One night earlier this year I was visiting my friend Kaitlyn’s apartment. It was the two-year anniversary of our departure to Spain for a semester abroad, and we were in the mood for some home-cooking. Spanish home cooking. So we devised a delicious menu. Guac and chips (ok, not really Spanish). Pollo a la plancha (aka grilled chicken). And Arroz Cubano (garlic rice with a fried egg and tomato sauce). Our meal was just missing one necessary component…dessert!
We went through the obvious Spanish desserts, and then the reasons we couldn’t make them. First there was chocolate con churros, but we didn’t have the resources, and we knew we wouldn’t have been able to do it justice. Off the list. Then we thought about flan. Two problems: We didn’t know how to make it, and Kaitlyn wasn’t a big fan of it. Ixnay. And then I got the idea that forever changed our dinner-making nights: homemade chocolate fondue. This dessert had no excuses.
Since that night, Kaitlyn and I have expanded our menu, but haven’t changed the choice of dessert. We started making it for friends, and then our friends started requesting it. And so I felt it was a recipe that should be shared, along with our favorite Spanish dinner of course. Bon Appétit!
Arroz Cubano con Huevos y Salsa de Tomate
By Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC and her host mom, Amelia
Serves 2-3 people
2 cloves garlic, chopped (use more or less, depending on your garlic tastes)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 pinches salt
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked white rice (don’t use instant or boil-in-bag rice)
1/2 cup tomato sauce, heated
Begin by preparing the rice. In a medium saucepan add the olive oil (use more if needed) and the garlic. Heat on a low flame. Keep an eye on the the pan to make sure the garlic isn’t burning. When the pan is hot enough, add the salt, rice and water. Then cover to let cook, about 8-10 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, prepare a pan to fry the eggs. (One egg per serving of rice does the trick.) Crack the egg onto the pan and let cook for a minute. Don’t scramble. Flip the egg, let cook until done. Remove and set aside. Check the rice to make sure the water has been absorbed and that the rice has a goldish color (the oil does this). Fluff gently with a fork and taste. The rice should have a garlic flavor, but not be overwhelmed by it. Pack a serving of rice into a small cup (a one-cup dry measure works perfectly!) and then flip onto a plate to serve. Top with fried egg and tomato sauce. Serve with grilled chicken, veggies, etc.
Homemade Chocolate Fondue (if you don’t own a fondue pot)
By Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC
Serves 3-4 people
1 10 oz. package of chocolate chunks*
2 tsp. butter
Double Boiler, or large pot/saucepan and pie plate that fits directly over it.
Sliced Strawberries, Apples, Bananas, and Pineapple
*I like Hershey’s Chocolate Chunks best, but you can use a 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips as well. For vegan options, use two bars of Lindt 70% Cocoa and cut into small pieces
Put chocolate in the top part of the double boiler or the pie plate. Make sure that whichever you choose to use is completely dry, as any water near the chocolate will cause it to seize and not cook correctly. Fill halfway the bottom of the double boiler, or the large saucepan with water and place over medium heat. Make sure that the bottom of the pots you will place over the hot water barely touch it. Just before the water starts to boil, place the pie plate or other half of the double boiler containing the chocolate over the water. Lower the heat slightly. Stir continuously and slowly so that the chocolate melts evenly and does not burn. Add the butter and stir. Melt completely and then serve immediately, turning off the heat and letting the chocolate sit on top of the water while eating. Dip with any berry or cake you like! (Suggestions above!)
Variations: Try using white chocolate, dark chocolate or a mix for a different flavor.
Have ideas for snacks you can dip in chocolate fondue? Share your comments here!