Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Black Cod and... Chocolate?!

Black Cod and... Chocolate?!


Sometimes that sweet/savory combination just works... it may "seem" impossible... but the unlikely pairing enhances flavors on the palate.

Work with me here...

I had some extra quinoa - loaded with fresh vegetables - that I made a few days ago. In order to boost the protein level, I decided to sauté black cod. Ok... quinoa with veggies and fish. Nothing eccentric or exotic about that.

Dark chocolate is often added to red-wine reductions in order to create a slightly bitter, but necessary, flavor element. I had a small dark chocolate bar in my refrigerator - near the quinoa - and I figured... well... why not? I'll never know unless I try! So after sautéing the fish, I lightly grated a few thin strips of dark chocolate to "decorate" the top of the black cod (with a paprika-cayenne crust). A few toasted filberts (fancy name for hazelnuts) added a much needed crunch to the dish.

Why "filberts?" The feast day of St. Philbert, a French saint, falls on August 20th - which is the peak harvest time for hazelnuts (traditionally mature in late August). Thus - people started applying the saint's name to the nuts that were in season on his feast day. And now you know... the rest of the story.


Why did the dark chocolate work? The 80% cacao provided enough bitterness to be a perfect compliment to the paprika/cayenne black cod. The final touch, to essential "marry" the entire dish together? Reduced balsamic vinaigrette. This mild sweetness provided that "wow" factor that allowed the palate to crave more.

You never know in the kitchen... much less, in life! Sometimes the most "uncommon" or "unrealistic" situations/pairings can actually... work. Not only work, but be brilliant.

Allow yourself to shine. Take chances, learn from your past... embrace your beautiful, God-made spirit. You can do anything that you set your mind to.

Love y'all dearly!! 

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