An Evening of Aphrodisiacal Delights

Jessie Made: Chicken Kebabs with Pomegranate Relish and Tahini Yogurt

Serves 4
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Baharat Seasoning (recipe below)
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1/4 cup tahini
1 1/4 cups pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped (I’m going to substitute cilantro next time)
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup coarsely grated onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Baharat Seasoning (recipe below)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 2″ chunks
1. Make the marinade for the chicken. Whisk the grated onion, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 teaspoons Baharat Seasoning in a large bowl. Add chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Marinate at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
2. While the chicken is marinating, make the relish and yogurt sauce. Combine 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Baharat Seasoning, and pressed garlic in a small bowl; stir to blend. Let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in yogurt and tahini. Add salt, black pepper, and sugar to taste. Let stand at room temperature until serving. Mix the pomegranate seeds, pistachios, parsley or cilantro, 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature until serving.
3. Preheat broiler. Thread 6 chicken pieces onto each skewer. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper. Place the skewers on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil chicken until cooked through (about 5 minutes on 3 sides, for me). (Be forewarned: My pan caught on fire and I set off the fire alarm several times while making these.) Arrange kebabs on a platter with tahini yogurt, pomegranate relish, and warm pita breads.
Baharat Seasoning
Makes 1/4 cup
1 1/2 tablespoons dried mint
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, ground
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Dave Made: Mango lime chile sorbet

60 oz mango pulp
1 lime, juice
1 jalapeno, minced
1 red cayenne pepper, minced
2 T agave nectar
1.5 oz vodka
mix all together and put load into an ice cream maker.
Kate (Johnson) Made: Vanilla Madeleines
24 cookies

Adapted from The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz

If you use baking powder, they may take another minute or so to bake since the batter will rise higher. They’re done when the cakes feel just set if you poke them with your finger. Avoid overbaking them. There’s nothing better than a fresh, buttery madeleine.

I also prefer to bake these in the upper-third of my oven, so the tops get slightly-browned. I love the lemon glaze, but you can omit it if you want your madeleines nekkid.

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup (175g) flour

1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of some vanilla bean powder

9 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

1. Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.

2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.

3. Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you.)

4. Add the vanilla to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter.

Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.

5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)

6. To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

8. Plop enough batter in the center of each indentation with enough batter which you think will fill it by 3/4′s (you’ll have to eyeball it, but it’s not brain-surgery so don’t worry if you’re not exact.) Do not spread it.

10. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set.

11. Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack.

Tim Made: Cinnamon Ice Cream


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar and half-and-half. When the mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat, and whisk half of the mixture into the eggs. Whisk quickly so that the eggs do not scramble. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and stir in the heavy cream. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside to cool.
  2. Pour cooled mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I doubled the recipe for the party.

Rich Made: Avocado Love Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 mashed avocado

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup white flour

1/2 whole wheat pastry flour)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

½ cup Irish oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2cup chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Heat the oven to 375F. Beat the butter until smooth, add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gently beat in the avocado until blended.

2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into the butter mixture and mix well. Stir in the oats and coconut. Fold through the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).

4. Drop into tablespoonful-sized balls onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy.

Kelli made: Brussel Sprouts in Red Wine

4 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
12 large shallots, peeled and left whole
2 garlic bulbs, cloves peeled and left whole
1 stalk Brussel sprouts, trimmed
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock


In a heavy casserole with a tight lid, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the Brussel sprouts, toss to coat with the oil and cook about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, stir well and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and braise just until Brussel sprouts are tender. Remove Brussel sprouts and reduce liquid until it just coats the Brussels sprouts. Add back Brussel sprouts, toss to heat and coat with sauce.

Zach made: Aysh Assaraya (Aish El Saraya)

Ingredients for Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoons of orange blossom
  • 1 tablespoon of rose water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of water

Ingredients for Custard

  • 1 litre of milk
  • ¼ (200 grams) tin of condensed milk
  • 300 ml of cream
  • 2 tablespoons of Rose water
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom
  • 6 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 layer of packed rusks (about 20 small rusk’s – enough to line the dish you will be setting the dessert in. Or double toasted bread)
  • ¼ cup crushed pistachios


Place toasted bread evenly in a square dish.

Then make the syrup- mix sugar, water, lemon together and place over medium heat. Once hot and sugar has melted, mix the orange blossom and rose water into the syrup. Now pour the hot syrup over the toast so that it soaks it in. Set Aside.

Mix together milk, cream, condensed milk and corn flour for the custard in a saucepan and place over medium heat.

Keep stirring until thick; once the custard has thickened add rose water and orange blossom.

Stir for a little more while and when the custard has reached a thick pouring consistency, pour over the toast.

Once it reaches room temperature, cover with the dish and place in the refrigerator for cooling; a minimum of 4 hours.

Before serving, sprinkle with chopped pistachios


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