Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Special Three Course Valentine's Day Meal

Today I am sharing my special 3 course Valentine's day meal that came out of an Iron Chef style challenge on Discuss Cooking where the secret ingredient was Chocolate!

My Menu
Sweet Potato Fritters with Sour Cream
BBQ Ribs with Spicy Sweet Corn
Chocolate Strawberry Lasagna
Chocolate Covered Cherry Fizz

First Course -Appetizer

Sweet Potato Fritters with Sour Cream

1 12 ounce can of yams
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cocoa
¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
1/8 cup coconut flakes
1 sheet of gram crackers, processed into crumbs

In a large bowl, mix yams, cocoa, and cinnamon until creamy.

In a food processor finely chop nuts and add to yam mixture.

Process gram crackers until they are crumbs.

Combine all ingredients.

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Pour about 1/8 inch of oil in the pan and heat.

To make the sweet potato fritters, roll tablespoons of batter into balls and press to ¼ inch thick. Fry until golden brown, flipping once.

Drain on paper towels, and serve warm with sour cream. 

Second Course- Main
Kickin’ BBQ Sauce

1 jalapeño
½ onion
2 pieces of bacon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp celery seed
½ tsp course ground black pepper
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 oz tomato sauce
½ cup brown sugar
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp hickory syrup
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ Chuao Spicy Maya Chocolate bar

Chop jalapeño, onion, and bacon. Press garlic through garlic press. Add olive oil to a pot over medium heat, season ingredients with salt and sauté until soft.

Add Chili powder, celery seed, pepper, stirring for about 1 minute.  Add Brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, hickory syrup and red pepper flakes. Cook on medium heat stirring frequently until mixture is hot and reduced, about 15 minutes.

Break chocolate into pieces and add to sauce, stirring until combined. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.

Rib Rub

½ tbsp dried garlic
½ tbsp onion powder
1 tsp pepper
½ tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper

To Prepare Ribs (I cooked 5 thick country style ribs.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Rub Ribs with rub and place in a glass baking dish. Fill the dish with ¼ inch of pineapple juice, place ribs in juice. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes or until ribs reach temperature.

Remove ribs from pan, coat in bbq sauce and place on grill. Cook until sauce has caramelized.
Corn on the cob with chili and cocoa spice blend

Corn on the cob
Spice blend: 1 part chili powder to 1 part cocoa
Cook Corn on the cob, slather with butter and sprinkle with spice blend.

Chocolate Strawberry  Lasagna- Makes 3 huge desserts

1 sheet of puff pastry, cut into 6ths
1 pint of strawberries
½ bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips melted with 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
Heavy cream, whipped

Place cut puffed pastry on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet. Place another cookie sheet on top and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Remove top cookie sheet, and return to oven allowing pastry to brown on top for about 5 minutes.

Remove pastry from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, hull and slice strawberries. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.

Once pastry has cooled, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. You can sweeten if you want, but I didn’t.

Melt chocolate with heavy cream in the microwave for 20 second increments until melted, stirring after each beep.

To Assemble 1 lasagna:
Place flat side of puff pastry on a plate, drizzle with chocolate and top with a layer of whipped cream, top with strawberries and another layer of whipped cream.

Layer another puff pastry flat side down, on top. Top with chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries, and more whipped cream. Drizzle with chocolate.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Fizz

Black Cherry Concord Grape Juice
Dark Chocolate Syrup
Club Soda

Mix equal parts juice and club soda. Add Chocolate Syrup to taste. Garnish with a chocolate covered cherry.

Happy Valentine's Day!!


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