COOKING IN LANGLEY: Chef offers up recipe to spice up Valentine’s Day

Fans of oysters might want to try out this recipe offered by Langley Advance columnist Chef Dez.

Oysters and spicy foods have been considered aphrodisiacs for many years.

With Valentine’s Day approaching this recipe for cajun pan-fried oysters with chipotle mayo is a perfect starter for the occasion.

Oysters are supposed to be a good source of zinc, which is believed to contribute to maintaining male potency and fertility.

Cayenne pepper and spicy foods increase heart rates, blood flow, perspiration, and it is said that endorphins are also released during this process and thus give one a natural high and pleasurable feeling.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day with the love of your life.

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Cajun Pan-Fried Oysters with Chipotle Mayo for Valentine’s

Makes 2 servings as an appetizer

12 stoned wheat crackers

2 tbsp paprika

2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 – 227g (half pound) container of fresh oysters, or 7 to 8 fresh shucked oysters

1/2 cup flour

1 egg

2 tbsp milk

1/4 cup canola oil

Small chopped red pepper and chopped parsley for garnish

Prepare breading by processing the crackers, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a food processor on high speed for approximately 30 seconds.

Gently rinse the oysters under running water and drain. Put the flour on a plate, and in a separate small bowl beat the egg and milk together.

Bread the oysters as follows:

1. Roll each oyster in the flour until well coated.

2. Dip in the egg wash.

3. Roll each oyster in the breading and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until hot.

Pan-fry the oysters about 3 to 4 at a time for approximately 1 minute on each side until golden brown.

Set the oysters on clean paper towel for a few seconds to drain.

Serve warm with chipotle mayonnaise for dipping. Garnish the plates with the diced red pepper, chopped parsley, and a sprinkle of paprika.

Chipotle mayonnaise:

– makes just over 1/2 cup

Canned chipotle peppers from the Mexican foods section of your grocery store are an easy way to spice up mayonnaise for an incredible dipping sauce or sandwich spread

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 or 2 canned chipotle peppers

Add the mayonnaise and chipotle peppers to a food processor – start with one chipotle pepper.

Puree until smooth.

Taste and add an additional pepper if you want it spicier (then process again).

Serve immediately as a dipping sauce or sandwich spread, or keep chilled in the refrigerator.

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– Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4

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