ADVICE FROM EXPERT MARUJA DAGNINO
Dare to use your cooking abilities to succeed on Valentine’s Day. “Food is an aphrodisiac because the action of cooking for someone is a form of giving and surrender. And the partner, who received the food, also surrenders to the cook, not knowing exactly what he or she is going to find. It is like what happens during intimacy. Cooking an eating establishes an erotic relationship.” That is what Maruja Dagnino, expert in gastronomy and author of the book “The food of desire,” said.
She also indicated that food has symbolic powers. “Those are the powers I tap into when I talk about it. There are rituals that are part of eating and go beyond stimulating the sense of taste.” Dagnino recommends serving dinner with indirect light and to use the appropriate utensils. “Eating utensils can be fancy or artisan. What matters is that it honors the food and makes it more appetizing. Don’t even think about using disposable dinnerware,” she said.
This expert recommends Cornish hens in cocoa sauce as a main course for a Valentine’s Day dinner. “Cornish hens are a popular dish in Mexico and when you add cocoa sauce it acquires a sensational flavor. You must cut the hen in half to remove the small bones. You must leave the legs and wings intact. Marinade them for an hour with Asian five spice, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and rum. Fry the hens until crispy.
Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Two cups of red wine, half cup of Port wine or any other aromatic wine. Add 60 grams of dark chocolate and two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Finish with a tablespoon of tahini (sesame butter) and one tablespoon of peanut butter. Mix and cook all ingredients for 20 minutes on low heat. Rectify the salt, if necessary. Dagnino recommended to pair this dish with Champaign.