Now you’re paying attention.
I was wondering, just why is chocolate sexy? Why are women usually the only ones pictured eating chocolate in commercials? Why are women sent into almost orgasmic states when they consume it (in commercials, I mean, I don’t recall ever being sexually turned on by chocolate…well, never mind…). Sometimes you’ll see a man in chocolate commercials, but I’ll bet 90% of the time, it will be a woman eating chocolate, and inevitably it will be something like a gorgeous, ridiculously slim woman nibbling at a 1″ square of chocolate, closing her eyes, and swooning. Who eats like that?
An article from the New York Times a few years ago says it’s all psychological (Is Chocolate an Aphrodisiac?). The sexy chemicals inherent in chocolate are too small to have any sort of substantial effect on one’s libido. Perhaps if you ate a few pounds of chocolate in one sitting, those chemicals might make you feel more amorous; however, it’s more likely you’ll just end up in a coma. Not sexy. I suppose it’s all about feeling free to consume some of that chocolate silkiness without worrying about anything else (like weight gain or tooth decay)—that chocolate bliss moment.
If you happen to make the previous recipes from the two previous blog posts, you should have a nice portion of filet mignon leftover after your Valentine debauchery (I hope). Now that you are over trying to impress each other and the stress of Valentine’s Day is done, maybe you’re now able to settle into the real aspects of maintaining a relationship; i.e., letting yourself be yourself, with stinky asparagus pee and garlic breath. You’re also probably ready to purge yourself of all the sweets and the carbs, so here is a slightly spicy salad that will make you feel healthy again. I like using pencil-thin asparagus, if I can get it. And if you don’t have any steak around, you can substitute your proteins.
The Evening-After Salad
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 3 cups water
- 1 ounce pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2-3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ⅓-½ pound cooked leftover filet mignon (see “Steaks with Benefits”)
- ¼ pound lettuce (any type; spinach or arugula would also be fine)
- 8 grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
- 4 average radishes, sliced thinly
Line up your washed asparagus evenly on a cutting board. From the heads, cut the stems off so they are about 6-7″ long. Place in a 9 x 5″ metal loaf pan. Add the water. Bring to a boil, then cook 3-6 minutes, until fork tender (cooking time will depend on the thickness of the stalks). Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine nuts and set aside. Combine the oil through the cayenne in a small food processor or blender and mix until smooth; set aside. Thinly slice the cold steak and place on a plate. Microwave 30 seconds; set aside. Tear the lettuce into 2″ pieces and place in a medium bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the prepared dressing. Arrange on 2 plates. In the same bowl, toss an additional 1 tablespoon dressing with the asparagus. Arrange on the plates. Toss another 1 tablespoon dressing with the steak (same bowl) and arrange. Combine the remaining ingredients with the remaining dressing in the same bowl and arrange on top of all. Sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve immediately. Serves 2; not recommended as leftovers.
This can stretch to serve three or even four, if you add some bread or other sides. Any other cooked, leftover protein works nicely here, as well. For a vegetarian option, you could certainly omit the meat and substitute cheese, beans, tofu, lentils, etc… Serve all on a platter for a buffet presentation.