Liver-replacement therapy

They say you should never trust a skinny chef. I would probably add to that ‘never trust a sober one either’. It is with this in mind, halfway through a second week of lovely friends visiting ‘Chez Le Horny Chef’ here in Normandy, and forcing me to drink too much, that I offer up my latest idea.

Liver-replacement therapy. I figure that if we all eat enough of some other animal’s livers (in this case, breaded deep-fried duck liver sat atop pan-fried goose foie gras), we must be doing ourselves some good.

10644831_10152417644330369_8973768281557367352_nServed, by the way, with an apple & mint salad and fig jam. Local apples, mint (two types – apple mint & spearmint) and figs all from the garden.



(Hung like a) horse tartare


Revelation of the season was how well the thinly-sliced horse steak tartare (sort of cevichéd in lemon juice) went down with the four-cheese & asparagus fondue. 

Nom nom nom.

The Horny Chef’s Hot Sauces


It had to happen. As an experiment I have been growing chili peppers this year, and my first batch of Spanish Naga Vipers (~1 million Scovilles), though only tiny, have the ability to rip your head off.

I intend to scale up production next year, and already have Brazilian Starfish (~50,000 Scovilles) and Candlelights (~5,000 Scovilles) germinating, to give a range of three fermented hot sauces.

The first, and original is the VERY HOT Naga Viper & Garlic ‘Orgasmic’ hot sauce, the second is the Brazilian Starfish & Lime ‘A Full Waxing’ medium hot sauce, and finally the Candlelight & Ginger ‘Candlelit Dinner’ mild hot sauce.

They’ll be retailing at around €8 for a 125ml bottle 🙂

(Gar)Lick My Love Pump Soup

aka Cold Garlic & Celery Soup, or “How to get single women to start huffing (or at least sniffing) celery”.

Garlic soup 2

There are two reputed aphrodisiacs on parade in this baby. Believe it or not, garlic is meant to be an aphrodisiac. Personally, I blame the French, and I do so despite living with them in the heart of Normandy. I can’t complain, because I adore garlic, and would happily eat it raw like an apple given half a chance. Actually, I have eaten it raw like an apple, and I don’t recommend it, that papery skin gets stuck in your teeth. But I digress. I suspect it was a Frenchman who persuaded his paramour that garlic was an aphrodisiac just so that she wouldn’t complain when he smothered her with his aioli kisses.

Actually, like most ‘hot herbs’ (which is what garlic is classified as, weirdly, despite basically being a type of onion), it has a long history as an aphrodisiac, stretching back to the ancient Egyptians. Tibetan monks who had eaten garlic were refused entry to the monastery, on the basis that their ardours would undoubtedly rise, inflaming the (presumably highly homoerotic) passions of their fellow monks. It does actually qualify in a few ways, firstly, that Frenchman had the right idea – sharing the same flavours is a good way of creating a little crackle of sexual electricity, so it has some ‘environment’ credentials. The fact that it is quite hot, and oh so tasty, gives it a bit of ‘experience’. But it also does have some real-life physiological ‘effects’ too. There is the slight medicinal value – it really can help improve blood circulation, so (over many years) it might help to open up constricted veins and arteries.

Now I’ve gone into the differences between an aphrodisiac and a potency aid before, but just to recap, those idiots who think tiger penis or rhino horn is going to make them harder for longer don’t belong in the same sentence as aphrodisiacs. Potency aids are not aphrodisiacs, unless your idea of a seduction is a bit on the ‘rapey’ side. But if getting it up is a problem, it could be because the veins in your groin are constricted, so garlic could help. The other thing is that like other hot herbs, the active ingredient, in this case Allicin, activates certain chemical receptors inside your body to cause a reflexive cooling response. That means your heart rate will go up and you may start to sweat a little more, two things that also happen in the heat of passion, so once again we have a little bit of that ‘sympathetic magic’.

Celery, on the other hand, is apparently phallic. I got very confused when I first read that, and started worrying why my own parts weren’t green or ridged. But again it’s actually one of those few little critters that actually has some physiological effects, though largely for women. Celery apparently smells like androsterone, the primary male pheromone. One of those hormones that is naturally produced by men, that when sniffed by women stimulates sexual arousal. So celery is quite literally orgasmic. I defy you ladies now to walk past the celery display at Sainsbury’s without having a teeny curious sniff.

Raw celery root, which you probably won’t find outside of a Chinese herbalist, has been used as a cure for impotence for centuries, because it does stimulate the pituitary gland, which in turn releases several of the main sex hormones. The closest you’re likely to find in your local supermarket is that ugly great knobbly brute, celeriac. Who knew?

Anyway, white Anglo-Saxon culture isn’t very big on cold soups. In fact I’ve had a guest return his bowl of gazpacho because ‘it isn’t even warm, let alone hot’. But if you’re used to living in the hotter, flesh-revealing, passion-inducing climates of the Mediterranean or Caribbean, cold soups are something of a regular on the menu. This one makes a fabulous summer starter, just right for when it’s getting all sultry and you’re peeling off all your clothes.

1 bunch roughly chopped celery
2 finely chopped shallots
1 large garlic bulb, finely chopped (that’s bulb, pop-pickers, not clove)
500ml chicken stock
250mg butter

Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium-low heat. Add a handful of the garlic, and stir it in for a minute or two before adding the rest of the garlic, the shallots and celery. Cook on the same medium-low heat, stirring regularly, for about 15 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and bring up to a simmer. Then cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before puréeing it with a hand blender for several minutes until it is silky smooth.
Cover and chill the soup in the fridge. Overnight is best, as it lets all those yummy garlic juices to practically ferment. Serve it nice and crisply cold. Best yet, chill it in the freezer for 5 minutes before serving.

Long time, no post

A sudden flurry of Horny Chef activity means that the mild-mannered B&B chef patron needs to put the gin & tonic down and focus on his be-horned alter ego.

Since I’ve been sharing excerpts from ‘Aphrodisiacs’ recently, I thought I’d post “one from the archives” (the book, specifically) every day for the next week.