Thursday, February 7, 2008

Kitchen of Love: Guacamole with Shrimp


Valentine's Day is fast approaching and one can hardly go to the grocery store without an innundation of sweets in pinks and reds, flowers and heart shapes galore. I do my best to ignore this onslaught of commercialism, but it does cause one to reflect upon romance.

My idea of a romantic Valentine's Day--or any day, for that matter--is a simple meal with Mr.W, either out or at home. This year it will be at home, and we've invited another couple to share the meal with us.

As I plan and prepare for that quiet evening, I thought I'd participate in Mele Cotte's Kitchen of Love event. (See the roundup here.) It's a great opportunity to study the history of foods that are, or have been in the past, considered aphrodesiacs.


~ Warning: Mildly Sexual Content ~

The list of such foods is staggering--apparently anything that reminds anyone of sex is bestowed with powers to enhance the libido. I don't buy into all this nonsense, but there is some interesting connections when you discover the nutritional benefits of some of these foods.

Since I had a ripe avocado on the counter ready to be used, my search focused on Mexican ingredients and dishes that used avocado. Here is what I discovered:

Avocado
According to an article at MexConnect.com, the Aztecs called the avocado tree "Ahuacuatl" which translates to "testicle tree." Evidently the fruit hangs in pairs. But even though the food's outward appearance may resemble sexual organs, avocado is rich in fiber, potassium, riboflavin and vitamins C, B6 and E, necessary for hormone production, as well as the antioxidant lutein.

Chile
Also from MexConnect.com, the chile may be associated with aphrodesiac properties due to the heat rush experienced after consumption. However, eating chiles provides vitamins A and C, and increases the metabolism by as much as 25%.

Tomato
In The Economy of Icons: How Business Manufactures Meanings, the author states that 16th century Europeans associated the tomato with the mythical Greek love apple which supposedly posessed aphrodesiac powers, and grew the fruit for it's amorous appearance.

Cilantro
Okay, this might be a bit of a stretch here, but cilantro seeds, also known as coriander, was considered by ancient herbalists to have aphrodesiac properties. With a history of over 5,000 years, coriander has been used worldwide--even found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Source here.

Shrimp
Yes, even shrimp has an aphrodesiac history, from the popular southern gumbo in the American south, to the famous French mistress Madame DuBarry, who preferred her shrimp in a champagne sauce. Even Cassanova's companion, Agnolo Torredano, said that shrimp was the "food of life that makes it possible for this cold, old body to still enjoy the heat of passion.” On a scientific level, shrimp provides the body with iodine and--I did not realize this--iodine deficiency has been linked with reduced sex drive in humans. Shrimp also contains omega-3 fatty acids, iron and zinc. Perhaps the most interesting is that shrimp protein breaks down in the body to the amino acid phenylalanine, proven to increase levels of sex drive-boosting neurotransmitters in the brain.


~~~

Well... after all of that shocking reading I decided I needed to add some shrimp to my lunch! So I decided on this quick-and-easy mexican-inspired appetizer and I must say that this was a new combination for my tastebuds--and boy, were they happy!

On a dietary note, I do love shrimp, and often lament missing out on the sweet and spicy cocktail sauce as a condiment. This, however, was a perfect way to enjoy shrimp without adding sugar.


Guacamole with Shrimp
serves 4

1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
juice of 1/2 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons prepared salsa with cilantro
about 12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, steamed and cooled
white corn chips

Place avocado chunks in a bowl. Add lime juice. Using a potato masher, gently mash avocado pieces to a coarse consistency. (If you prefer, you can mash smooth, but I like a chunky consistency.)

Add salsa and stir until just combined. Do not overmix, to avoid over-mashing the avocado.

Serve guacamole on chips topped with one shrimp each, put on some Barry White, and get ready to fall in luuuuv.


10 comments:

Chris said...

What a great recipe - and so packed with frisky ingredients! Love it! Shrimp is a new aphrodesiac for me, and I am so happy I love the lil' guys. Thanks for participating in my lil' event! :)

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, Chris! This really was a fun entry to write.

RecipeGirl said...

Nice job with the post... very interesting stuff :)

And the shrimp guacamole chips look especially appetizing!!

Mrs. W said...

I have to admit that those shrimp-guac chips were especially good. I can't wait to make them again! Only this time, it will have to be for others to join me. I can eat shrimp by the boatload, but that was a bit too much guac for only one!

Thanks for coming by and commenting, RecipeGirl!

Ann said...

That looks amazing!

SweetDesigns said...

What a great Combo!! Who wouldn't enjoy them. A definite great start to any meal!

Angel said...

LOL I love all your scintillating ingredients, and the warning made me laugh too. Fantastic!!

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, Ann, SweetDesigns and Angel for stopping in... this was a fun event.

And anything that gives me an excuse to put up a Barry White video is good for me!

Mary said...

These little shrimps would be perfect for my husband and I! He loves shrimp and I love guac! :)

I love your warning and the information about the aphrodisiacs.

Mrs. W said...

Hi, Mary. Thanks for coming by.

I have to tell you that I've just recently started reading your blog and love it! Especially the title--reminds me of all those superhero cartoons I used to watch as a kid. Shazaam!

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs