Friday, February 20, 2015

Chocolate Green Beans

The other recipe I chose from the Superfoods for Life: Cacao cookbook for our first chocolate night was green beans amandine with dark chocolate. I wanted to have a vegetable dish alongside the cocoa jerk tofu for some balance. This one looked pretty good in the photo (I love cookbook photos) so we thought we'd give it a try.

For the recipe, we used:

- green beans, trimmed and cut ($2.69)
- salt to taste ($0.05)
- 1/2 cup of sliced almonds ($0.83)
- 2 tbsp of olive oil ($0.40)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar ($0.35)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract ($0.05)
- half a bunch of tarragon leaves, chopped ($0.60)
- 2 oz of dark chocolate, chopped ($0.60)

This was a little over $5.50 for our second dish. It was a little less expensive than the cocoa jerk tofu, but that one went a lot further for the money (and we liked it more).

The green beans were pretty easy to make and we stuck close to the book for this one. Basically you saute the green beans, salt, and almonds in olive oil in a large skillet on medium high for a few minutes. Then add the balsamic vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes or so. By that point, the green beans should be more tender and the almonds browned.

A helped cook the green beans, which was a huge help because it allowed me to prep the tarragon and chocolate without worrying about the green beans. Once the green beans are cooked, remove them from the heat and add the chocolate, tarragon, and vanilla.

When I added the chocolate, it melted into a thick chocolaty sauce. It didn't look like that in the cookbook photos at all, but here it turned into a sauce. The book says the dish is supposed to be served warm so it wasn't a surprise that the chocolate melted, but I expected it to be more like a light coating than a sauce.

This dish was not at all what we were expecting. It tasted like dessert with the chocolate and the almonds, but it was part of our (savory) dinner. The green beans provided some crunch and texture, but didn't have a ton of flavor on their own. A thought that the balsamic added a bit of a sour flavor that seemed out of place. You couldn't taste the tarragon at all and it was completely overpowered by the chocolate. It was really like eating dessert and so incredibly rich from the chocolate and almonds that I found it hard to eat that much of it in one sitting. A ended up eating whatever was left after our initial servings as his dessert.

We didn't really like this at all and would not make it again. But because of the awesomeness of the cocoa jerk tofu, we knew this cookbook did have good recipes. This one just didn't work for us. We hoped our next chocolate experiment would be more like the tofu and better for us than this one!

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