Take your lover on a tasting tour of exotic Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is bursting with vibrant colors, sultry combinations, and sensual textures. There is no better place to whisk your lover away for a culinary adventure of hot, sweet, sour, salty, and any number of mysterious flavors. Close your eyes, inhale the exquisite aromas, and prepare for pure pleasure.
Traveling is a wonderful way to bond with your partner. Trying novel things together creates lasting memories and reveals things you never knew about one another. These circumstances create a state of arousal that can make sparks fly and ignite your passion anew. The best news is you don’t have to bother with planes, trains, and automobiles to reap these fabulous benefits. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home. Your ticket is food, which embodies the rhythms of life and culture like nothing else. An open mind and a willingness to try don’t hurt either.
For this dinner menu, you have official permission to order in the main course. There’s something appealing – and maybe even suggestive — about ordering in. It means a comfortable night at home, nothing to fuss over, and a lot fewer dishes to wash – and that’s just the beginning. If you’ve never eaten with chopsticks before, it can be fun and funny – give it a try. For dessert, we’re serving up a recipe that is so easy to prepare and so packed with healthy nutrients, you’ll want to pass it on to your grandchildren. It features mangos and coconuts, which nicely balance, cool, and complement the intense flavors that are likely to precede it.
Mangos are one sexy fruit. Their musky odor, plentiful sweet juices, and deep golden flesh are not for the faint of heart. Known as “the king of fruits,” the mango in native to India where the tree is a symbol of love and the leaves are gifted at weddings to ensure fertility. Rich in vitamins C, A, and E and the minerals potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, the fruit will also ensure a healthy life for the whole family. This dessert also features coconut milk, which is a libido-booster. Coconut delivers a host of health benefits, including immune system support and the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels.
For the main course, find the best Southeast Asian restaurant in your area and/or one you’ve never tried before. Think Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese, and Indian. Call the restaurant and order whatever they recommend as the two best dishes on their menu. Trust them – they know. Most Southeast Asian cooking offers vegetarian, seafood, red meat, and poultry options. Odds are you’ll like at least one of the two dishes you order. Use chopsticks. If your area doesn’t have any of these restaurants, try the ethnic food or freezer sections of your local supermarket. Be adventurous and try a cuisine you’ve never had before. You just might fall in love.
For dessert, whip up the sensational Mangos and Sticky Rice, a recipe that hails from Thailand. Who could resist this silky, sweet, salty, sticky to-die-for treat. Enjoy!
Mangos and Sticky Rice
This recipe makes enough for two generous portions.
1 cup sticky rice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons very thick coconut milk
2 ripe mangos, peeled and cut into thick slices
1. Cook the sticky rice.
2. Combine the coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a bowl and when the rice is cooked to the paddling stage add this mixture and mix well. Put the rice in a bowl, cover with a cloth and a lid and set aside for 20-30 minutes.
3. Unmold the rice into the center of a plate, spooning the very thick coconut milk on top. Surround with thick slices of ripe mango.
Notes: You can find canned coconut milk in most supermarkets or online through ethnic food suppliers. Recipe adapted from Southeast Asian Food by Rosemary Brissenden (Periplus, 2007).
Tanya | Sunstone Editorial. Tanya has been known to write recipes on napkins, receipts, and Post-it notes, but has stopped short of having recipes tattooed to her derrière, though her favorites have left their mark there anyway.
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