The Jack of Grills

The other day, a peasant begged audience with me to plead for a boon. As he knelt trembling before the throne, I noticed his mouth was in a sorry state.

Many of his teeth were broken, and a great many more were missing altogether. He explained, via his decimated grill, that he has a deep love for chocolate-dipped frozen bananas, and has been eating them by the wheelbarrowful for most of his life, despite the horrendous damage the rock-hard treats were doing to his teeth.

I recommended this recipe for Chocolate Banana Bread from Elise at SimplyRecipes.com as an ameliorant.

“Resist the urge to add walnuts, for safety’s sake,” I cautioned.

He thanked me and bowed deeply, praising my magnanimity with what was left of his jacked-up face-hole. He swore to use the recipe to bake me a loaf large enough to use as a mattress.

“A kingly gift,” I said, “but again…the walnuts.”

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Chocolate in Savory Dishes, Part 2: Chili

Texas Hospitality is a thing of legend, or so it’s said. Personally, I don’t see how it could compare to the hospitality of the Royal Household Staff at Chocland’s Imperial Palace. Their elite “Pamper-Squad” has been known to pipe-and-slipperize a grown man in under 3.5 seconds!

But perhaps they could learn something here. For what guest wouldn’t like to be presented with a hearty, piping-hot bowl of “Texas Red”?

Or “Brown,” in this case, I guess…

CHILI:

That’s right, it’s Chocolate Chili! A flavor so fine, it’ll make you “nudge your spouse into an embankment,” to borrow a phrase from the common folk.

And in an unusual twist, this particular Texas-style chili comes to us straight from New York City!

NEW YORK CITY?! Fuggeddaboutit!

Delightful.

NEW YORK TIMES RECIPE FOR TEXAS-STYLE CHILI

Diplomacy in Action!

I recently attended a summit meeting with the President of Coffee and the Duchess of Mint at the Duchess’ palatial mountaintop estate in the Andes.

As we strolled through her many courtyards and mentholated gardens, we spoke of a great many topics, including how to combine the resources of our three separate domains to further the causes of luxury and indulgence. After much deliberation, and many 64-oz solid-gold tankards of Peppermint Mocha Lattes*, we finally decided on the amazing White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Cookies from Izy Hossack’s outstanding Top With Cinnamon blog.

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The cookies were prepared and handed out to each member of the Duchess’ household staff, many of whom later reported experiencing luxury levels of 8.5 or higher on the Stewart/Garten scale.

As for the three of us, The Duchess described the cookies as “Sublime,” while the President gave them two very jittery thumbs-up. I myself, overwhelmed by the spirit of our renewed unity, released four doves to celebrate our alliance.

 

*(difficult to lift, at first!)

Chocolate in Savory Dishes, Part 1: Mole

While lounging on the Imperial Veranda, or luxuriating in my absurd tub, I’ve often pondered the place of Chocolate within the larger food world. Sure, Chocolate is the King of Sweets, and its dessert applications are infinite, but what about life outside the Dessert Realms. What about chocolate for dinner?

No, I don’t mean dipping a Kit-kat into a bowl of salmon mousse, or using two Hershey bars as the bread in a Reuben sandwich, I mean honest-to-goodness REAL savory chocolate dishes.

Let the ringing of the dinner bell commence!

MOLE:

Ahhh, the Mexicans! A people who truly appreciate the importance of flavor—and chocolate! Why, it’s common knowledge that the Mayans and the Aztecs cultivated cacao on North American soil centuries before the Europeans arrived. Mexico might even rightly be called the Birthplace of Chocolate. And nowhere does it have a more complex-yet-elegant savory application than in the king of all Mexican sauces: Mole!

Mole has many variants: red, brown, green, black…some richer, some spicier, even some without chocolate (Treason!). As a nearly inexhaustible subject, I’ve narrowed it down to two fantastic examples, to provide just a peek into the rich world of mole—two recipes by chefs Rick Bayless and Bobby Flay…THE TWO MOST MEXICAN PEOPLE ALIVE!!!

Rick Bayless’s Oaxacan Black Mole Recipe

Bobby Flay’s Poached Eggs in Mole with Creamy Green Rice

¡Provecho!

Sorcery!

In the Dessert Realms, only Wizards, Alchemists, and the fabled Chocomancers have the power to transform the physical properties of matter—liquid to solid, milk to dark, peanut to regular, etc…

Yet that is precisely what Christy Denney, The Girl Who Ate Everything, has done here. She has used her arcane dessert knowledge to transform hot chocolate into cookies!

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Perhaps she should join Chocland’s infamous Alchemists guild, who have been known to magically turn ordinary chocolate into gold currency.

It’s a Hanukkah miracle!