Skip the crowded restaurants this year and make your own sexy Valentine's Day dinner at home. Durex has paired up with celebrity chef, Valentine Warner, to help you create a romantic three course-meal for a seductive night you'll both enjoy. From a flavoursome main to a scrumptious dessert, his aphrodisiac inspired recipe ideas are sure to win your lovers' heart. Now, over to Valentine...
Valentine's Night Dinner
Dear all, I put this dinner together for you bearing in mind you should be together and keep cooking to a minimum. Most of the main players in the recipes have been selected from an extensive list of aphrodisiacs, that when anyone asks did you have a nice Valentine’s eve? You may reply “ He/she cooked my knickers/pants off”.
Course 1: Shrimp cocktail Mexico style
Hanging from the branches, swaying gently in the warm jungle breeze, the Aztecs are said to have thought avocados resembled the male scrotum. Fair enough, but then opening it up to find one stone. Rich in vitamin e the avocado helps in the production of testosterone, progesterone and oestrogen...which are all key.
King Montezuma the Aztec ruler, would reinforce his hot choccy mixing chillies into the cocoa (also an aphrodisiac) as he knew it to make his tongue dance and his pulse quicken, necessary indeed when visiting his many hundred concubines. He reputedly drank 50 cups a day. “Oh Monty!”
A wise man he was as we know today that eating chilies (like cocoa also originating from South America) increases endorphin levels. It quickens the heart rate, plumps the lips and flushes the cheeks as you stare at each other across the table on February the 14th. To hell with the main course!
Serves 2 (double or triple recipe if swinging)
1 tbsp. sunflower oil
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
4 tbsp. tomato ketchup
2 tsp Discovery chipotle paste
1 good splash of Worcestershire sauce
Juice from ¾ of a sweet tangy orange
Juice from ½ medium lime
1 tbsp. very finely chopped coriander stalks
Grind of black pepper
1 stick celery, de-strung and very finely sliced
180g peeled raw sustainable king prawns
Good pinch of dried oregano
Small pinch of powdered clove or pinched crowns of 3 whole cloves
¼ tsp cumin
1 clove garlic
1 ripe avocado, de-stoned and medium cubed
Full fat crème fraiche
In a small saucepan sauté the onion in the sunflower oil until completely soft and tender, nothing less. Do not colour them. This should take about 8 minutes
While the onions cook, take a mixing bowl and add the ketchup, chipotle paste, Worcester sauce, lime and orange juice, pepper and coriander stalks.
Add the onions to the sauce, taking care to leave the oil in the pan. Cover and put the cocktail sauce in the fridge to chill
Roughly chop the prawns into two pieces
Remove all the onion from the pan leaving the oil in. Turn up the heat and then throw in the prawns
Brown them very quickly keeping them on the heat until only just cooked
Sprinkle in the, clove oregano cumin and throw in the garlic and toss them together for 30 seconds more. Tip them onto a plate. Allow to cool and then chill in the fridge. Do not be tempted to combine with the sauce too early as the citrus juices will cook the prawns further. This is not wanted
When ready to serve mix the prawns and sauce and gently fold through the avocado
Arrange in a martini glass or the like.
Spoon a quenelle or dollop of the crème fraiche on top and decorate with the coriander leaves.
Serve the cocktail chilled accompanied with some salted corn tortilla chips
Course 2: Rib of beef, potato and pine nut salad and artichokes
Now you’ve cleared away the surf and had a kiss in the kitchen, here’s the turf. Beef raises levels of Dopamine in the brain a feel good chemical associated with the emotions of anticipation, desire and heightened sensitivity during sex. Sexy science…equivalent to the hot lab technician in the white coat
Venture deeper into your tender steak and it’s also an excellent source of zinc. Zinc boosts the libido and suppresses the pituitary gland from producing prolactin that can cause sexual dysfunction. Heaven forbid not on Feb 14th.
Pine nuts have long been considered very good for the male libido also due to their high amounts of zinc. They have been slipped into love potions over centuries. One Arabian scholar recommends nibbling on a hundred before bedtime. How about a small trail of pine nuts to the bedroom and a couple squirrel outfits?
Olive oil? Well who can tell me that watching it trickle... (Enough, said)…isn’t an aphrodisiac?
I was delighted to find artichokes included in team Dizziac. Catherine de Medici(1519- 1589) is purported to have said that had she eaten an artichoke people on the street would have noticed and presumably this is from the flushed appearance bought on by what one gets up to after the artichoke has been swallowed.
Elsewhere, women in 16th Century Italy were forbidden to eat artichokes as they become crazed, trembling sex maniacs. Any real evidence true scientific virility is totally lacking and as I see it, eating a fully grown Globe artichoke simply comes down to a furtive un-robing as you pull off those petals to get to the heart: the meat of it. Most importantly they are delicious with beef.
3 tbsp. pine nuts
6 Ratte potatoes
20g picked parsley leaves
20 picked basil leaves
20 picked tarragon leaves
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Zest from ½ an un-waxed lemon
Juice from ½ un-waxed lemon
1 rib of beef, or 2 steaks
1 tbsp. very finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp flaked sea salt
12 marinated artichoke halves, drained of oil
Put the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil.
Cook until done. Drain and allow to cool
In the meantime chop all the herbs except the rosemary, extremely fine and combine in a bowl. Stir through the mustard and add the lemon zest.
Stir through the olive oil. Do not add the lemon juice until later as it will discolour the herbs if left too long.
In advance of dinner turn the oven onto 200C fan
Put a large frying pan on the heat, preferably one that fits and can go in the oven. Alternatively have an oven tray in the oven that can fit the beef chop. It MUST be hot enough that when the beef sizzles immediately on entry (Ooooh errrrr)
On one side of the beef scatter the finely chopped rosemary followed by the fennel seeds and salt. Drizzle over with a little sunflower or olive oil
Lay the beef in the pan on the herbed side and sizzle until well coloured, golden browned.
Turn it over and transfer to the oven in its frying pan or transfer to the tray in the oven. Cook until desired 'done-ness' is achieved. I prefer medium rare. If cooking steaks then cook them solely on the top
When done remove from the oven and rest the chop on a carving board to rest
Remembering the frying pan maybe hot place it on the hob and fry the artichoke halves in the beef fat until well browned and getting crispy on the leaves
While the artichokes fry slice the potatoes into discs of about ½ cm into the green herb sauce. Now stir through the lemon juice and stir through the toasted pine nuts. Season if needs be
Slice the beef on a board and pile the artichokes on one end (it maybe easier to remove the bone first (said the vicar to the actress)
Take the beef to the table with the potato salad
Remember to have warmed the plates you will get more love for these tiny details
Pour some good red wine.
Course 3: Bananas in rum, caramel Sauce
Bromelain that promotes testosterone production and potassium that boosts energy levels are both to be found in the banana. Enough facts for one meal. Bananas also look like penis's and simple devices are always the best!
For the butterscotch rum sauce
100g caster sugar
3–4 tablespoons water
100ml double cream
40g fridge-cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
a glug of dark rum
juice of 1 lime generous pinch of grated nutmeg
25g unsalted butter
3 bananas, peeled and halved lengthways
a glug of dark rum
25ml double cream
grated zest of 1 lime
To make the butterscotch rum sauce, heat a saucepan and add the sugar and water. Leave to caramelize over a medium heat, swirling the pan when the mixture starts to turn a dark golden hazelnut colour. Do not stir at any point until whisk is needed
Once the caramel is golden brown , remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the cream, being careful of the spitting caramel.
When the cream is mixed in, add the butter, cube by cube, whisking as you go over a the heat until the sauce is emulsified and glossy. Stir in the rum, then add the lime juice. Add the nutmeg, stir again, then leave the sauce to one side while you prepare the bananas.
Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan. Add the bananas, cut-side down. Cook over a medium heat in the frothing butter until their bases have gone dark golden and slightly crisp at the edges.
Flambé the pan with the rum and allow the contents to cook for about 30 seconds, then turn the bananas over and pour in the butterscotch rum sauce.
Finish the bananas with a swirl of cream and turn off the heat. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle over the lime zest. Serve immediately whilst the butterscotch sauce is still warm with shortbread
Happy Valentines X
With two best-selling books accompanying his first hit series, What to Eat Now on BBC Two, Valentine Warner is a celebrity chef who enjoys flavoursome food and exciting ingredients. Warner has presented Valentine Warner: Coast to Coast, in which he travelled the country fishing and cooking his catch. Warner has also written for the Times, The Independent, Delicious, Waitrose Food illustrated and Olive magazine, to name a few.