Since December is devoted to celebrating hot heroes who cook, I have another aphrodisiac recipe for you.
My hot chef husband has a little foodie code phrase he likes to use whenever he’s got games in mind for later: he’ll suggest that I have a light dinner, so that I’m not too weighed down to play his reindeer games at bedtime. I don’t always obey (that can be fun, too) but for those nights when a light dinner is on the menu, Arugula and Shrimp Salad with Tropical Salsa and Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette is a great choice. It’s a summery dish, but when the snow and ice pile up outside, I like to channel hot things inside – and this dish is chock-full of hot aphrodisiacs!
Okay, get out your blender or food processor and dump these ingredients into it:
1/2 cup white vinegar, plus 1 Tablespoon
2 Tablespoons Roses lime juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 Tablespoon lime zest
5 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed (about 3 cups loosely packed), stems mostly removed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
a grind of pepper
a dash of something spicy – hot sauce, hot pepper juice from the jar, chopped jalapeno, etc
(You’ll also need 1 1/3 cup vegetable oil – but not yet!)
Now buzz it all up. When the mixture is smooth, SLOWLY pour in 1 1/3 cups of vegetable oil through the feed tube (or remove that round-y part from the lid of the blender. Have a towel handy (that little tip can be universally applied) and I suggest pulsing the motor to get it all started (ditto). Taste it. Add salt, sugar, heat or vinegar according to your palate.
1 mango, peeled, pitted, small-diced
1/2 a small papaya, peeled, seeds scooped, small-diced
2 Tablespoons red onion, small-diced (if you aren’t worried about your breath)
1/2 a red pepper, small-diced (do you see a pattern, here?)
1/2 and avocado, cubed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Toss it all together gently, so you don’t over-smoosh the avocado.
Well, how do you like ‘em? You can buy them precooked in a bag, defrost them, toss them with the vinaigrette and serve them with the salsa atop a bed of mixed greens. You can get some regular-sized ones (16-20 to a pound) peel them, de-vein them, skewer them, season and oil them and grill them until they are pink. You can buy the big suckers and do all of that except the skewering. Okay, skewer if you want, but, really, the big ones won’t fall through the grill on you. Don’t have a grill? Put a tablespoon of oil in a saute pan. Season the shrimp. Heat the pan until the oil JUST BEGINS to smoke. Add the shrimp carefully. Toss them around until they are cooked through. Get them out of the pan just when you think their middles have lost that translucent blue color – you don’t want to eat little pink pencil erasers!
To serve: Toss the arugula with a liberal amount of vinaigrette. Do it like the pros: wash up (or wear disposable gloves) and use your hands to pile the greens high on the plates. Put a mound of tropical salsa on top. Put the shrimp on top of the salsa. Garnish with more salsa or a drizzle of vinaigrette as it suits your whimsy.
For the science heads:
Papaya has components that act like estrogen. *hmm*
Cilantro is an appetite stimulant. *giggle*
Arugula is also called rocket. *gasp*
The Aztecs called the avocado tree the testicle tree. *nuf said*
I’ll be honest with you: my greatest strength and my greatest weakness is the fact that I’m a practical cook. Translation: I substitute ingredients right and left. It’s one of my super powers, and I’m happy to share it with you. If you don’t like shrimp – use chicken or beef or pork or tofu! Don’t like tropical fruit? Go Southwestern – substitute corn and black beans and maybe some cheese for the fruit! (Warning: do not substitute another fresh herb in the vinaigrette recipe. Yuck!) I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to play fast and loose with the rules of cooking while still creating great food. If I had to hang a label on my cuisine, I’d call it “approachable,” just like me. So – if you have any questions about how to tailor this recipe to your family’s tastes, send me an e-mail. I love to talk about how to please everyone at the table… enjoy the light dinner!
Everything I’ve been reading lately urges me to blog consistently – every day, every week, every whatever. Fine. I pick Mondays!
Some people dread them, but I feel Monday is a very optimistic day. It’s the first day of a new week, a good time to take a deep breath before the onslaught, a great day to spend a few moments getting ready for the rest of it.
However, consistency ain’t really the way I roll. I’m a woman of sudden inspiration and instant gratification. Obsessive? Yes. Disciplined – not so much. This is going to be a challenge for me, but I’m all fired up because BOTTOMS UP releases on December 28th. In the story, Johnny whips up a nice little dinner for Destiny before he does a number of deliciously deviant things to her. A common thread in all my works is food, not so surprising since my husband and I met in culinary school. Food is one of my kinks, I guess, but not in a sticky way. I just like a guy who can handle himself in the bedroom AND the kitchen. (And the living room, shower and garage – but I digress.)
Since Johnny can cook and BOTTOMS UP is a BDSM love story, I’ve chosen “WHIP ME, BEAT ME… FEED ME!” as my blog theme for December. Tune in on Monday morning for the first installment. I’ll share my recipe for an aphrodisiac hot chocolate that will truly make you sweat, and I hope you’ll share stories of memorable food and love combos – hot, cold, sticky or otherwise.
See you Monday!