Savory chocolate dishes might not be all the rage, but looking at different ways we can incorporate this beautiful native cacao bean and all of its benefits into our food is always a good thing!
One of the gifts that my older sister gave me at my bridal shower was a binder, full of pages written with love in the form of recipes – representing years of experience in the kitchen from my Italian family and some friends who were willing to share their kitchen love.
I have used many of these heirloom recipes when preparing meals for my own family. From Aunt Tessie’s Shrimp Scampi, to Michelle Yellon’s Puerto Rican Steak, to my sister Mary Jane’s recipe for Kahlua Chocolate Chili. The latter is a recipe that was always on heavy rotation once the leaves started changing during autumn in New York. Chili is always a great recipe to throw in the crockpot, similar to beef stew, with the most tedious step being the browning of the meat.
As Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and through the latest episode of Kitchen 143, where we paired Jean Leon wines with award winning Auro Chocolate, I was inspired to search for ways to incorporate chocolate into recipes we could make at home for Cupid’s Day.
The Italian American in me absolutely loves Caponata, and since my family loves a great rack of ribs, I was able to take inspiration from the highest quality cacao products from our own home-grown #ProudlyPinoy brand, Auro.
Here are two recipes that were fun and easy to make, should you want to experiment with chocolate at home:
Caponata with a Twist
1 large aubergine, skin on, cubed
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 c diced plum tomatoes from a can
½ c green olives, pitted
1⁄4 c capers, drained
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp. Auro Tablea chopped
1⁄2 cup finely shredded basil
2 tbsp. pine nuts
Saute onions until translucent, add eggplant and celery
Salt and pepper
Cook until soft, add olives and capers, and diced tomatoes from a can
Add chocolate and let simmer
Serve atop toasted crusty bread, drizzled with EVOO
Garnish with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts
Cocoa Spiced Ribs
1⁄4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄4 c light brown sugar
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. granulated onion
½ tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. dried ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 rack (750 g) pork ribs
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Remove silverskin from the back of the ribs.
Coat both sides of the ribs with the dry rub and let marinate for 3-4 hours.
Preheat your oven to 325°
Bake for 40 minutes covered with foil, then remove foil and bake for another 30-40 minutes or until cooked.
TIP: Cooking at a lower heat, covered for more time, will ensure for juicer ribs.
Finding different ways to use kitchen ingredients has always been fun for my daughter Gia and I when we are experimenting with new recipes. Thankfully, the results of these two recipes were well-received and quickly gobbled up! – Rappler.com