Four Courses for a Complete Chocolate Meal

You may just get your fill of chocolate in this four-course dinner

Ever had one of those amazing dreams where everything was made out of chocolate, and you just ate your way through it all? Actually, I haven't either, but with these recipes for a complete chocolate meal, dreaming is unnecessary.

Ecstasy, thy name Is Chocolate

Too often, chocolate comes out for eating only after the meal is complete. However, most of us wouldn't mind if it gets served in the beginning, middle, and end of the meal. So without any further ado, I present four courses for a complete chocolate meal.

Course 1: Mexican chocolate soup

Like our chocolate chili recipe, this dish introduces a taste of chocolate lightly. I passed on the soup recipes resembled dessert, since we get to that later. To start, taste this flavorful soup, which gets just the right amount of kick from the tequila and jalapeno, and a feathery touch of cocoa.

Course 2: Arugula and mango salad with white chocolate vinaigrette

Again, subtle chocolate flavoring is the key to not overdoing it this early in the meal. The lightness of the shaved white chocolate goes amazingly with the tropical sweetness of the mango and the slightly nutty, earthy taste of the arugula. If you don't have, or can't find, sriracha, (which is a type of chili sauce found in the ethnic aisle of a supermarket), then use half the amount of traditional Tabasco sauce. HALF, or your meal will be over before it barely gets going.

Course 3: Braised short ribs with chocolate and rosemary

Sure, mole works as the main course, but after two courses featuring heat, I thought something without so much of a bite highlights the meal. This dish demonstrates Italian roots, with a surprise appearance by both bittersweet chocolate and cocoa. Fresh rosemary rounds out the trio, and the sauce created is just short of heaven.

Course 4: Chocolate soup with caramelized bananas

At long last, enjoy the anticipated dreamy sweetness from a chocolate recipe. This soup is far away from our first course soup on the chocolate spectrum. But there's no denying that both rely on the chocolate in their respective ingredient lists. Don't pass on the caramelized bananas, even though they're more work.

When's your next dinner party? Call up some friends and tell them the menu, and I bet plenty of people come clamoring at your door for a tasty chocolate meal.

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