Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

Chocolate-covered Pomegranate Recipe

This recipe is guaranteed to break the ice at parties…

But seriously, I Skyped with my sister earlier today, whom we introduced to this recipe over the holidays. She told me that she has since brought chocolate covered pomegranate to several social. The result has been incredible, she raved. It’s almost too successful. Here’s the knockout punch… it’s only two ingredients (and I bet you can’t guess what they are). Aside from needing (to improvise, if you’re me) a double-boiler, this recipe couldn’t be easier.

As you bite into it, the decadent, bitterness of the chocolate is punctuated by refreshing bursts of tangy sweetness as the pomegranate seeds literally explode in your mouth. Salivate much?

Ingredients:

1 bag dark chocolate chips
1 pomegranate

Directions:

Open the pomegranate and remove the seeds. Melt the chocolate. Pour the chocolate over the seeds. Done.

No seriously, that’s it. However, I’ll elaborate on our method. First off, deseed the pomegranate. You want to discard all of the husks and membranes. Place the seeds on a clean towel and gently blot dry. Next, set your oven to the lowest temp, and put a cookie sheet in it. (I’ll cover why in a moment). Melt the chocolate using a double-boiler. If you don’t have one, take a small saucepan and float it in a larger pan of barely boiling water. Place the chocolate chips in the saucepan. Be extremely careful not to get any water in the saucepan. Stir the chocolate frequently while it’s melting to prevent it from burning. (Trust me, burned chocolate is less than tasty). Once the chocolate has completely melted, remove the warm cookie sheet from the oven. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on the cookie sheet, and spread the pomegranate seeds in a single layer as close together as you can manage. Pour the chocolate over pomegranate seeds until they’re all covered. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the chocolate has fully hardened, cut it into chunks like peanut brittle, or just break off chunks and eat it.

A few remaining notes. 1) If this isn’t completely consumed within about 30 minutes, you should begin seriously questioning your sanity. Please see a mental health professional immediately. 2) Dark chocolate is an absolute must! Don’t even think about varying. The darker, the better. 3) Pomegranates are seasonal, so this is a winter delight only. It’s tragic, I know. Buy ’em while they’re still in season! 4) What is with the warm cookie sheet? I’m glad you asked. It keeps the chocolate warmer for a few minutes longer than a cookie sheet at room temp. Spreading the chocolate needs to be done quickly or else it starts hardening before you get all the seeds covered. (Thanks to mi madre for this innovation).

Thanks to Lindsay for this recipe. You should be proud to know that it’s becoming a sensation at all of the finest social events in New York City. (At least the ones my sister attends).

February 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm Leave a comment

Pumpkin and Black Bean Enchiladas with Mole Negro Recipe

I made mole last night for the first time. It took 4 hours and was fantastically spicy, smoky and sweet. I had a bunch left over, which means some killer leftovers for later on! I’d definitely recommend making a giant batch and portioning it out in the freezer. Because it takes so long to prepare, the directions below are written to minimize the time. You certainly don’t have to follow that, if you like taking your time!

Mole recipe:

5 ancho chiles
5 guajillo chiles
1/2 c almonds
2 med. onions (unpeeled)
4 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
4 tomatillos (unpeeled)
1 large tomato
2 cinnamon sticks (about 3″ each) broken up in the smaller chunks.
1/2 bunch (about 2 dozen sprigs) or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 c fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 c sesame seeds
16 whole cloves
14 allspice berries
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 c raisins
1 c breadcrumbs
4+ T olive oil, divided
1/2 c dark unsweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli extra-dark 70% cocoa)
1-2 c chicken or veggie broth as needed

Enchiladas recipe:

1 small pumpkin
2 cans of black beans
1 can of corn
1/2 to 1 c chopped cilantro
3/4 c goat cheese, divided
1 T fresh lime juice
2 T olive oil
10-12 large tortillas

Mole instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350. Wipe off the peppers, remove the tops, saving the seeds. Arrange chiles and almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven, rotating the chiles occasionally. Toast the almonds for about 10 min., chiles for about 20 min. The chiles should be starting to blacken. While those are toasting, heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Blacken the pepper seeds. Be careful for the fumes when you do this. Once they are blackened, soak the seeds in hot water (changing the water occasionally). When the almonds and chiles are done, place them in a bowl to cool. (There will be a lot of “setting aside to cool” in this recipe. I just had one or two large bowls on the counter that I would throw things in while I was waiting). If you’re making enchiladas with pumpkin, increase the heat to 375. Half the pumpkin, scoop out it’s guts, put it open-side-down on the cookie sheet, and put it in the oven. It needs to cook for at least 45 minutes, so do this now while you’re working on everything else. In the heavy skillet, toast the sesame seeds, shaking frequently. Set aside to cool. Add onions, garlic, tomatillos (all still with their skin) and tomato to the skillet. Pan-grill these, moving around occasionally to cook on all sides. The garlic will be soft and starting to brown (about 10 min.) Tomatillos will start to char on the outside and become soft (about 15 min.) The tomato will become soft with charred skin (15-20 min.) The onions’ skin will start to char (20-25 min.) When each is done, set aside to cool. While the veggies are cooking, prep the spices, chopping the thyme and oregano if fresh, and grating the nutmeg and ginger. Once the veggies are cool enough to handle, peel them and set aside. When all the veggies have finished cooking, heat a liberal amount of olive oil in the skillet until shimmering. Fry all of the herbs and spices, stirring often, until heavily aromatic (2-4 min.) (Warning: Something reacted pretty strongly when I added it to the hot oil. I think it may have been the nutmeg, but I’m not sure. Regardless, something started popping and exploding, like bacon but way more intense. Be careful when you add the spices). Set aside to cool. Finally, heat a couple more tablespoons of oil and heat until shimmering. Add the breadcrumbs and raisins, stirring often. The breadcrumbs should turn golden-brown, and the raisins will plump up a bit. Remove from heat and cool.

Whew! Good job. You’re almost there. All of the ingredients for the mole are now cooked! At this point, check on the pumpkin to see if it’s tender when pierced with a fork. Remove it from the oven and set it open-side-up to cool. Now it’s time to make the mole into a sauce. If you have a gigundous food processor, you could just throw it all in and blend. Mine is small, so I did it in batches. Either way, start with the chiles, and save the tomato and tomatillos for last. Grinding them into a powder. (You may want to cover your nose and mouth for this. Breathing chile = lots of coughing). Start adding the drier ingredients (almonds, sesame seeds, spices, pepper seeds, garlic and onions). If the mixture starts getting too pasty, throw in one of the tomatillos or a chunk of tomato to give it enough liquid to move around a bit. You want the consistency of a thick sauce. Transfer batches to a 3-quart pot. Save the breadcrumbs, raisins and tomato (or what’s left of it) for last. (The smoother you can get the overall mix, the better. If you have a hand blender, you can use that if you want to once it’s all in the pot). Heat the entire mixture, and add the chocolate. Simmer for at least 3o minutes (but the longer the better), stirring occassionally. Add stock as needed if it starts getting too thick.

Enchiladas instructions:

Remove the skin of the pumpkin and chop the meat into 1/2″ cubes. Drain and rinse the black beans and corn. Chop the cilantro and crumble 1/2 c of goat cheese. Toss all together in a large bowl with lime juice and olive oil.

Line the bottom of a baking pan with a thin layer of mole sauce to keep the enchiladas from sticking. Fill tortillas with squash, black bean mixture, roll, and line them up in the pan. Spoon a liberal amount of mole oever the top off the enchiladas to cover. Crumble the remaining 1/4 c goat cheese over the top. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.

November 6, 2010 at 11:09 am Leave a comment


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