Easter is nearly here — so what do you have cooking?
Before you ransack your kitchen pantry in desperation, there are plenty of easy-to-whip-up dishes perfect for a relaxing at-home dinner for two. That's why we've cooked up our own Dinner For Two series by serving up a mouthwatering menu that's sure to impress your sweetheart — sneakily flavored with aphrodisiac ingredients, like this Easter-themed feast that'll get you both hoppin' to the dinner table.
Easter Sunday is all about the renewal of life and it comes at a time when spring is in the air — kids are playing, flowers are beginning to bloom and the clouds are finally lifting to reveal the sun after several long months of winter. And believe it or not, this holiday boasts some of the strongest aphrodisiacs of the year: eggs and carrots.
According to legend, eating raw chicken eggs before sex stimulates your libido. (Ick.) Still, being high in vitamins B5 and B6, eggs balance hormone levels and fight stress. As for carrots, these root veggies have been associated with stimulation since ancient times (and not just for their phallic shapes). Early Middle Eastern princes snacked on them, believing they were powerful boosters of virility. And they weren't too far off either: For men, vitamin A is a nutrient needed for producing sex hormones and therefore, vital for sperm production.
Both are included in this feast! So celebrate the coming of spring with lamb skewers served with basil-mint pesto (both ingredients are libido boosters), a spiced carrot soup cooked with ginger. Combine them with an eggcellent cocktail and a grownup version of the Cadbury egg (an ice cream "egg" enrobed in dark chocolate) and you've got yourselves one sexy meal!
The Drink: Lavender Sour
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 1/4 ounce of Lillet Blanc
- 3/4 ounce of lime juice
- 1/2 ounce of agave nectar
- 1/2 of egg white
- 3/4 ounce of lavender elixir
1. For lavender elixir, infused lavender seeds with vodka for three days and strainer and mix with lavender tea, equal parts.
2. Add all the ingredients to the shaker and shake it hard without ice (dry shake) to mix ingredients and get a foam. Add ice and shake it again. Serve it up in a Leopold cup or martini glass and garnished with fresh lavender leaf.
The Appetizer: Deviled Eggs With Bacon
By Incredible Edible Egg
- 14 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon
- 1/4 cup finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 oz.)
- 2 tablesp chopped fresh chives or green onion tops
1. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks to medium bowl. Reserve 24 white halves. Finely chop remaining 4 white halves.
2. Mash yolks with fork. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice and pepper; mix well. Add chopped egg whites, bacon, cheese and chives; mix well.
3. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon yolk mixture into each reserved egg white half. Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors.
The Side Dish: Spicy Coconut Carrot Soup (Gluten and dairy free)
By Francesca Alfano of Sprouting From The Soul
- 4 large carrots
- 1 can Light coconut milk
- 1 small onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 lime
- 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
- To taste sea salt
- To taste pepper
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Wash and dry all produce. Dice the carrots, onion, and garlic. Remove leaves from cilantro. Cut lime into quarters.
3. Place washed chickpeas into baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with cumin. Toss until coated. Add to oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until browned and crisp.
4. While the chickpeas are baking, heat coconut oil in pot. Add garlic, ginger, and onion. Saute until onion is translucent. Add carrots and cook for another 4 minutes.
5. Add broth to the pan along with cayenne pepper, turmeric, and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until carrots are tender, about 25 minutes.
6. Add the soup to a emersion blender. Blend until creamy and completely smooth.
7. Garnish with fresh squeezed lime juice, fresh cilantro, and chickpea croutons.
The Main Dish: Lamb Skewers With Basil-Mint Pesto
By Parties That Cook™
- 3 pounds boneless leg of lamb
- 22 short bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
- 1 1/2 cups packed mint leaves only (stems removed)
- 1 large bunch fresh basil leaves only (stems removed)
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.
2. Prepare the Lamb: Trim lamb of excess fat and silver skin. Cut into strips that are 4 inches in length and 1 inch in width. Transfer lamb to a bowl and add the olive oil, salt and pepper and mix. Toss. Thread one 4-inch strip of lamb onto each skewer. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet.
3. Pesto: Bring small saucepan filled with salted water to boil. Plunge mint and basil in water for 10 seconds (this locks in the green color). Immerse mint and basil in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove from ice bath and squeeze out all the water.
4. In a food processor or blender, puree almonds, cheese and garlic. Add 3/4 cup oil and process to form a paste. Add mint, basil, salt and pepper and process until well blended and smooth. Mix in more oil if necessary to loosen mixture. Season pesto with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl for serving with a small spoon and garnish with a sprig of mint.
5. Broil the Lamb: Preheat broiler. Place lamb 2-3 inches under the broiler and broil until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side until the meat is brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with the pesto.
The Dessert: Cadbury Egg (with Marshmallow, Passion Fruit, Violet, Black Sesame)
By Daniel Zeal, Chef de Cuisine of The Georgian Room at Sea Island
- 1 cup vanilla bean ice cream
- 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff (we make our own, but you can buy it in the store)
- 1/4 cup passion fruit sorbet
- coating chocolate, melted and reserved warm
1/3 cup salad oil
1/2 cup toasted black sesame seeds
1/2 cup oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1. In a small metal mixing bowl, mix the vanilla ice cream and the marshmallow fluff together until homogenous. Then swirl in the passion fruit sorbet and re-freeze.
2. Scoop the ice cream after it re-sets, into oval shaped flexible molds, and freeze overnight.
3. The next day, remove from freezer, unmold, and dip into the warm chocolate, then remove with a fork, remove excess chocolate from bottom, and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, in the freezer to set the chocolate. Hold frozen until needed.
4. For black sesame, place all ingredients into a blender and blend into a black sauce. Hold until needed.
5. To finish the plate place some marshmallow fluff at the base of the plate, center the "egg" and garnish with fresh passion fruit seeds, candied violet flowers and the black sesame-oreo sauce.