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A Romantic St. Patrick’s Day Menu

Romancing the Blarney Stone–a romantic St. Patrick’s Day menu by Diane Brown

The Black Velvet - a Guinness and Champagne cocktail

Our favorite expert on romantic menus, Diane Brown, created this menu when she was given the challenge of coming up with a romantic St. Patrick’s Day menu. Certainly St. Patrick’s day is a celebration not generally associated with romantic love but we believe that any occasion is a potential for romance, so we love it! It is definitely one of the heavier menus we’ve featured. So you’ll want to think about moderation when you indulge. But this is a one-a-year occasion so have fun with it, too! From Champagne-laced beer cocktails to a gorgeous filet of Atlantic Salmon, this menu is packed with a surprising number of aphrodisiacs and bit of Irish innovation. Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day and may it bring you a night of seduction. Read more

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Sexy Poached Salmon in Rosé Wine Sauce

Sexy Poached Salmon in Rosé Wine SauceThis is my variation on Chef Eric Ripert’s Barely Cooked Salmon with Leeks and Red Wine Butter Sauce. The original recipe is amazing and an incredibly sophisticated dish for something so easy to prepare. However over the years, I’ve evolved the recipe into something I love even more–if that’s possible. What I most love about Ripert’s recipe is the way he poaches salmon, so that only one side is submerged. The other side is served almost raw. The effect creates one filet with two different textures and temperatures in the same bite–and you know how I feel about the sensuality of varied textures in a dish. But I embrace Ripert’s technique but for my version, I make a rosé wine sauce, and one that uses a little less butter than the original. Read more

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Curried Tuna Salad with Golden Figs

Curried Tuna Salad with Golden FigsI love curried tuna salad but I do not enjoy raisins in savory dishes. I agree with most cooks that a curried version of tuna salad needs something sweet to offset the earthy and bitter notes of the curry powder. I’ve tried apricots, which I find too sour to support the other flavors in the salad. Currants are fine but don’t quite provide the punch of sweetness I desire. Dried figs, on the other hand, have texture and a very direct sweetness–best of all, the fig is a legendary aphrodisiac! (I should also note that all of the ingredients that come together to make a classic curry powder blend, including coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom and mustard are historically aphrodisiac as well.)  Read more

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Five-Spice Crab Cocktails

Five-Spice Crab Cocktails--the perfect appetizer for a romantic dinnerWhen I decided that the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year would be to publish 14 days of romantic recipes, I reached out to a few chef and cookbook author friends to see if they would like to get in on the fun. Author Jill Silverman Hough sent me a roundup of what she felt were her most “romance-worthy” dishes and I begged her to let us run the Five-Spice Crab Cocktail recipe from her book 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Serve with Wines You Love. Read more


Steamed Mussels in White Wine Tarragon Broth

Steamed Mussels in White Wine Tarragon Broth--so easyMussels are among the world’s greatest aphrodisiacs. Seriously! They rate right up there with oysters…most people just don’t realize it. What most people who don’t cook also don’t happen to know is that steaming mussels in white wine is one of the easiest things you can make for a romantic meal! The mussels cook in their own little vessels, basically create their own brine-y sauce and impress the pants off of anyone who loves seafood and has no idea how to cook shellfish.

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