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Candlelight Dinners Set the Mood for Romance

February 12th, 2009

In a recent survey by Agavero Tequila, it was revealed that 35% of Americans cite a romantic candlelight dinner-for-two as the best way to “get in the mood,” take a hint and turn up the heat in your kitchen this February 14th for Valentine’s Day. Similar surveys have been conducting around the world with the same results. There’s just something about candlelight and delicious home-cooked meal that inspires lovers.

Agavero Tequila

Agavero Tequila

“Cooking together is a very sensuous experience, and cooking with aphrodisiacs can bring your evening to a whole new level,” said Diane Brown, Agavero spokesperson and author of The Seduction Cookbook. “A smooth and flavorful tequila like Agavero not only generates a flavor burst in food but can spark chemistry and passion throughout the meal.”

Brown recommends starting the evening off with a tantalizing Agavero- infused meal, then light the candles and cue the Barry White. Finish the meal fireside with a delicious Agavero cocktail. Agavero is best enjoyed neat, sipped slowly to enjoy the smooth flavor, as well as in tempting drink recipes, such as the Lover’s Margarita or Passion Potion. These and other cocktail recipes are available on Agavero.com.

Brown Butter Seared Scallops with Agavero Mango Chutney

For Agavero mango chutney:
2 unripe mangoes (about 3 pounds total)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup Agavero tequila
1 teaspoon salt
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled
1 fresh Serrano chile
5 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3-inch piece cinnamon stick
2 star anise
2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil
Juice of one lemon

For brown butter seared scallops:
12 large sea scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

For chutney: Peel mangoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. In a small bowl toss mangoes with vinegar, Agavero tequila and salt.

Make seasoning paste: Cut gingerroot into 4 pieces. (In the bowl of a food processor, add gingerroot, chile, and remaining seasoning paste ingredients, and puree to a paste. (For a milder chutney, wearing rubber gloves, remove seeds and veins from Serrano chile.)

Heat a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat until hot. Cook seasoning paste, cinnamon stick, and star anise in oil, stirring frequently, 10 minutes, or until very fragrant. Stir in mango mixture and simmer, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until mangoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick and star anise and cool chutney completely. Chutney keeps, covered and chilled, about 1 month.

For scallops: Pat scallops dry with paper towels, then season the scallops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil until just smoking. Add the scallops and cook over high heat for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the scallops and add the butter, allowing it to bubble and brown. Cook, spooning the butter on the scallops, until white throughout, about 3 minutes. Serve scallops with Agavero mango chutney.

And of course, don’t forget the candles. The flickering light creates a warm, seductive atmosphere. Set up candles on your dinner table and light several throughout your living room and bedroom to create the ultimate romantic retreat at home.

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