Chocolate is at home in every course of your Valentine’s Day meal

Short ribs in black sauce

Chocolate may be found in nearly every holiday or celebration, but it’s perhaps most closely associated with Valentine’s Day. Since one can never have enough chocolate, we’ll show you how to incorporate it into every course of a Valentine’s Day chocolate-themed meal.

Let’s start with a cocktail. The Golden kiss from Observer Food Monthly Magazine sounds like the perfect way to start a romantic evening. The Chocolate bramble cocktail from Adventures with Chocolate might have a prickly name but it sounds delicious. If you’re pairing the drink with Mexican food, try Café Tacuba from Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks.

Appetizers are next, and chocolate is used in inventive ways in these savory starters. You can start with a classic appetizer that’s been tweaked to incorporate chocoalte, like White chocolate baba ghannouj from Eats Well with Others or Savory chocolate sea salt crostini from Food Wishes. Mario Batali’s eggplant caponatabrought to us by indexed blog  Sassy Radish, contains a touch of cocoa powder.

If you are feeling adventurous, consider Mackerel, white chocolate, horseradish and beetroot from Great British Chefs. You can also use chocolate to great effect in a salad, like this White chocolate orange salad from Observer Food Monthly Magazine by Nigel Slater.

Chocolate is a well-known ingredient in complex stews like chili and in mole, but other main courses incorporate chocolate in a more prominent role. Meat-lovers will savor these decadent Short ribs in black sauce with chocolate and cacao from Observer Food Monthly Magazine (pictured above) or this Chili-rubbed ribeye steak with maple-bourbon butter from The Kitchn. Another meat option is Chocolate cranberry pork tenderloin from Mast Brothers Chocolate.

Chocolate pastaThere are vegetarian options, too, like Savory chocolate pasta with bucherondin, hazelnuts, and cherries from (pictured right) and Mini mango and black bean casseroles from Vegetarian Times Magazine. If you’re looking for something casual, try the Balsamic roasted cherry, dark chocolate and Brie grilled cheese sandwich from Closet Cooking.

Now we get to dessert, and there’s no shortage of chocolate in this category. In fact, there are over 100 recipes featuring chocolate specifically for Valentine’s Day in the EYB Library. Highly rated recipes include the gorgeous Chocolate heart layer cake with chocolate-cinnamon mousse from Epicurious by Bon Appetit and a perennial favorite, Tiramisu, from Leite’s Culinaria by Todd English. With all of these options, your chocolate cravings are sure to be satisfied. 

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  • ellabee  on  February 10, 2015

    Beef short ribs braised in a chocolate-containing sauce are fantastically delicious, and potentially economical for entertaining, as the richness makes even a small serving very satisfying (over a mash or puree). My herb club did a program recently on cooking with chocolate in non-dessert ways, at which small samples of the short ribs were served. Oh my.

  • Choclette  on  February 12, 2015

    It's very pleasing to see chocolate being used more in savoury dishes and there are some lovely suggestions here. My own six course chocolate tasting dinner went down very well with my friends and although it was over two years ago, they have not forgotten it.

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