Friday, February 12, 2010

Enjoy A Little Flesh This Valentine's Day

Moist, pink, succulent ... I'm referring to salmon of course.  This Valentine's Day try it steamed in a Savoy cabbage leaf with a chive ribbon to tie it up.  Each little "present" of salmon is opened at the table to reveal the pretty contrast of pink and green.  Blanching the cabbage leaves and chives softens them so they can be folded around 2-3 oz portions of salmon and herbs before they are steamed.

Romance flows naturally when you prepare a fun, interactive meal with your partner.  The menu should engage all your senses--sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  Start by steaming whole edamame, sprinkle with sea salt and eat them in the traditional Japanese manner by pulling the pod through your teeth to release the beans.  Stimulate your sense of smell by toasting some walnuts in the oven until fragrant.  They will make a wonderful sauce for pasta with good olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Consider skipping the flowers this year and invest in a pasta-rolling machine instead. Using your hands to transform flour, eggs and salt into smooth and satiny dough will inspire even a mismatched couple.  As you roll out your pasta dough be adventurous.  How long can you make one strand of fettuccini?  The sound and sight of slurping long noodles will interrupt any dull moments of your meal.  Saute some arugula in olive oil and add the toasted walnuts.  Toss in the pasta that has been boiled in salted water for 2 -3 minutes until it is al dente.  Use a little of the pasta cooking water to help make a sauce.  Grate Parmesan cheese over the dish and enjoy.

For dessert, well, I'll leave that to your imagination.