Chocolate, chiles, red wine and me

If you are one of those poor bastards that need permission to indulge in dark chocolate, I am so sorry. The link below will give you the OK because of the nutritional value, but nothing beats the guilty pleasure of a chocolate bar under the covers. I almost don’t want permission to love dark chocolate. I want to be a little bit naughty.

Try it. Be a bit naughty and see how good it feels.

Throughout my birthday month we will be looking at savory chocolate recipes and I will throw a couple of sweet ones your way as well. Sadly, a sweet tooth is not on my list of vices, so for those of you that need sugar like you need to breathe, I would suggest hooking up with Chocolate Covered Katie at

Second only to Hadyn, she is the living embodiment of sheer sweetness.

My birthday month (roughly twenty eight days of festivities) will kick off with a live feed tomorrow 1/28 at the Philly 9th street market at 3PM and then 1/29 after the Chinese New Year parade we will be making the mole and avocado mousse at the home of Heath and Ilan. January thirty first will be the live drawing for chefs dinner for eight at 6PM and February 1 Heath and I will be back in Philly at the Asian grocery store at 530 pm. We will be demystifying Asian products that really need to be part of your pantry.





4 TB olive oil

1 cup roasted onion

1 plantain

1 red bell pepper

2 15 oz cans fireroasted Muir Glen whole tomatoes

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 TB cumin

1 tsp allspice

2 corn tortillas in crumbs

8 -12 chiles (dried) or 8 ancho chiles

¼ cup raisins

¼ unsweetened cocoa

2 cups vegetable stock

½  cup orange juice

1 TB herbamare

2 whole sticks cinnamon


Wipe the chiles clean with a damp cloth. On a dry and hot sauce pan sear the chiles until they are smoking and black. Remove to a bowl but keep warm until all are charred and then cover with hot water. Soften and puree. Toast pumpkins seeds in a dry pan and set aside. Toast cumin seeds and grind. Sautee diced pepper in olive oil. Add all other ingredients and cook on low simmer till blended well. Remove cinnamon sticks at end. Puree. I like to use this for beyond chicken or seitan logs. After the sauce is cooked cover the protein with sauce and let bake till all the flavors meld. At least 45 minutes to an hour at about 325-350 degrees. How long you cook depends on the density of the protein or starch. You want to infuse the flavor. If you cook the mole on the stove top for a long time and the flavors are properly blended you can cook for less time in the oven. If you are making a tofu or cauliflower mole you would want to do this. If you are working with Seitan or Beyond chicken you would want a longer oven cooking time. Be careful that the mole does not scorch in the oven. Depending on how yours heats you may want to lessen the temperature.  




1/2 cup dark chocolate

4 avocados

1/4 cup vanilla coconut, cashew or almond milk OR make your own cashew cream

1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1/4 cup light agave

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt flakes

Pinch cayenne

One packet Starbucks Via Italian roast (instant coffee) or 2 tsp of other brand


Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler and set aside to cool slightly. In a food processor or Ninja blend your avocados till creamy. Add all remaining ingredients and pulse on high speed for three to four minutes. Chill before serving.





½ cup Chia seeds

¼ cup organic Cocoa powder

2 TB cocoa nibs

Pinch Cinnamon

Pinch sea salt

Pinch cayenne

1 tsp Vanilla extract

2/3 cups raw cashews soaked overnight

1 cup water

5 pitted Dates

¼ cup agave nectar

*can substitute cashew or almond milk (1 2/3  cups approx) for cashews and water  

Process all ingredients but chia seeds in a vita mix until thoroughly blended. Pour chia seeds in and pulse for thirty seconds. Put in glass or stainless steel container and chill overnight.

“Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health.

Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.

Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.”


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