Chocolate Feast for Chocolat (and Food ‘n Flix 10th Anniversary)

Food ‘n Flix is ten years old!

Let’s celebrate! 

You can read the announcement post here.

I didn’t start out with FnF in 2010.  In fact, I didn’t find Food ‘n Flix until April of 2012 with Big Night.  To say I was enamored by the group and the premise is an understatement.  Since that time, I’ve only missed a couple of months and have hosted eight times.   Food ‘n Flix is such a creative outlet for me.  (I wish I had been around from the get-go.   Heather, you’re a genius for creating this venue for foodie film aficionados!)

Chocolat is a film I have seen multiple times.  I love the “feel” of this film.   It has a glimpse of magical realism but does not steer clear of the realities of living.     Even as the villagers are shown in a less than stellar light, I still want to live in that beautiful village by the river.

The cast is beyond great:  Judi Dench, Juliette Binoche, Carrie-Ann Moss, Lena Olin, and, oh yeah, Johnny Depp.   Strong women (and women that don’t know they’re strong yet) abound in this movie.  And, then there’s Johnny Depp.

I won’t go into the plot because I feel like most people are familiar with the movie.  Instead I want to dive into a Chocolat-inspired feast.  (My inspiration for this idea can be found here .)

First the appetizer, Eggplant Caponata with Bitter Chocolate.

Eggplant Caponata with Bitter Chocolate

Original recipe found here.  I halved most of this recipe, added fresh tomatoes, swapped in honey, and used tarragon vinegar.

Sweet and sour and savory.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1 lb. eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes (I used Asian eggplants.)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 T. water
  • 1/2 c. brined green olives, chopped
  • 1/4 c. white wine vinegar (I actually used tarragon vinegar.)
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1/4 c. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 3 T. honey
  • 2 T. finely grated unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 c. finely shredded basil
  • 2 T. pine nuts

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add eggplant and fry, tossing occasionally, until browned, 3–4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Add onions and celery, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until caramelized and almost evaporated, 5-10 minutes. Add tomatoes and 2 T. water and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in olives, vinegar, raisins, capers, honey, and chocolate, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl with eggplant, along with basil and pine nuts, and mix together. Season with salt and pepper, and let cool to room temperature before serving.
  4. Serve on toasted crostini or crackers or pita chips.

Yield: 6-8

Oh, my.  Deliciousness on toasted baguettes.

 

Now for the main course, Cocoa-Chili Rubbed Grilled Steak.  The recipe for the spice rub can be found here.  We’ve had this on flank steaks in a sandwich.  For this meal, I rubbed it on a KC Strip and we grilled it!

This is a sweet rub that adds a nice crust when grilled.

 

On to dessert.   Chocolate Salami.  What did I just say?  Yep, you heard right.

Chocolate Salami

Based on recipe found here.  

Surprise your guests with a sweet charcuterie.

Ingredients

  • 8 T. unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. chocolate (your choice)
  • 2 T. brewed coffee  (I used an Autumn spiced coffee.)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 T. orange zest
  • 1 c. crushed cookies (plain biscotti, biscoff, or shortbread)
  • 1/2 c. toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 c. pistachios
  • powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Stir until very smooth and remove from the heat.  Stir in brewed coffee, cayenne and orange zest.
  2. Stir in the cookies, nuts, and orange zest. Let cool until it begins to firm up, about 15-30 minutes (at room temperature).
  3. Lay a piece of plastic wrap about 12 inches long on the counter. Use a stiff spatula to scrape the mixture into a rough log shape on the plastic wrap to make a cylinder shape about 6 inches long and 3 inches thick. Lift the edge of the plastic wrap over the log and roll to wrap tightly. Twist the ends to remove any air and compress the log into a smooth and even cylinder.
  4. Once the log is wrapped, chill it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Roll it on the counter under your palms a few times to make a smooth cylinder. Repeat this process twice more for the best shape. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Sift powdered sugar onto a flat surface (like a cutting board or a large plate). Unwrap the salami and roll in the sugar, brushing off excess.
  6. To serve, remove the chocolate salami from refrigerator about 30 minutes in advance to avoid cracking. Slice with a very sharp, thin knife into rounds about 3/4-inch thick.

I added the cayenne because I know Vianne would have.

We rounded out this meal with some leftover baked cauliflower with a bit of homemade pineapple-habanero sauce.  

This turned into a delicious feast.  I think that the cocoa and chocolate added just a hint of flavor to the steaks and the caponato.  If you weren’t told they were there, you wouldn’t know.  But, you would know there’s a special secret ingredient.

Now for  that dessert…you would definitely know there’s chocolate in that “salami.”

That “feel” of this film that I mentioned earlier is similar to that of The Hundred Foot Journey also directed by Lasse Hallström (and a Food ‘n Flix feature in November 2015).

Join Food ‘n Flix for October and pick any Halloween movie, hosted by Simply Inspired Meals.

I’m linking up with Weekend Cooking.

6 comments to Chocolate Feast for Chocolat (and Food ‘n Flix 10th Anniversary)

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