First up, let me set the scene with a video* of the Amorous Epicurean on the prowl for budget aphrodisiac ingredients to create a perfect romantic dinner date. Here, let me adjust your cushion for you -- okay now you can watch it below.
Shopping for a Romantic Recipe - VIDEO
You will want to start your romantic evening meal with an appetizer, and a plump and exotic Steamed Artichoke is the perfect dish to share with each other. Just swipe an artichoke leaf into my creamy Ginger Mayo dip and feed the tender petal end to your amour. Your appeitite will surely build as you get to the delicately delicious artichoke heart. My Steamed Artichoke appetizer is just a tease.
Cooking & Eating an Artichoke - VIDEO
My lovely Pear and Spinach Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing looks good on the plate and will impress your true love with its lightness and fresh flavors. And it's the perfect prelude to the main event.
I think Italian food is the most sexy of cuisines. Tender swirling ropes of pasta sliding through a rich creamy sauce will soften any hardened heart. Just click on any recipe name below to see my luscious photos and read my tender prose.
There is nothing like a creamy warm egg yolk to stoke the fires of desire, and the Flirty Chef's Spaghetti alla Carbonara is the perfect mood-setter. With the first bite your date will swoon with pleasure. A sprinkling of crumbled bacon over the pasta is gilding the lilly, but sometimes you need to go all the way!
In my Spaghetti alla Carbonara Video below I took a couple of cheap shortcuts. I used bacon bits, but you could substitute real bacon or kick it up a notch with prosciutto slices. Also, fresh shaved parmesan cheese will be more pleasing than the dried brand I used. And finally, I added into the pasta a blended raw egg yolk -- for a more romantic presentation, just place the egg yolk gently on top of the hot pasta.
Would you like another glass of wine before you watch my Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe video below? Oh, don't worry about driving - I'll call you a taxi.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara Recipe - VIDEO
There, wasn't that edifying? Staying on the creamy theme, I can also recommend my Fettuccine Alfredo.
Veggies in Cream with Pasta.
For something lighter, lose the cream and serve my stripped down pasta recipe of John Cassavetes Red Pepper, Olive Oil and Garlic with Spaghetti. It's a spicy tongue-tingler any tough guy can assemble. Or if you want to channel your inner domestic goddess, then tie on the apron, get out the pot holders and bring a casserole dish of my luscious Baked Pasta with Cauliflower & Cheese to the dining room table. Just check out the tempting short animated video below to see how it's done.
Baked Pasta with Cauliflower & Cheese - VIDEO
Of course, you can't have a romantic dinner date without the sweets. And I have a simply delicious deconstructed dessert that I call Mini-Banana Puddings. It's the perfect finger food to serve to your loved one. All you need is to lay out some vanilla wafers and stack with a spoonful of pudding and banana slices, finally topped with Hersey Chocolate Kisses. You could also drizzle on any sweet topping like: chocolate syrup, caramel or other favorite candy pieces.
It looks good on the plate, but be sure to make plenty, as your lover will ask for seconds!
Here are a few more romantic entrees you can try (just click on any name): Chef Zakk's Tuscan Primavera - Cajun Style; Chicken Stroganoff; Julia Child's Crepes Suzette; Baked Chicken with Grapes: Shepherd's Pie; Portabella Crab Rockefeller; Coconut Crusted Fish & Mango Salsa; Pork Bourguignon; Vegas Eggs Benedict; French Cassoulet; Stuffed Poblano Chiles; and Roasted Mint Chicken.
So, au revoir, and I'll leave you with my most outrageous Valentine Day photo story called:
The 99 Cent Lover
All items cost 99.99 cents (okay, $1)
*I couldn't have made the video "Shopping for a Romantic Dinner" without the help of Brandon Flyte (camerawork and editing,) and Chad Reder for the use of his Chad-cam -- so a big 99 thanks to you both!