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Caviar is high in zinc, which stimulates the formation of testosterone.
Chocolate contains both a sedative which relaxes and lowers inhibitions and a stimulant called theobromine which increases activity . The Aztecs called chocolate "nourishment of the Gods".
Cinnamon is considered an aphrodisiac in many parts of Europe
Garlic is believed to increase sexual desire.
Honey was used in ancient Egyptian as a cure for sterility and impotence and Medieval "Honeymooners" drank mead, a drink made with honey, to "sweeten" the marriage.
Nutmeg has been prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac for hundreds of years
Oysters were used an aphrodisiac food by the Romans in the 2nd century AD. they are rich with zinc which have a positive effect on the libido.
Pine Nuts are rich in zinc and have been used since Medieval times to stimulate the libido
Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and has been used as a treatment for impotence.
Strawberries rich in vitamin C and the ideal dessert to " hand feed"
Vanilla is believed to be a stimulant, with both the scent and flavour believed to increase lust.
Below is a small selection of recipes which contain foods of love, making them ideal for your romantic Valentine's Day meal. Where possible, we've chosen recipes which contain 2 or more aphrodisiac foods....just to make sure!
V = Vegetarian
So, now you have some recipe ideas for your special Valentine's Day meal using ingredients of love but there are a couple of tips you should follow to make sure your night of passion isn't spoiled.
1. Try to pick at least 1 course which you can prepare in advance. Absence may make the heart grow fonder but not if when you return from the kitchen you're all flustered.
2. Don't over-load yourselves with too much food. No matter how wonderful it tasted, stuffing yourselves to the gills will leave you feeling lethargic and won't do anything for your energy levels. Leave them wanting just a little more.....YOU!
Below are a couple of menus which should both tickle the taste buds and stimulate the senses without dampening the ardour.
Make your meals even more romantic with these heart shaped items
specially selected for you by Recipes4us
Afrodisiac Appetiser 20mins
Champagne Oysters or Scallops
Serves 2Hot Starters Hors d'oeuvre Fish seafood Gluten Free Wheat Free
6 Fresh Prepared Oysters or Scallops, opened, juice reserved
1 Shallot, finely chopped
1 teasp Freshly Chopped Tarragon
150ml/5fl.oz. Pink Champagne
Salt and Black Pepper
1. Melt half the butter in a pan add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute.
2. Add the champagne and any oyster juices, chopped tarragon, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Remove the oysters or scallops from their shells (reserving the shells) and add to the pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring for 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
4. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the oysters/scallops back to their individual shells and keep warm.
5. Increase the heat under the pan and whisk the remaining butter into the sauce, a little at a time.
6. To serve - place the oyster/scallops (in their shells) on individual plates and pour the sauce over the oysters. Serve immediately as a starter accompanied with the remainder of the bottle of champagne.
Two Hearts as One Main Course 40mins plus cooling
(Individual Beef Wellingtons)
Serves2 Hot Beef Main Course
2 x 175g/6oz Fillet Mignon (Beef fillet)
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tbsp Onions, finely chopped
75g/3oz Mushrooms, thinly sliced
50g/2oz Smooth Liver Pate
225g/8oz Puff Pastry
Beaten Egg to glaze
For the sauce
150ml/5fl.oz. Red Wine
150ml/5fl.oz. Beef Stock
A large knob of Butter
1. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas mark 6.
2. Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan until very hot, add the beef and seal and brown well on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Reheat the oil and butter in the frying pan, add the mushrooms and onion and sauté gently until soft. Set aside to cool a little.
4. Once cool, in a small bowl mix together the mushroom mixture and pate until well blended.
5. Divide the pasty into four then on a floured surface, roll the pastry pieces out large enough so that when you place a fillet on top there's a border of about 2.5cm/1-inch.
6. Divide the pate mixture between the two pieces of pastry then spread evenly over the centres leaving a 2.5cm/1-inch border of pastry on all sides then lay the meat on top. Brush the edges with a little beaten egg, lay the remaining two pieces of pastry over each fillet, pressing down firmly to seal well. Cut off any excess pastry to within 12mm/1/2 inch of the meat and brush the top of the parcels all over with beaten egg to glaze.
7. Roll out the pastry trimmings thinly and cut into small heart shapes. Use to decorate the top of each pie, then brush with beaten egg. Can be covered lightly with foil and refrigerated for up to 45 minutes if required.
8. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20minutes.
9. Meanwhile, place the wine and stock in a saucepan, bring to the boil and continue to boil until reduced and syrupy.
10. Add the butter to the sauce, stirring with a wooden spoon.
11. To serve - transfer the beef Wellingtons onto individual serving plates and pour a little of the sauce around each one. Serve hot.
Scalloped Potatoes 90 mins
Serves 2 Gluten Free Wheat Free Eggless Accompaniment Vegetarian
Salt and Pepper
180ml/6 fl.oz. Milk
1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas mark 4 and grease a shallow ovenproof dish.
2. Peel and very thinly slice the potatoes, using a mandolin if you have one. Arrange a layer of potato in the dish, season with salt and pepper, dot with butter and pour over a little milk. Continue to layer the potatoes in this manner until all are used up.
3. Cover and bake for 1 hour.
4. 200C, 400F, Gas mark 6, remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.
1. Preheat the oven to 170C, 325F, Gas mark 3.
2. Make the caramel by placing the sugar in a small saucepan together with the water. Allow the sugar to dissolve over a low heat then bring to the boil. Continue to boil rapidly until it turns a deepish amber colour then remove from the heat immediately.
3. Pour the caramel into the base of two ovenproof ramekin dishes, swirling around the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.
4. Place the milk in a saucepan and heat to hot but not boiling.
5. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and sugar.
6. Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture then stir in the orange zest and juice mixing well then pour it into the dishes containing the hardened caramel.
7. Place the dishes in a baking tin filled with 5cm/2inches of hot water, cover loosely with foil then carefully place the water bath into the oven and cook for 45-60 minutes. Allow to cool before refrigerating. Chill until cold.
8. To serve - invert the crème caramel onto individual serving plates, tilting the plates to the caramel juice encircles the crème caramel, then grate the chocolate over the top and around the edges of the plate.