Sunday, April 5, 2020

Cacao Nib Encrusted Salmon with White Chocolate Sauce, #giveaway from Dorothy St. James

We're so pleased to have our friend and popular author Dorothy St. James back again as today's guest. And, she's brought chocolate!

On the Sea Islands in the South there’s a legend of the Gray Lady, a ghostly figure who walks the shores of the beach before a hurricane hits warning those who encounter her of doom. Joe Davies, a local treasure hunter with an unquenchable sweet tooth, claims to have seen her walking toward him and is terrified for his life.

After the storm passes everyone returns to survey the damage. As Penn walks her little dog Stella on the beach, she finds Joe Davies' body washed up onshore. Did the Gray Lady claim another victim? Many on the island believe that is exactly what happened. Penn says murder. Penn and Stella follow hints of lost gold to discover the truth in a mystery as twisty as the boating channels winding their way through the local marshes.
She also takes time to cook up fun new chocolate recipes for her chocolate shop, in her latest adventure, Bonbon with the Wind.
One of the fun challenges I made for myself when writing the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series is to always include one savory chocolate recipe at the back of the books. Here in the United States, we often forget that chocolate is much more than a dessert. The rich cacao bean can be used in many recipes.
Let me tell you, this recipe turned out amazing. Even my picky 6 year-old enjoyed it. After eating it, I felt like we’d just had dinner at a fancy restaurant. Bliss! That reminds me, I need to buy some more ingredients so I make this one again this week.

It helps to gather up all the ingredients before starting. (I also learned the hard way that I cook better if I put on my reading glasses.)
Start with the sauce. Whisk together the butter and the flour. I’m using a general purpose gluten free flour, because I have gluten intolerant family members.
After the sauce has cooked, take off the heat and stir in the white chocolate (make sure it’s made with cocoa butter) and lemon juice. If it’s too thick, thin the sauce with the vegetable stock.
I purchase my cocoa butter from my local chocolatier. You can also purchase it online if you’re having trouble finding some at the local supermarket. Cocoa butter melts nicely in the microwave. I microwave at 50% power for about 2 minutes and then stir until smooth and completely melted.
I wish I had smell-o-vision. Frying the salmon in the cocoa butter releases a delightful tropical aroma. The cocoa nibs are provide a bitter contrast to the sweetness of the cocoa butter and the white chocolate sauce.
Serve with rice and broccoli for a fun twist on a weeknight fish dinner.

For the Sauce
3 T Butter
3 t All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
6 t Fresh Lemon Juice (unsweetened)
1 oz White Chocolate (not too sweet)

For the Salmon
6 T Cocoa Butter (cooking grade)
5 T Cacao Nibs (ground in pepper grinder or in food processor)
2 lbs Filet of Salmon cut into 4-5oz portions

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, whisk in the flour. Mix until smooth. Add fish broth, stirring constantly to cook the flour. Let the sauce cook on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add lemon juice, white chocolate, and salt to taste.

Spread 3 tablespoons of melted cocoa butter on salmon skin. Press ground cacao nibs into salmon. Sprinkle with salt. Flip over and repeat. Heat remaining cocoa butter in a pan over medium heat. Fry fish for about 5 minutes per side until it has browned.

Serve with rice, sauce, and cooked leeks, asparagus, or broccoli.

Have you ever tried savory chocolate dishes? Do you have any favorites? I’d love to hear about them.

** Giveaway: I’ll be giving away a signed paperback copy of Bonbon with the Wind (US only) to one commenter. **  Be sure to leave a comment along with your email contact before Monday 6 PM ET.

Also, be sure to look for more delicious recipes and a deadly mystery on everyone’s favorite sea island, Camellia Beach in Bonbon With the Wind, the latest Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery.

Dorothy St. James is the author of the White House Gardener mysteries. For the past twenty years she made her home on Folly Beach, an artsy island community in South Carolina with her sculptor husband. Dorothy is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). This is her fourth Southern Chocolate Shop mystery.

Follow Dorothy Online:

Bonbon with the Wind Purchase Links:
Google Store:


  1. I really want to read it soon! It sounds so interesting and fun to read. No I haven't made a savory chocolate recipe yet. Yours sounds and looks delicious. I'm going to try it soon. Thank you for the chance Bon Bon with the wind has a amazing cover!

  2. In the southeast there is chocolate gravy which my family called cocoa. It is the closest to savory chocolate I have tried.

  3. I’ve had mole’ sauce which is a staple in Mexican cooking. Your book sounds fun!

  4. My cousin makes the best chicken mole. I've not attempted to make it yet. Martha Stewart has a chicken mole recipe , I want to try. I love the title of your book. Bakingcookies32(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. I've never experienced eating a savory chocolate dish. However, this recipe for salmon sounds so delicious that I'm going to try to find the ingredients and make it. Hubby and I love salmon/fish dishes so this would be a perfect dish to break us in with.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of "Bonbon with the Wind"! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  6. Not entering- I already bought the book- but it's a great series if anyone hasn't read it yet!

  7. A savoury chocolate treat sounds wonderful. The salmon looks delectable and salmon is my favorite fish which we eat weekly. What a yummy preparation. Thanks for your recipe and lovely book feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. I am not a fish eater, but my husband sure is. He is also a chocolaholic. Thank you for the recipe. I know he will love this.
    quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net

  9. I love salmon, but have never tried a chocolate sauce on it. Sounds & looks so good.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  10. I've made chocolate cookie recipes and pie recipes. Thanks for your great generosity.

  11. This looks really yummy! I live near Chocolate Town USA. Hotel Hershey serves all sorts of chocolate savory & sweet recipes. Chocolate Heaven!
    Stacieamelotte (at) yahoo (dot) com

  12. Great series! Love reading books set in the South. Looking forward to reading "BonBon With The Wind ".

  13. I haven’t read this series but I did enjoy the gardener one. suefoster109 at gmail dot com

  14. I have not had any savory chocolate recipes before. I don't really eat much chocolate. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  15. Your recipe sounds great and so does the book! Off the top of my head I've used chocolate in Chicken Mole, Chili, & Cocoa-rubbed Ribs (like Jamaican Jerk Pork). lola777_22 at hotmail dot com

  16. I have tried chocolate gravy. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  17. I like chicken mole.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  18. I find the Mexican recipes that use chocolate are very tasty. Dorothy's cover sells this book immediately. My fingers are crossed. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  19. Nope, I haven't, but I love chocolate candy with nuts! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  20. Not sure about this recipe

  21. The only things that come to mind that I have had as savory dishes including chocolate would be Mole sauce and chili.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  22. We always add dark (the darker the better) chocolate to chili. It adds so much depth and richness. Thank you for the opportunity to win. Please stay safe and well. madamhawk at gmail dot com