chocolate – it’s not just for dessert

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unsweetened chocolate and morita chillies
In the most recent issue of Food & Drink Winter 2006 (published by the LCBO), there is a recipe for Chili Chocolate Truffles. It says

Chocolate hits the pleasure zones in the brain, releasing enzymes that prompt feelings of well-being and euphoria. […] Use ancho chili powder if possible (it has a hint of chocolate in it), but any chili will bring out the chocolate flavour of these truffles.

Chillies also produce endorphins, don’t they? So these truffles must really make one feel good! And we got to thinking. Of course we have unsweetened dark chocolate on hand. And we have some wonderful morita chillies we got in Kensington Market. They are hot and smoky with a hint of raisin and maybe if we imagine hard, we can just catch a touch of chocolate too. We had to try this combination by making Chocolate Morita Gravy!

We put a couple of chilies into a small pyrex boil and poured enough boiling water to cover them. Then we put another pyrex bowl over top to push the chilies down and poured a little boiling water in that bowl. And set it aside. Then we jumped on our bicycles and rode to Kensington Market to get provisions for dinner.

We have often thought that the gravy after roasting a chicken has a slightly chocolate flavour. Why not boost it by actually adding chocolate? So last night we roasted a chicken. About half an hour before it was done we added a roughly chopped onion to the bottom of the pan. Oh man oh man! You should have seen the gravy makings! There is nothing like onion that has been caramelized in schmaltz!

T sprinkled a little flour into the pan and stirred it in to cook it and smooth it out. Then he added the chilies to the onion oil mixture and then chopped half square of unsweetened chocolate. Then chicken stock to complete the gravy. We served it with mashed potatoes, a mountain of steamed broccoli and (of course) the roast chicken. Interestingly, there really wasn’t any heat from the chillies. But what a feast!! This is killer. You have to try it!

What??!! No photo of the gravy? …I thought of going to get the camera to take a picture of this amazing gravy as it was being mixed but then decided I’d rather stay and watch the transformation. Next time we make it, I’ll take a photo. If I remember to get the camera….

edit: We loved the gravy so much that we had to make it again. This time, we did take pictures: Chocolate Morita Gravy Revisited

And the biggest bonus to roasting a chicken: there is stock simmering gently on the stove now, in preparation for chicken noodle soup (Asian style). Jealous?

edit 26 January 2006 12:53 EST: I forgot to mention that after the chillies had been soaking, T split them and removed most of the seeds before adding the chillies and their soaking water to the gravy pan.

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