Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to experiment with new food, bringing new sensory experiences to your life. This recipe comes from a typical seafood cocktail served in Venezuelan beaches, similar to a ceviche. There are many funny names associated with this preparation implying sexual innuendo like rompe colchón (mattress breaker), vuelve a la vida (come back to life), 7 potencias (7 powers), liberen a Willy (free Willy) and, as many more names as popular creativity can produce.
Many varieties of local molluscs are used in this sexy dish, like guacuco, chipi-chipi and pepitonas. You can add oysters to this recipe and also mix it up with your favorite seafood. The recipe also includes onions, peppers, chillies, vinegar and citrus juices of to add freshness to the cocktail. Some recipes (like the one commonly called vuelve a la vida) includes tomato ketchup to bring a little sweetness to balance the flavors and, of course, hot sauce is in order if bringing up the temperature is what you’re looking to do this Valentine’s Day!
Even though it is said that the aphrodisiac effect of certain foods is mainly a cultural element (because of their suggestive anatomy) and an important placebo effect, seafood, especially oysters, mussels and other varieties of shells, contain zinc, a mineral that can improve semen production and regulate sexual hormones.
Also the spicy component in chillies, called capsaicin, stimulates blood flow and accelerates the metabolism, so in a way it does make you get a little loco. This means that even for the skeptics, this cocktail can seriously light some fires on your Valentine’s Day.
You can start your Valentine’s Day dinner with this appetizer before the main course, and a glass of a fresh and citrusy white wine like a young Chilean sauvignon blanc. But be careful, you might not want to leave the house after that (wink, wink!).
- 200 gr. clean scallops
- 200 gr. clean mussels
- 200 gr. clean squid
- 3 sweet chilies
- A bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 rocoto chilli
- ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
- The juice of two limes
- The juice of one orange
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 small onions
- 1 red bell pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation of the Valentine’s Day Rompe Colchón
1. Cook each seafood in boiling water with salt and immediately put them in a bowl with water and ice to stop them from overcooking. Cooking times are as follows: 1 minute for the squid, 2 minutes for the squid’s tentacles, 1 to 2 minutes for the scallops (depending on the size), 3 minutes for the mussels.
2. For the mussels in the shells, cover only the bottom of the sauce pan with water and add a splash of white wine. Put the lid on and cook them until the shells open.
3. Drain all the seafood from the ice water and place it a big bowl.
4. Cut the onions, the red bell pepper and the chillies in a thin julienne.
5. Add the vegetables to the seafood, then add the citrus juices, the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, the salt and the pepper.
6. Taste the salt and acidity level. If you find the preparation too sour you can add a drizzle of white wine to balance it out.
7. Place everything in a big container and refrigerate. All the flavors will come together after 24 hours.
8. Serve the Valentine’s Day rompe colchón with saltines, as it’s commonly served at the beach in Venezuela, or with tortillas, plantain chips, sweet potato chips or yucca chips.
Enjoy an unforgettable Valentine’s Day evening with this sexy seafood cocktail… You might discover a steamy Latin lover in you.