Like it or not, it's best to simply embrace that chocolate must play a key role in any Valentine's Day dinner. But a chocolate tart or truffles or bonbons or even chocolate-dipped strawberries are so ... cliché. Maybe think a little outside the chocolate box this year. Maybe slip the chocolate in as a savory component to a steak dinner so rich and so delicious, you'll be tempted to abandon silverware as you eat it.
And you can. Though mole dishes such as this beef version often are served over rice, I've instead paired it with a warmed, butter-drenched baguette. Because torn hunks of crusty bread are perfect for sopping up the delicious sauce the beef tips are cooked in.
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• J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets @JM_ Hirsch. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.