Ingredient Challenge 1: Dark Chocolate

27 02 2010
Chocolate is in all of them!

Chocolate is in all of them!

Man I’m still cooking but blogging about it is becoming longer and longer between the cooking and the writing.  The longest still is Thanksgiving of last year that isn’t done yet. So in some cases I’m starting to adopt a less verbose or detailed posting style just to keep myself moving. At the bare minimum I’ll post a final photo, a short review, and a link to the recipe if it is on the web.  So this one is about 2 weeks late but enjoy:  

What do you do when you have lots of dark chocolate bars around your apartment, a dinner scheduled with your teacher, and a teacher who weekly has been using Facebook to get her chocolate fix? You act on that idea you’d had for a while: Chocolate themed dinner.  I scoured the web for recipes that use chocolate that aren’t a mole sauce and aren’t someone boring like a salad with chocolate nibs in it. Cooking boring I guess. I wanted to have to do SOMETHING with the chocolate besides just crush it up and sprinkle.  That was NOT easy; especially for a main course. So what did I come up with? A four dish meal (and a bonus dessert!):  

Sadly we didn’t get to the make the Grilled Fig with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Bruschetta because we couldn’t get figs that particular day but we did pick up a bonus dessert! So how’d it go? AWESOME!  

Catalan Beef Stew  

Catalan Beef Stew served over Rice

Catalan Beef Stew served over Rice

Where’s the chocolate?:  There is about 2 ounces in the sauce along with orange peel and cinnamon stick! It has a great deep flavor and lovely burst of orange if you got some of the peel.  It was delightful served over rice. And for the 10 lunches afterwards. :)  

The only problem? I left the cinnamon sticks in to big of chunks and it looks EXACTLY like the beef when it starts to pull apart; only its still kinda hard.   

Homemade Spelt Ravioli with Lemon-Soy Ricotta Filling served with a Choclate Sauce  

Savory on the inside; Sweet on the outside!

Savory on the inside; Sweet on the outside!

Where’s the Chocolate?: In the sauce. Duh. Which is just melted dark chocolate, some soy cream, and coconut cream.   

This is a great example of tweaking a recipe so folks can eat it. Instead of normal wheat flour we used spelt to make the pasta. Instead of regular ricotta I made it with soy cream cheese and tofu.  Flavored it with lemon zest and a bit of powdered sugar per the instructions and off we went.  It turned out great! Slightly sweet on the inside but mostly savory with a sweet sauce. Totally worth it. If you make it cut the sauce in half; we still have chocolate sauce in the fridge!  

Chocolate Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls  

Chocolate Inside; Chocolate Outside. What more could you want?!

Chocolate Inside; Chocolate Outside. What more could you want?!

Where’s the Chocolate?: Outside and inside. QED.  

These were made with spelt again and also sans egg for that whole raw-eating-not-killing-you thing.  The texture of the dough was a bit off for me but I think that had to do with the recipe being different from my normal chocolate chip cookie dough.  Next time I’ll use my standard dough sans eggs and let it chill for an hour before I roll it out. These were still REALLY good just not perfect.  

Orange Chocolate Cups with Orange Slices  

Mmmmmmmmmmm

Mmmmmmmmmmm

Where’s the Chocolate?: You need to ask?  

This is what happens when you have quite a bit of melted dark chocolate left over from dipping the dough balls.  We also had 1/2 of an orange zest left so we finished that off and stirred it into the chocolate. Lined muffin tin with muffin paper cups and filled them up with what we hoped would be orange flavored chocolate.  And then we had these left over slices so we stuck 1 in the top of half the chocolate cups.  Boom! No chocolate waste.  

How’d it go over? Really, really well! Not only was the food good but the company was great and the sous chef had a good time making it; even in the day fraught with annoyances :)  

****

BONUS:  

Alternate beggining written while I was searching for recipes:  

People love to give me chocolate more than I love to eat it. Don’t get me wrong I love eating chocolate but it isn’t part of my normal craving cycle and so it often goes uneaten for a period of time. At his point I have 4-5 bars of various dark chocolate types at my house. I thought of the idea of doing a chocolate themed dinner and the time has come because one of my guests for this weekend dinner is a self proclaimed “Not Chocaholic”… which translates to she can’t get enough.  :) So this post starts earlier in the process than usual: finding a recipe.  

Things this search has solidified for me: 1) Most chocolate recipes are for deserts 2) If they are main meals they are either mole sauce, chili, or a cacao rub for meat.  None of those mail meal options are where I want to take the meal for no apparent reason so I’m searching for something else and I’m not finding much. At all.  

I’m looking for a 3 course meal plan that in each dish the chocolate is some how incorprated in a unique way.  I’ve found salad recipes with nibs of chocolate on top which sounds good but feels more like “assembling” a meal than cooking a meal. My preference for this meal is for the chocolate to disappear into the dish or at least change forms from broken up bar.

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3 responses

27 02 2010
techdabble

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

27 02 2010
Teacher Kim

This was a YUMMY dinner, second only to the fab friends! AND, I ate the frozen cookie dough for many more days, sparing as I could and just popped the last one last night!

27 02 2010
techdabble

Thanks Kim! It was a fun night and we still have cookie dough balls left ;)

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