I’ve been looking for different ways to use chocolate in the kitchen, I want to learn more than just chocolate chip cookies and molten cake recipes. I had heard that some people put bittersweet chocolate in their chili, something I had never tried. Apparently the earthy bitterness goes really well with beef. I’ve since tried it and been amazed at the beautiful depth of flavour it brings to my chili. Now I’m on a mission to find more fantastic recipes for chocolate in savoury preparations.Dark chocolate has 8 times more antioxidants than strawberries and helps to maintain low blood pressure. It is unfortunate that the only way the majority of us ingest chocolate is through unhealthy junk food. It’s time to treat it with a little more respect and get it on the dinner table.
Michael Smith uses 70% dark chocolate and cocoa powder in his ancho chile spiced beef stew. On this wacky site, MusiChef.com, that pairs music with recipes – in this case Stevie Wonder with a steak. I loved the recipe for the chocolate and port sauce. The thought of chocolate in a vinaigrette had never occurred to me before, but this recipe that combines cocoa and balsamic for a dressing on a beet salad (I’d omit the avocado and add in a hearty green, like frisee instead). Try this recipe for a chocolate and coffee rub, it will change the way you feel about steak forever.
An overnight marinade in olive oil, cocoa and cumin makes for an incredibly flavourful steak, served here with a tart, fresh pineapple salsa. Something about that is so appealing, tropical flavours are very welcome in the frosty grip of February. If you’d rather not do a marinade you can always go with a dry rub. Chocolate is a staple in the Mexican pantry and is delicious in a mole sauce. I’ve never attempted a mole, the long process is pretty daunting, but there are plenty of recipes for quick moles. This recipe for chicken mole, spiked with cinnamon, cilantro and green chilis, is super quick because you don’t even have to cook the chicken – just use a rotisserie bird. May not be all that romantic for V Day but possibly a good dinner to slam down for the kids before shooing them off to bed and making one of the other more seductive recipes I’ve linked to here.
Dark chocolate is said to be good for your heart. Seems appropriate for Valentine’s Day don’t you think?
Have a lovely, romantic and chocolate filled long weekend.