Valentine's day

[Kitchen 143] Savory chocolate dishes for Valentine’s – plus 3 fun gifts for your crush!

Michelle Aventajado
[Kitchen 143] Savory chocolate dishes for Valentine’s – plus 3 fun gifts for your crush!
'As Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, I was inspired to search for ways to incorporate chocolate into recipes we could make at home for Cupid’s Day'

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.

FRUITY. Not one for traditional gifts like flowers and chocolate? Fruits in Bloom has a variety of Fruiquets and gift packs that are fun and fruity! Photo by Michelle Aventajado.

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.

TREATS. Wine and Chocolate Pairing with Estate Wine and Auro Chocolate inspired me to think outside the box when creating recipes for this week’s show. Photo by Lady Badoy.

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.

SUCCULENTS. Another option for the Plantita or Plantito in your life? Succulent arrangements that can be transplanted afterwards to their own pots. Check out The Flower Gallery, and see how Trixie Mutuc can create something perfect for the recipient! Photo by Michelle Aventajado.

Here are two recipes that were fun and easy to make, should you want to experiment with chocolate at home:

Caponata with a Twist


Ingredients:

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

[Kitchen 143] Savory chocolate dishes for Valentine’s – plus 3 fun gifts for your crush!

Directions:

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

GIFTS. Want to send something cute, cuddly, and creamy? FIB Pantry favorites include Melon Medley, Mango Sago ,and Fruit Cocktail are healthier sweets for your sweet. Photo by Lady Badoy.
Cocoa Spiced Ribs

Ingredients:

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

[Kitchen 143] Savory chocolate dishes for Valentine’s – plus 3 fun gifts for your crush!

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

Michelle Aventajado

Michelle Aventajado is a Filipina American striving for an ever-elusive balance in everything she does. Advocating for individuals with IDD through Best Buddies Philippines, sharing her parenting journey with her daughter's extra chromosome through Momma 'N Manila, and churning out love of home and hearth through Kitchen 143 are just some of the things that fuel her passion and serve her God-given purpose.