By now the idea of chocolate and meat shouldn't seem too foreign or shocking. The recent chocolate covered bacon craze revived interest in this savory and sweet combination sparking a number of spin offs. Now you can find a variety of chocolate and meat confections like venison-filled chocolate truffles, chocolate bars with pork bits and chocolate biscuits wrapped in crisp chicken skin.
Of course chocolate paired with meat is a much older combination than these rather recent interpretations may suggest. For example, the Mexican chocolate mole sauce has long been topping meat enchiladas. This complex sauce takes a tremendous amount of time to make; however, the end result is worthwhile as it adds flavor to even the dullest meats. You could always buy the sauce pre-made but doing so takes a lot of the fun out of it.
Bitter dark chocolate or even a sweeter dark chocolate enhances the flavor of lamb, pork or beef. The chocolate can be used to make a sauce or marinade for those meats. Just imagine how much tastier a juicy pork chop would be drizzled with a decadent chocolate sauce.
Need a new spice rub for ribs or a roast? Try adding a bitter chocolate powder to your spice rub. The bitterness of the chocolate will bring out the spicy flavors of chili powder, garlic or peppers. Your dinner guests will have a difficult time pinpointing the secret ingredient adding extra flavor dimension.
Dark chocolate is not the only match for meat. White chocolate makes an excellent sauce for salmon or pork chops. Cut the sweetness of the white chocolate by adding a squeeze of lemon and peppercorns. Another pair for white chocolate is caviar.
If you want to add a unique twist to a stew, try chocolate. Adding a few chocolate squares at the end of a meaty stew will make the sauce richer and smoother in texture while only subtly changing the taste.
As with any new spice or seasoning, you'll want to give it a try a couple times, mixing and matching with other flavors until you find the combination that best suits your taste. Whatever you decide, the results are sure to be sweet!
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