Sunday, May 24, 2015

Chocolate Barbecue Sauces: 3 Recipes

When I was growing up barbecues at my house were mostly on holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. My Dad would don his Westinghouse apron and hat and fire up the grill. I still have my Dad's apron, but not the chef's hat. Very nostalgic--and retro. Wish he were still with us. I miss him every day. He'd love these barbecue sauces (and this list of Barbecue Crime Fiction.)

If you're planning a Memorial Day barbecue, you'll want to check your stock of dark chocolate. I've posted several chocolate barbecue sauces and chocolate rubs before, but these are two of my favorites.

The first recipe is from The BBQ Report. I use a different Dark Chocolate Sauce from an artisan chocolate company, but you can always use Hershey's. The flavors will be different, but both would be good. Season your meat with some cocoa powder (unsweetened) for double chocolate goodness.

#1 CHOCOLATE BARBECUE SAUCE

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark syrup (or another)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Directions
In sauce pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil, cooking until tender.
Stir in lemon juice, salt, pepper, paprika, and hot sauce.
Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes and reduce heat.
Stir in ketchup, vinegar, and Hershey’s Syrup.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

#2 CHOCOLATE BARBECUE SAUCE

From the Hershey's Website comes this amazing and much more complex Chocolate Barbecue Sauce recipe, utilizing Scharffen Berger 82% dark chocolate (Scharffen Berger is owned by Hershey's). Recipe adapted from Chef Ken Gladysz at the Hotel Hershey.

Ingredients
1 Tbsp sweet butter, soft
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Spanish onion, diced small
2 Roma tomatoes, stem removed, diced small
1 1/2 oz dark brown sugar
4 tsp ancho chili powder
4 oz apple cider vinegar
8 oz barbeque sauce
14 oz vegetable stock
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 oz SCHARFFEN BERGER 82% dark chocolate
2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground

Directions
Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium heat.
Add garlic and onion, sauté 5 minutes until golden brown.
Add tomatoes, stir, and sauté an additional 5 minutes.
Add sugar and chili powder, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add vinegar, reduce for 5 minutes, mixture should have a paste consistency.
Add sauce, stock, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer for 30 minutes.
Add SCHARFFEN BERGER chocolate and cilantro; allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Puree sauce, transfer to a clean container and cool.
For best results, refrigerate for 12 hours before using.

#3 CHOCOLATE CHIPOTLE CHILI BEER BARBECUE SAUCE

This is a quick and easy one pot recipe! Use whatever beer or ale you have, although the chocolate stouts will add a lot of flavor.

Ingredients 
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup soy sauce
6 oz tomato paste
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup Chocolate Ale (Rogue, Boulevard, Young's, Christopher Elbow)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 ounces 75-85% dark chocolate, chopped

Directions 
In saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil.
Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add remaining ingredients to pot.
Simmer until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Fralinger's Molasses Paddle Pops: National Taffy Day!

Today is National Taffy Day, and I just want to mention my favorite taffy: Fralinger's Molasses Paddle Pops! 

I grew up in Philadelphia, and every summer we went down the Shore to Atlantic City, Margate, or Ventnor. These are names you'll recognize if you've ever played Monopoly. One of the big attractions for me as a kid was salt water taffy. I loved it, and I remember thinking at the time that my friend Margie had the best and most glamorous job selling salt water taffy at Fralinger's on the Boardwalk. In retrospect, it probably was not an easy job, but all I could think of was access to all that candy!

My favorite candy at Fralinger's was the Molasses Chocolate Covered Paddle Pop. Essentially it is Fralinger's fabulous molasses salt water taffy covered in delicious dark chocolate and shaped into a Paddle Pop! These Paddle Pops now come in other flavors, but Molasses was the original. I hadn't thought of this 'retro' treat in a long time, but I saw these Fralinger's Molasses Paddle Pops at the Fancy Food Show a few years ago. Not going down the Shore this summer? These candy treats are available online. Yum!

One caveat: Hold on to your teeth.. this is like a hard taffy pull... the chocolate is easy.. the taffy is challenging, but it's worth the effort. Of course you can lick it. It is a pop, after all, but then you wouldn't enjoy the chocolate with the molasses. Technique is up to you!

I couldn't find a recipe that replicated Molasses Paddle Pops. Let me know if you have one. Maybe sometimes, you just can't make it at home.


A little history from the Fralinger's website:

While the origins of Salt Water Taffy remain a mystery, one thing is for certain. No one did more to promote this popular confection than Joseph Fralinger.

A former glassblower and fish merchant, Joseph returned from Philadelphia to his Atlantic City roots in the mid 1880s. After taking a job with a bricklayer, he earned enough money to open a small concession on the Atlantic City Boardwalk from which he sold fruit, soda, and the latest summer sensation, "lemonade."

By 1884, Joseph was approached to take over a taffy stand on Applegate Pier. He agreed and began to perfect his own recipe for Salt Water Taffy, introducing his first batch of molasses taffy in 1885. Throughout the years he developed a number of new flavors, eventually offering Atlantic City's largest selection with 25.

As Fralinger's grew to six locations, he decided that Salt Water Taffy should return home with resort visitors. Using experiences from his fish merchant days, he packed one pound oyster boxes with Salt Water Taffy, making it the first "Atlantic City Souvenir." The one-pound box still remains the most popular souvenir over 125 years later. And by 1899 Salt Water Taffy had become a household word across America!



Friday, May 22, 2015

Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies: Memorial Day

"Rosemary is for Remembrance"-- so this recipe for Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect for Memorial Day? I grow a lot of rosemary in my garden that I use it in baking and grilling. It's a very versatile herb. There are several varieties, and they flower, so it's also quite pretty -- and deer resistant. Rosemary is also very aromatic.

The phrase "Rosemary is for Remembrance" comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember.” 

Even before Shakespeare's era, many cultures assigned meaning to this herb. It was often used in funerals or in the care of the dead. But also, at one time,  it was the fashion  for brides to wear wreaths of rosemary. Rosemary was also thought to repel evil spirits and cure thievery. 15th and early 16th century statesman and writer, Sir Thomas More, ties rosemary to memory in his writing. He writes fondly of it “running” about his garden without cultivation because: “it is the herb sacred to remembrance, and therefore, to friendship…” And for my mystery friends, an Agatha Christie novel, published as both Remembered Death and Sparkling Cyanide, uses the Shakespeare quotation.


ROSEMARY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients 
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sweet butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups Chocolate Chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl.
Beat butter, both sugars, and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Stir in Chocolate Chips, chopped Rosemary, and pecans.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto un-greased cookie sheets.
Bake 9-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust

Today is Strawberries & Cream Day! One way to celebrate would be to stuff strawberries with whipped cream and dip in chocolate. Yum! But here's another way to celebrate the day. Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust. This would be perfect for your Memorial Day dessert.

Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust

Ingredients
1 Chocolate Crust
3 cups Strawberry ice cream or Ben & Jerry's Strawberries & Cream ice cream
Whipped Cream
1 cup Sliced fresh strawberries

Chocolate Cookie Crust
Ingredients
30 Chocolate wafers
5 Tbsp sweet butter, melted and cooled slightly
Pinch of salt

Directions for Cookie Crust
Whirl cookies in food processor until finely ground.
Put crumbs in mixing bowl and add butter and salt until crumbs are moistened.
Press mixture across bottom of 8-inch pie plate and up sides. Pack tightly.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 6 minutes.
Cool before filling.

Directions for Pie
Be sure and cool crust before adding ice cream
Spread ice cream evenly over crust.
Smooth top.
Put pie in freezer until solid (or until ready to serve - for up to 3 days)
Before serving, top with whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries.