dribbled with melted butter, or the amazing texture of avocado which has been stained with balsamic vinegar.

Choose a few key luxurious flavors for your seduction repast, well studied lighting, a fine bottle of wine, alluring music and attire, and even a plate of scrambled eggs can count as foreplay.



Soft scrambled eggs 
with brie, walnuts and truffles
Fifteen minutes to assemble, five to prepare. Leaves you all the time you need for a relaxing bath, lighting the candles and rubbing lemon juice and olive oil on your skin. For an orgy of four, prepare:
  • 6 eggs
  • 100 gr (1/2 cup) walnuts, shelled
  • 150 gr (3/4 cup) brie
  • 1 small truffle
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
Cut the brie in thin matchsticks and finely chop the walnuts except for a few. Play a soft ballad in the background while you do this.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet, and pour in the beaten eggs. Stir in the slivered cheese and ground walnuts. Add a few truffle shavings and stir with a wooden or plastic whisk (to avoid scratching the bottom of your pan) for a brief moment.

Remove the skillet from the stove and continue stirring to melt the cheese and obtain a soft creamy texture. Serve warm garnished with more shaved truffle, and the remaining walnut meats. Don't forget the wine.



And this was only the appetizer...




24 comments:

  1. Love the theme of your post - fabulous! Nice list of delicious aphrodisiacs as well. Can't wait to try the scrambled eggs - do you use a white or black truffle? Just curious. I also signed up to follow your blog - stop by and visit me sometime at www.stephaniesavorsthemoment.com. Looking forward to your next post!
    Stephanie

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  2. I'm not sure if i want to go find my husband or eat, OH MY! Lola, Lola, darling girl, you could make cleaning the restroom sound sexy i'm sure. I love this post, the recipe,the word seduction, you.

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  3. No wonder we love you so. Just a few words,and a magic spoon, you can whip up the atmosphere. Cinematic and luxurious descriptions. When do we eat?

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  4. I have already cooked a soup of peas, potatoes, leek and carrots, spiced with a bit of horseradish and cream, awaiting my husband, but if I hadn`t, I would have made your kind of scrambled eggs, Lola! The simple things are really often the best! Now go on with the main dish, can`t wait. Hugs from Geli

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  5. is it geting hot in here, or is it just me? smiles.

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  6. Oh no, I posed this without uploading the photo!!! Here it is now, a few hours too late.

    Dimly-lit dinner is served at 10 pm, birthday suit mandatory.

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  7. I was craving scrambled eggs yesterday! Looks great!

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  8. I think we all know what...or who was for dessert.

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  9. Eggs with a crunch! Would love to try :)

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  10. God I wish I lived next door to you...

    xx Ribbon

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  11. This was so gorgeous - it really made my mouth water - and I never knew basil and pine nuts had aphrodisiac properties.

    I've not been lucky enough to find truffles here - I've had to content myself with getting some truffle oil from Fauchon.

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  12. Hmmmmmm. I wonder if people who like the aphrodisiac foods might be, to begin with, naturally more inclined to be sensual? I'd love to see a study or two on the subject. Could make for interesting reading :-)

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  13. Hi Lola! Just dropping in to see the latest activities in that gorgeous kitchen of yours, wow.. a real treat for the senses today! Now to go back and read your older posts.. weekend greetings from africa :)

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  14. An encore of flavor in the simple egg! I love eggs and always ready for a new version! maria

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  15. Yummy!
    Now that´s what a call an appetizer!
    Hope everything is well with you Eleonora!

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  16. Thank you all for your lovely comments! Who knew a plate of scrambled eggs could raise so much enthusiasm (no pun intended, wink).

    Have a great weekend, my debauched epicurean friends.

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  17. Yum, I love scrambled egge- now what does that make me?

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  18. Mimi, you lascivious egg scrambler, you... Welcome to the club! ;)

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  19. Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.
    Burlesque

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