I’ve always been a savoury/ sweet kinda girl (except for that bizarre florescent red sauce you get with ya Chinese chicken balls.) Cheddar and apple toasties, yep. Peanut butter and pretzels, on it. Maple and bacon? ERM YES. I don’t even like bacon but by gosh that syrup does wonderful things to that poor pig. So chocolate for dinner definitely doesn’t bother me, in fact I’m straight there, and I don’t mean eating a block of Galaxy off the plate either.
Chocolate used in a savoury dish was first experienced in the Mexican Mole, which is a super rich sauce including chilli, nuts, old bread, and of course chocolate. It’s traditionally served with turkey, and loads more ingredients were added as time moved on. It also takes the work of a culinary genius and a good mole is rare to find. Nowadays we see chocolate as an added extra to chilli con carne and I’ve also heard it makes a great rubbing for ribs too.
As I’m not big on meat, I’m making a veggie meal this evening (sorry carnivores!) I’m a lover of dishes like caponata, and really hearty stews, especially when they come with a side of crusty bread to mop up all the leftovers. I am a bread enthusiast. This recipe is a combination of those two meals with a bit of 70% dark chocolate thrown in for good measure. I recommend that you always use a dark as it’s much more complimentary, and not too much either! Less is more.
This stew makes me feel cosy, it’s comforting. The chocolate has enhanced every single other flavour beautifully, and it’s added a depth of richness that wasn’t there before and I’d happily eat this every day for a week and I wouldn’t get tired of it. If that isn’t a good reason to eat my favourite sweet for dinner then I must be a fool.
- 3 teaspoons oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 punnet of chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 carton passata
- 1-2 teaspoons chilli powder
- 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
- 25g 70% dark chocolate
- your favourite crusty bread, to serve
1) Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a pan over a medium heat and cook the onion until it starts to brown.
2) Add garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper and cook for 30 minutes. Stir continuously and then add the remaining oil.
3) Add the mushrooms and cool for a further 5 minutes or until they’re soft.
4) Pour in the chopped tomatoes, passata and the chilli powder and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until it has thickened nicely.
5) Grate in the chocolate and stir in the spinach for a few more minutes and then serve with some warm, crusty bread!