Honest confession! I never thought adding chocolate to a entree could make it so flavorful. Cocoa powder to me had always been associated with desserts and beverages until I actually tried making the popular "Chicken Mole" and literally "wowed" at the flavor. The dish is really quick and easy and I decided to present it as an appetizer for our Valentine's Day Menu. - Mona
Servings: 8 pastries
Core Spices and Flavorings-
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder or to taste
1 tbs chopped cilantro
Secondary Spices and Flavorings-
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
Puffed pastry shells (8 pieces)
2 tbs oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
2-3 chopped scallions
3 mini peppers
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets ( about half a pound)
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/ 2 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
Bake the pastries as per the instructions on the box and set aside to cool.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic on medium heat until the onions begin to sweat.
Add the scallions, pepper and chicken and cook on medium heat until the chicken is cooked.
Throw in the tomatoes mix well and add the rest of the ingredients(all the spices and cilantro) and continue to mix well until all the spices mix with the chicken and the vegetables and a rich brown colored chicken mole is ready.
Scoop the chicken mole filling into the puffed pastry shells, garnish with chopped pepper or cilantro and serve hot.
Tip: The left over chicken mole can be enjoyed with rice or tortilla and even by itself.
My husband proposed to me with a box of chocolate dipped strawberries in one hand and the ring in the other. There is nothing more romantic, sensual and delicious than a chocolate dipped strawberry! Bring out a little fun this Valentine's by trying out these three different varieties - coconut, almonds and white chocolate with a hint of saffron. -Shalini
Secondary Spices and Flavorings
9 to 10 strands of Saffron (soaked in hot water for a minute)
1 dozen long stem Strawberries, washed and dried
1 8 oz bar semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup crushed almonds
1/4 cup coconut flakes
Boil some water in a large pan.
Place a smaller pan over the boiling water and add the semi-sweet chocolate.
Stir the chocolate until it is smooth and melted.
Perform the same procedure with the white chocolate.
Remove the white chocolate from heat once it is done and add the strands of saffron and mix.
Remove the semi-sweet chocolate from heat and dip strawberries one by one into the bowl of chocolate.
Hold it upright for a few seconds so that any excess chocolate drips off.
Dip the strawberries into any of the toppings - coconut or almonds or drizzle the melted white chocolate with saffron onto the chocolate dipped strawberry with a fork.
Place the strawberries on a tray with parchment paper.
Set aside for about 30 minutes at which time the chocolate should be set.