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Florida’s Aphrodisiac…

February 10, 2009


There have been many foods throughout time that have been considered aphrodisiacs. Thanks to modern science that list is much shorter. Science aside, it is a proven fact that the process of preparing and enjoying a romantic dinner, or having your lover hand feed you fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate is an experience sure to get you in the mood.

The power of food is simply undeniable. What we eat and how we eat directly determine how we are going to feel. A light fresh meal that includes lots of colors can give us loads of energy. A dish made with spicy chilies can get the blood flowing,  face flushing and lips tingling. How about oysters on the half shell?  The symbolism is there and they are loaded with zinc that helps both genders produce testosterone. Honey is another powerful food, made from the nectar of flowers its golden color and smooth texture has been connected to love and sensuality since the beginning of time.

There is something sexy in all foods, from the way it feels in our hands, the aroma it gives off, the look of it in our eyes, the mood in which we enjoy it and the flavor it leaves on our lips. Food affects us in more ways than we realize. Here are a few recipe ideas made with romance in mind.

Red Hot Oysters
Yield 2 Servings

12 Florida oysters in the shell
1 ounce of your favorite hot pepper sauce

Wash oysters thoroughly. Shuck and place oysters on deep half of shell; remove any remaining shell particles. If you prefer to eat them cooked , arrange oysters on baking sheet and top with 1/2 teaspoon of sauce. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until edges begin to curl. To eat raw, arrange shucked oysters on a platter and drizzle with hot sauce. Please research the dangers of eating raw shellfish before consuming them raw.

Florida Wildflower Honey Custard with Citrus- Strawberry Compote
Yield 4 Servings


2 cups milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 2×1-inch Florida orange peel strips (just the skin no white parts)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Florida wildflower honey
4 large egg yolks
1 whole large egg

1 1-pint basket Florida strawberries, hulled, sliced
2 Florida oranges, peel and white pith removed
1 tablespoon Florida wildflower honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

For Custard:
Combine 2 cups milk, whipping cream, vanilla bean, orange peel strips, ground cardamom and salt in heavy small saucepan. Cook milk mixture over medium heat until tiny bubbles appear around edge of saucepan. Remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove softened vanilla bean from milk mixture. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk mixture; add bean. Heat milk mixture again until tiny bubbles appear around edge of saucepan. Remove saucepan from heat, add honey and stir until honey melts. Using fork, beat egg yolks and whole egg in medium bowl just until blended. Gradually mix hot milk mixture into egg mixture. Strain custard into large measuring cup with spout.

Pour custard into four 1 1/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups. Set dishes in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come halfway up sides of dishes. Cover baking pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake custards until knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer dishes to rack and cool completely. Cover custards and refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead.

For Compote:
Place sliced strawberries in medium bowl. Using small sharp knife, hold oranges over same bowl and cut between membranes to release segments, allowing juice and segments to fall into bowl. Squeeze orange membranes over same bowl to release any juice. Mix in 1 tablespoon honey and ground cardamom. (Compote can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve custard with compote.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 10, 2009 11:43 am

    i had already planned on having oysters on v-day. thanks for reminding me of their special powers 😉

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