Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cook the Books: Chalie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

 
Yes, that's right, yet another cooking project has hit my culinary radar. This one, Cook the Books, is a bimonthly foodie book club "marrying the pleasures of reading and cooking." Okay. I'm in.

The assignment for March 2012 was Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Funny thing - I cooked and served an all-chocolate picnic dinner when two of our best friends played Oompa Loompas in a local theatre production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." I figured I would share that menu and recipes for this month. I got creative with the chocolate, using it in everything from the soup to the grill.

We started with a Roasted Parsnip-White Chocolate Soup.
(click the name of the recipe)

Next to the soups, I offered Chocolate Crostini...

Toast a slice of bread (I used ciabatta) till it's crisp. Let cool. Then spread a layer of nutella or melted dark chocolate on the crisp. Top with sliced pears and crumbled gorgonzola.

My Chocolate-Balsamic Vinegar Glaze pulled double duty.
I used this recipe to glaze some roasted chicken that we ate cold. And we used it as a salad dressing as well.

That was all I cooked for our 'picnic with the oompa loompas'. For dessert, I served different kinds of chocolate bars, mostly from Vosges Haut Chocolat. All were unique...just the kind of imaginative combinations that Wonka might have enjoyed.


Anything made by Vosges will be Wonka-esque...the "Enchanted Mushroom" bar paired dried reishi mushrooms and walnuts in dark chocolate. The "Woolloomooloo" features macadamia nuts, coconut, and hemp seeds in milk chocolate. And, my personal favorite: the "Black Pearl" contains ginger, wasabi, and black sesame seeds.

Book Review: I pulled the book off my boys' bookshelf tonight and, while they were doing homework and dinner was in the oven, breezed through most of the book. Dylan said, "Mommy, you read soooooo fast." Well, I'm really skimming. I've read this before. Riley was not as impressed and simply concluded, "Dylan, of course she reads fast, she's had lots and lots of years of practice." Did you just call me 'old.'? "Mom, you are old." Thanks.

There are several things I like about this book. Though the plight of the Bucket grandparents is depressing - all four confined to a single bed that they never leave - I like that they all live together. Extended family, if you have that luxury, adds so much to kids' lives.

I like the message of the story - you get what you deserve. For instance that little brat Veruca Salt demanding, "I want an oompa loompa right now!" She was definitely worthy of being deemed a bad nut by the nut-police. Or the impetuous Violet Beauregarde who chewed and blew herself into a bubble. Maybe you shouldn't grab things without asking.

Be respectful. Be polite. These are all good reminders for our children...and sometimes for us. I am looking forward the next Cook the Books pick.

*Update, 4/2/2012: I didn't realize this was a competition...until I got the email this morning that read, "Congrats! You won!" Thanks, Deb, and thanks, judges.*

5 comments:

  1. Such a fabulous chocolate inspired dinner. The soup is especially intriguing.

    Thanks for joining in this round of CTB and sharing your dinner menu. Hope you found it fun to reread a childhood classic.

    Aloha,

    Deb

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  2. OMG! You got so creative. I felt like I was watching Chopped or Iron Chef! :) "And the secret is white chocolate!" Really great post.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness Camilla, that dinner sounds fabulous. So creatively delicious.

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  3. An excellent and creative post. Well done!

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  4. Congratulations! Thank you for joining Cook the Books and hopefully this will be the first of many wins.

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