I'm Cuckoo for Cocoa


I think chocolate should be worked into meals other than dessert, n’est-ce pas?


I could especially use more chocolate tonight, because I just got home from therapy. Other people who go to therapy: you know how sometimes it’s really helpful, and sometimes it’s like you’re paying money to talk to a friend and you wonder why you bother, and sometimes talking about your problems is just kinda depressing and you leave feeling kinda crappy?

Yeah, that last one. Ergo: chocolate.

(For those of you not in therapy, you probably should be. I mean, really. Get your acts together.)


So I decided to take cocoa and give some good ol’ red meat a rubdown. I added in some pasilla chile, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, garlic, oregano and salt. When I tasted it, I realized it needed something to take some of the bitter edge off the cocoa powder, so I whisked in a little light brown sugar. I’m all for having a bitter edge, just not as part of my dinner.


Two strip steaks got a spicy patdown and got left to sit for a little while while I took a short nap. Hooray for marinating!

Sometimes, I think I’d like to trade therapy for a good nap. It’s cheaper and more refreshing. I don’t know if that means I over-value naps, or under-value therapy.


I heated a cast iron skillet to the smoke point and threw in my steaks; because of the sugar in the dry rub, they were quick to caramelize and get nice and brown.

Kinda like me: crusty and filled with saturated fats.


A wonderfully charred exterior, a perfectly pink interior, and a rich-tasting spice rub with just a hint of heat: this was a good steak. I think the rub would also be great on a pork loin or shoulder.

Of course, thanks to therapy, I still had to eat a bar of Green & Black’s milk chocolate with toffee, but that doesn’t indicate a shortcoming in this dinner.

Cocoa-Chile Rub
2 tsp. pasilla chile powder
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

7 thoughts on “I'm Cuckoo for Cocoa

  1. H’mmm. And if you did that on a pork shoulder roast, and then braised it in strong coffee diluted with stock…..

    Pondering that for the weekend.

  2. dang, too bad bran gets a migraine from chocolate. i’ll put the rest of the rub together though. looks delicious.

    therapy is a double edged sword. i’d never say i had a “good session” i’d say i had a “productive session” for which bran would say “i’m so sorry” and make me supper.

  3. kay, are you also pondering inviting me over for dinner?

    naomi, a migraine from chocolate? the horror!

    lora, yeah, it totally worked.

    crystal, thanks! it certainly did produce a good-looking piece of meat.

  4. I’ve had steak with a rub similar to this although instead of cocoa, it used finely ground coffee. It totally rocked, and I bet this one does too! – S

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