Have you ever wondered why food and love have always been connected in an intimate dance of the senses?
“The most memorable – and sensuous – times of my life have all been around food,” said John Ash, chef and cookbook author from Santa Rosa. “Friends, lovers and the dining table are all folded in together like some great souffle.”
In her little book, “An Alphabet for Gourmets,” M.F. K. Fisher pointed out that gastronomy has always been connected with its sister art of love. Passion and sex are the “come-and-go, the preening and the prancing, the final triumph or defeat, of two people who know enough, subconsciously or not, to woo with food as well as flattery.”
Here”s a very simple recipe from Ash that he likes to serve on Valentine”s Day, using heart-shaped molds for the cream.
Blueberries and French Cream
Serves 6 generously
2 pints fresh blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 3-inch cinnamon stick or 1 whole star anise
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
For the French cream:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1 teapsoon vanilla extract
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
Place one pint blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and red wine in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until mixture is syrupy. Take off heat and cool and stir in remaining fresh blueberries and mint. Remove and discard cinnamon stick or star anise. Cover and online casino refrigerate for up to 1 week.
For the cream: Combine the gelatin, cream adndremaining 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over moderate heat. With a rubber spatula, or wooden spoon, stir until sugar is dissolved. In a separate bowl, place the sour cream, vanilla and lemon. Gradually add the hot cream mixture stirring just until the mixture is smooth.
Rinse a 2.5 cup metal mold with cold water (or use individual ramekins). Shake out but do not dry. Pour the cream mixture into the wet mold. Refrigerate for 4 hours or longer until mixture is set and firm.
To serve: Unmold the cream by placing the mold in a warm water ath for a few seconds to loosen cream. Turn over onto a cutting board. Slice cream into serving pieces and with a spatula, place on chilled plates. Spoon blueberries around and garnish with mint sprigs.