Cocoa Loco: Chocolate Dishes that Surprise the Palate
Photo credit: StockFood
For members of the Cult of Chocolate, it’s always pretty easy to navigate a dessert menu, coffee board, or listing of ice cream flavors. Look for the key words (mocha, fudge, molten, flourless, “death by,”), realize that every pastry chef and baker has your number, and dive into indulgence.
But the more advanced members of the group know that the addictive substance can find its way into the savory side of the menu as well—from the joy of Mexican mole poblano to the grill, where chocolate’s richness and intriguing bitterness add layers of intriguing flavor to straightforward meaty favorites.
Though the literal translation of this dish (“dirty eggs”) might raise an eyebrow, this plateful of Mexican genius is an revelation in Austin, Texas,a town known for life-changing breakfast tacos. Curra’s Mexican Grill on the south side of town takes a breakfast trope (“eggs any style”) and smothers them in a rich, aromatic mole sauce that’s got just enough spice to linger through sips of strong Oaxacan coffee. Served with a side of rice and refried black beans, it’s one of the finest breakfasts in town.
Oven Roasted Chocolate Barbecue Chicken
San Diego-based food writer Susan Russo concocted a chocolaty barbecue sauce that marries flavors from South-of-the-Border traditions (earthy cumin, ancho chile powder, bright cilantro) with deep, dark chocolate and good dose of garlic. The result is a dark, tart sauce that’s a distinct departure from the regular bottled stuff. Here Russo uses it to top oven-roasted chicken, but it’s just as good slathered on grilled birds.
Ribeye Steaks with Savory Chocolate Sauce
The “sauce” in this recipe from the Food Network’s Sandra Lee is actually closer to a cocoa-fied brown gravy spiked with a bracing note of Worcestershire sauce. Whiskey, shiitake mushrooms, and onions come together in a classic savory steakhouse garnish that wonderfully complement the sweet butter and chocolate in the gravy.
A contestant on the new food show Frankenfood took savory chocolate to extremes with this marriage of fine dark chocolate, palate-searing habanero marshmallow and slow-smoked pulled pork—all in s’mores form. It’s just one of the extreme mashups you’ll see as the season debuts on SpikeTV this summer. Check local listings for details.
Makes: 70 servings