Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cook Up Some Passion

(NAPSI)-America is in need of a passion overhaul. A romance survey reveals that 40 percent of Americans rate the passion in their personal relationship as PG-13 or less, by movie standards. But there is hope. All you need are the right ingredients for a romantic evening at home.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos, for Agavero, an aphrodisiac-infused tequila, found that 35 percent of Americans cited a romantic candlelit dinner as the best way to "get in the mood." You may care to take a hint from Diane Brown, author of "The Seduction Cookbook," and turn up the heat in your kitchen."Cooking together is a very sensuous experience," says Brown. "It enhances your senses and sparks chemistry and passion throughout the meal."

To start the evening off right, Brown suggests preparing a tantalizing meal made with ultra- smooth Agavero, the first and only tequila infused with damiana, a flower regarded for centuries as a potent aphrodisiac. Brown's recipe of Brown Butter Seared Scallops with Agavero Mango Chutney may well ignite passion:

Brown Butter Seared Scallops with Agavero Mango Chutney

For mango chutney:

2 unripe mangoes (about 3 pounds total)

½ cup cider vinegar

½ cup Agavero tequila

1 teaspoon salt

1 1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled

1 fresh serrano chile

5 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 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 ½-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 milder chutney, wearing rubber gloves, remove seeds and veins from serrano chile.

Heat a 4-quart heavy sauce-pan 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, for 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.

To keep the passion flowing, finish the meal fireside with a passion-inspiring Agavero cocktail. The alluring tequila is best enjoyed neat, sipped slowly so you savor the smooth flavor or as part of delicious drink recipes, such as Passion Potion or The Aphrodisiac.

For drink recipes or suggestions on saucy food ideas, great for any romantic occasion, visit www.agavero.com.

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