8 Libido-Boosting Recipes Perfect For Sexy Time

Summer is the perfect time to find a relationship, whether you're looking for a fling or the one. And, with it comes a little wining and dining. But, if you're not the type to canoodle over dessert in an overcrowded restaurant, we've got the perfect recipes for romance. We consulted eight Chicago foodies to help us put together a virtual cookbook of recipes utilizing foods that are considered aphrodisiacs — you know, the flavors of love.
From ginger-ginseng chicken soup for a starter to bananas Foster French toast for the morning after, these dishes are to die for. Added bonus? Because you're enjoying this culinary experience in your own digs, the bedroom is just steps away. Cooking was never so much fun.
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Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Ginger and ginseng chicken soup — chef Ariel Bagadiong, Freestyle Food + Drink
Ginger and ginseng are both known to increase sexual desire, so you're going to want to have seconds (maybe thirds) of this stimulating soup.

Ingredients:
1 qt clarified chicken stock
4 oz chicken breast sliced into thin strips
2 pieces baby bok choy
2 oz fresh ginseng, peeled and cut into julienne
4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
2 oz onion cut into thin strips
1 scallion cut into thin rounds
1 oz cilantro leaves (reserve stalks for flavoring and clarifying the stock)
3 oz Korean rice cake noodles (available in Asian grocery stores)
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:
1. Trim chicken breast and place into a saucepan and add cold water.
2. Simmer gently until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the liquid and set aside to cool.
3. Slice the cooled chicken into strips. Cut the leaves from the bok choy and slice into thin ribbons. Cut the stem thinly using a knife. A Japanese mandolin expedites this process.
4. Bring the stock to a simmer and add the ginseng, sliced garlic, and the onions. Allow the flavor to infuse.
5. Season the stock with salt and pepper, add the stems, chicken strips, and the rice cakes and allow to cook until the rice cakes are tender.
6. Add the bok choy leaves, scallions, and cilantro. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a few drops of toasted sesame oil.
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Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Grilled avocado with tomato, basil, and pine nuts — Nicole Banks, curator of Gilt City Chicago
Sure, you love avocados because they are rich in vitamins A and E and have the "good fat" — but did you know the Mayans and Aztecs used to eat avocados to enhance sexual desirability? It's also a traditional remedy for erectile dysfunction, so keep this mean and green ace in your back pocket.

Ingredients:
1 ripe (but firm) avocado
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Olive oil (enough for brushing the avocados)
Juice of one lemon
1/2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Torn basil leaves
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)

Steps:
1. Mix basil with fresh lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Set aside.
2. Heat a grill to medium-high heat.
3. Cut open the avocado and remove the pit. Do not remove from the peel yet.
4. Brush each open face with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt- and-pepper.
5. Place inside down on the grill (or in the broiler on a pan) and cook for two-to-five minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
6. Plate the avocados and top with basil mixture (basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt), cherry tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts.
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Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Asparagus tart with prosciutto & Parmesan — Maris Callahan, In Good Taste
The aphrodisiac powers in asparagus were noted as early as the 15th century in an Arabic sex manual called The Perfumed Garden. But, all you need to know is that those tender stalks are also known to counteract fatigue due to phosphorus elements. Go get 'em, tiger.

Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz prosciutto
16 asparagus spears (about a pound; you can use more or less if desired), rinsed and thick stems removed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 425-degrees (be sure to preheat according to directions on box). Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions.
2. Once thawed, place puff pastry on a piece of parchment paper or silipat and roll out to approximately 10 inches. (You’ll want it to fit on a standard sized cookie sheet.)
3. Slice prosciutto into thin strips and arrange on pastry. Line the asparagus on top of the prosciutto. Scatter the Parmesan cheese on top of the asparagus and drizzle with the olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
4. Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry dough has puffed and brown and asparagus is roasted and cooked through.
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Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Spaghetti puttanesca with basil — executive chef Andrew Deuel, Tesori
Basil has many amazing qualities, but the libido-enhancing nutrients (vitamins A and C, beta carotene, magnesium, and potassium) are what matter when you're slurping noodles, Lady and the Tramp-style, with your main squeeze.

Ingredients:
1 lb dried spaghetti
1 8 oz ball buffalo mozzarella, puréed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable stock, warmed to hot
2 red beefsteak tomatoes, peeled, seeded, finely chopped
2 yellow beefsteak tomatoes, peeled, seeded, finely chopped
½ cup black olives, finely chopped
½ cup green olives, finely chopped
½ cup capers, finely chopped
1 cup Parmesan, grated, plus more for sprinkling
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp basil, chopped (plus additional for garnish)
1 tsp red chili flakes
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Salt water and bring to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions, stopping just before al dente.
2. While water boils, divide mozzarella amongst serving plates and spread over the bottom of each plate and chop ingredients.
3. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium, and cook garlic, shallot, and anchovy for one minute. Strain the pasta and add to the sauté pan.
4. Add hot vegetable stock (enough to cover the pasta) and finish cooking to al dente.
5. Turn off heat and add remaining ingredients, stirring vigorously and tossing at the same time to make the sauce creamy. Season to taste.
6. Serve pasta over the mozzarella and top with fresh grated Parmesan and torn basil leaves.
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Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Lobster roll — chef Ryan McCaskey, Acadia
Sure, you may order up a lobster on a special occasion, but with libido-boosting properties like zinc and vitamin B-12, you may want to boil a pot of water more often.

Mayonnaise Ingredients For One Quart:
5 egg yolks
6 lemons, juiced
5 cups vegetable oil
Salt to taste

Mayonaise Steps:
1. Blend yolks and lemon juice in a food processor; slowly drizzle oil in until the mayonnaise forms an emulsion. Season with salt.

Lobster Roll Ingredients:
1 hot dog bun
5 oz lobster meat, cooked and chopped
1 tsp chives, minced
½ tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp mayonnaise
Salt to taste
Paprika for garnish

Steps:
1. Butter the hot dog bun and brown face down.
2. Mix together the remaining ingredients and season to taste.
3. Pile into bun and garnish with paprika.
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Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Warm dark-chocolate cake — chef Bruce Sherman, North Pond
There's always been something sexy about chocolate — and with good reason. For starters, it contains tryptophan, which is a building block of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal. So, eat up. You'll be burning off those calories in no time...

Ingredients:
7 oz very dark (70%+) chocolate
7 oz unsalted butter
4 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
6 oz sugar
4 oz flour, sifted

Steps:
1. Grease and lightly flour 8 foil baking cups.
2. Melt the butter and the chocolate in a double boiler.
3. While melting the chocolate, whisk the eggs and sugar very well until lemon-colored and “ribboned.”
4. Fold/mix the flour into the whisked eggs.
5. Now, carefully mix this into the chocolate mixture.
6. Portion into the prepared cups. Chill in fridge for two-to-three hours.
7. When ready to serve, place on a sheet pan and bake in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until firm around the edge but still soft in the middle.
8. Let sit one minute outside the oven before running a knife around the edge and overturning to a plate.
9. Garnish with peppermint custard or syrup, crème fraiche, or whatever you desire.
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Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Bananas Foster French toast — chef Greg Ellis, 2 Sparrows
Forget about the phallic shape for a second. Babos are jam-packed with enough bromelain, potassium, and vitamin B to keep your energy level elevated long after you've finished breakfast in bed.

Ingredients:
4 (1-inch thick) slices of brioche bread (or any other type of sweet bread)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Butter or oil for frying
1 banana
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
Powdered Sugar
Maple syrup

Steps:
1. Place a large non-stick sauté pan on the stove over a low-medium heat.
2.In a shallow mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.
3.Quickly dip slices in egg mixture.
4.Place butter into the pan and move it around until the bottom is coated. Next, place the soaked bread into the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.
5. While that is cooking, slice the banana into half-inch thick rounds.
6. Place another sauté pan on the stove and melt the two tablespoons of butter.
7.Once melted, add the brown sugar and mix together. Simmer for two minutes.
8. Then add the banana rounds to the butter and sugar mixture. Simmer for three minutes.
9.To serve, take two pieces of the toast and cut them diagonally, place the triangles on a plate and spoon half of the sugar and banana mixture over the toast.
10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with a side of maple syrup.
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Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Oyster and Champagne bisque with strawberry oyster half shell — executive chef Nick Lacasse, Pure Kitchen Catering
While the look of oysters can play mind games with your libido, these slippery suckers contain large amounts of zinc and iron. So, dig in if you are worried about being to tired for a sexy-time sesh.

Ingredients:
½ lb oysters shucked in their liquid, plus 4 oysters in the shell
1 bottle Champagne
2 cups heavy cream
3 shallots, sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
1 fennel pollen
6 strawberries
1tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Steps:
1. Strain oysters from their liquid, reserve oysters on ice.
2. In medium-large pot, sweat shallots in two tablespoons of butter on low until translucent.
3. Add a pinch of salt and fennel pollen. Toast for one minute then add two cups of Champagne.
4. Reduce Champagne nearly out, then add oyster liquid and heavy cream, simmer on low. Divide remaining Champagne between a Champagne flute and measuring cup, drink flute.

For the shucked oysters:
1. Wash and rough chop strawberries. Puree with one tablespoon lemon juice, one tablespoon white balsamic, one tablespoon agave nectar, and one-quarter teaspoon orange blossom water.
2. Strain onto a wide shallow pan to put in freezer for two hours.
3. Check and adjust seasoning of soup over medium heat. Add oysters either whole or rough chopped, simmer for five minutes.
4. Finish with a little splash of Champagne right before serving.
5. Scrape the strawberry granita. Place a little over the top of each of the half shell oysters. Enjoy as a frosty amuse-bouche before the warming Champagne soup.
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