Here are a few more recipes from our Autumn Harvest dinner... including Chocolate Maya's amazing truffle recipe. Enjoy!
Chocolate & Rosemary Braised Short Ribs
1/4 cup diced pancetta (Italian bacon; about 1 1/2 ounces)
6 pounds bone-in short ribs
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry red wine
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups chopped drained canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 very large fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons shaved or grated bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Heat heavy large pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown ribs in drippings in pot over medium-high heat until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to plate. Add onions and next 4 ingredients to pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add wine. Boil uncovered until liquid is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta. Return ribs to pot, cover partially, and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and simmer until rib meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours longer.
Transfer ribs to plate; discard bay leaf. Spoon fat from surface of sauce. Boil sauce until beginning to thicken, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and rosemary; stir until chocolate melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot. Simmer to rewarm, about 5 minutes.
Serve over creamy polenta… We add about ¼ cup whipping cream to polenta to give it additional richness.
Sweet Potatoes Andouille Sausage Soup
1 lb andouille sausage, diced (I found the pork Andouille sold at the Fresh Market in Santa Barbara to be the closest in flavor to Louisiana Andouille)
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks Celery, diced
1 tsp. thyme
3 tbs. olive oil
2 lbs peeled sweet potatoes diced into 1 inch squares
2 quarts chicken broth
Pinch of each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper
2 oz brown sugar
2 oz dark chocolate
¼ tsp. pepper
Salt to taste
3 oz heavy cream
Heat olive oil in a medium stock pot. Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Add onions and celery and cook until tender. Add thyme and sweet potatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and brown sugar. Add pepper cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg and 2 oz of the dark chocolate. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Puree in blender in small batches. Once pureed return to pot and add cream and salt.
Garnish with a fried sage leaf. To fry sage leaf just fry sage leaves in warm olive oil. Fry 6–8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds. Transfer with a fork to paper towels and sprinkle generously with coarse salt.
For a vegetarian version of the soup, replace chicken broth with vegetable broth and eliminate the Andouille sausage.
Dark Chocolate Truffles
Recipe provided by Maya Schoop-Rutten of Maya Chocolate
For the ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
a pinch of fleur de sel or 1 - 3 tsp of cognac or port wine (any other favorite liquor)
For the coating:
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped.
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir the chopped chocolate, stirring until melted. Add your liquor or fleur de sel. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
The next day, let your ganache warm a little before using a melon baller to scoop the truffle mixture into small balls, then set them on a plate. Chill the truffles again.
Melt the 4 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler. Spread the cocoa powder into a bowl.
Cover your right hand with some melted chocolate, pick up a truffle with your clean hand and put into your chocolate covered hand, coat the ganache, then drop it into the cocoa powder and roll it around so the cocoa powder covers the truffle.
When all the truffles are done, place them in a strainer to remove the excess cocoa powder. Can be kept up to 10 days refrigerated.