2016 Recipes

Cocoa Nibby Asparagus, from Deborah

Nibby Asparagus with Prosciutto

  • 1 - 1 1/2 lbs asparagus
  • 2 T fruity extra virgin olive oil
  • 2T roasted cocoa nibs, lightly crushed with a rolling pin
  • 2 - 3 thin slices prosciutto, trimmed of excess fat and sliced into long slender shreds (I cooked and crumbled the prosciutto)
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Snap the wood ends from the asparagus, rinse and peel the stems if you like. Cook the asparagus in boiling water just until barely tender and still bright green, 3 - 5 mins. (I steamed and lightly salted the asparagus instead of boiling it)
Meanwhile in a very small saucepan, warm the oil and crushed cocoa nibs over the lowest heat for 2 - 3 minutes to infuse the oil with the nibs' flavor; do not simmer.
When the asparagus is ready, drain and spread out on layers of paper towels; let stand for a minute to evaporate the excess moisture. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and toss with the crushed nibs, warm oil and prosciutto shreds. Serve hot or warm.

Chocolate Coma, Patti

“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare...neither knew chocolate.” --Sandra Boynton

• Chocolate *did* reach Spain in 1528.
• It was introduced by Queen Anne of Austria (daughter of the Spanish king) to the French court in the early 1600s
• Shakespeare ~1564-1616.
• Robert May (of 4 and 20 blackbirds fame) returned to England from training in France about 1600 and became a chef for the minor nobility.
• In an alternate universe, Robert May serves his orange lamb dish with the addition of cacao, thereby inspiring Shakespeare to rewrite the end of Romeo and Juliet:
Romeo learns of Juliet's apparent death and buys chocolate to console himself on the way to the Capulet crypt. He encounters Paris who confronts him and Romeo shares some of the chocolate. Juliet then awakens and, finding Romeo and Paris drinking chocolate without her, threatens to stab herself if they don’t share the chocolate.  As the three then do share the chocolate, the feuding families and the Prince arrive. The families are reconciled as Romeo announces there is more chocolate for all if they’ll agree to end their violent feud. The play ends with the Prince's ode to the lovers:

"For never was a story owed more to cacao

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."

This is based on Robert May's orange lamb dish from Shakespearean times.  I added cocoa to it. 


  • 6 T butter
  • 5 med. Onions
  • 1.5 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Nutmeg, salt, cocoa, parsley (to taste)
  • 1/4 c. ground dried mushrooms
  • 1 deboned leg of lamb (I cut it into cubes)
  • fresh oranges, segmented


Slice onions
Melt butter and add onions, cover and cook till soft
Add other ingredients
Put lamb in above marinade and rest several hours or overnights for a long time at low temperature. I did 12 hours at 130 degrees.
Next morning, remove juices, strain off fat and cook down sauce, leaving lamb in oven till ready to serve.
To serve use toothpick to pick up orange segment and then lamb cube and dip into sauce.

Anise-y and Chocopatra, Mike P.

Chocolate anise biscotti


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup Scharffen Berger unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon anise extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Guittard Choc Au Lait Chips
  • If you're dipping them:
  • 1/2 cup Guittard Semisweet Chocolate Chips


In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in cocoa and baking powder. Beat for 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in anise extract. Stir in flour by hand. Stir in white chocolate and chocolate chips. Cover dough, and chill in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Divide dough into two parts, and roll each part into a 9 inch long log. Place logs on lightly greased cookie sheet, about 4 inches apart. Flatten slightly. (I made them narrower and curved them for the snake shape. I shaped the snake head and propped it on an inverted ramekin for baking.)

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for 15 minutes. Slice into 1/2 inch wide slices BUT LEAVE THEM IN PLACE. Cool another 45 minutes before separating slices. (If you wait longer before slicing, they will harden and break as you cut them. If you move them when they are soft enough to slice, they will fall apart.)
Place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 325 for 9 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool completely.

If you want to dip them in chocolate, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Using medium/50% power, start with a minute. Stir to see if they are starting to melt. Continue microwaving 10-15 seconds at a time, until they are just melted, stirring to get rid of any lumps. Dip the biscotti in the chocolate, then let cool until the chocolate is no longer tacky. Store in an airtight container to maintain crispness.