Creating a Romantic Mood
Entertaining the Question
February, 2005 - Issue #5
Lemon-Pepper Shrimp and Strawberry Salad
Lemon-Pepper Shrimp and Strawberry Salad
Q: I'm tired of crowded restaurants and cranky waiters, especially when I'm trying to set a romantic mood. I want to create the perfect at-home Valentine's Day meal for my wife, but Emeril I'm not. Any suggestions on how I can wow her without leaving home or going to culinary school?

The food we create allows us the opportunity to express our love, our passion - it is our mean of connecting with others. Kudos on deciding to display your affections in a culinary manner.

On Valentine's Day, why not try creating an aphrodisiac meal with your significant other? The act of preparing food for another or with someone speaks louder and clearer than most words. It says, "I love you, I want you, I care for you. You are worth the effort."

Aphrodisiac foods don't have to be exotic or expensive. Some of the more common aphrodisiac selections include asparagus, artichokes, avocado, basil, chilies, chocolate (of course), figs (these caterers' favorite) grapes, strawberries, beef (especially filet mignon), shrimp and lobster.

Setting the scene for an aphrodisiac meal is of vital importance. Table settings are crucial and need not be in the classical style. Why not try an unusual arrangement, like a table without cutlery? It will immediately suggest a hands-on approach. Eating with your fingers can be very suggestive. Imagine lifting asparagus spears to the lips as they drip with melted butter, tearing lobster apart, peeling shrimp, dipping strawberries in champagne...

The following is a menu that is designed to highlight aphrodisiac foods, yet simple enough to keep you out of the kitchen all day. The salad recipe is highlighted below.

"Be my Valentine" Menu

• Lemon-Pepper Shrimp and Strawberry Salad
• Beef Wellington
• Twice Baked Potato
• Asparagus with Lemon Butter Sauce
• Chocolate Molten Cakes

Lemon Pepper Shrimp and Strawberry Salad
2 servings

• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1/2 cup strawberries
• 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
• dash of lemon pepper
• sugar, salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except the poppy seeds in a blender. Blend well, then add poppy seeds.

• 8 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• 3/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
• 3 cups baby greens
• 1/2 pint strawberries, halved

Sprinkle shrimp with juice of half a lemon, 3/4-teaspoon lemon pepper and salt and pepper. Grill for six minutes or until firm to the touch, turning once. Toss greens with vinaigrette to coat. Top with shrimp and garnish with strawberries and additional vinaigrette. Garnish with heart-shaped goat cheese if desired (use a cookie cutter for precision). Serve immediately. Accept compliments graciously.

Cindy and Tamra own and operate RSVP Catering.
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