October 16, 2017

Cooking with coffee: A drink and a versatile ingredient

For many people, a hot cup of coffee is an essential morning ritual. If you love the taste and aroma of your daily joe, you should try incorporating your favorite beverage and the grounds into recipes. Austin culinary arts students will find these ingredients are surprisingly versatile, adding a new dimension to a variety of beloved entrees and desserts.

Try these recipes that incorporate coffee, and then explore your own ideas:

Prepare an eye-opening marinade

"A strong cup of coffee can make an excellent addition to a marinade."

A strong cup of coffee can make an excellent addition to a marinade, as in a recipe provided by Alton Brown. Once the drink has cooled, pour it into a plastic zipper bag with molasses, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, minced garlic, ground ginger and fresh thyme. Add four bone-in pork chops, seal the bag and shake to combine the ingredients.

Refrigerate the meat as it marinates for at least two hours. Then, take the chops out of the bag and pour the marinade into a saucepan. Place on medium-high heat and boil until the mixture reduces to about half a cup.

Grill the pork chops on medium-high heat for about four minutes on either side. Remove the stems from the molasses-and-coffee glaze before serving with the meat.

Mix a tasty dry rub

You can also use your coffee grounds to flavor meat. The Food Network suggested applying a rub to New York strip steaks. Before you get started, make sure the grounds are fully dried out by spreading them out on a baking sheet and placing in an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes.

Let the grounds cool before placing two tablespoons in a spice grinder with one tablespoon of black peppercorns. Grind until you have coarse peppers. Use paper towel to dry off the steaks before sprinkling on the rub along with plenty of salt. Work the seasoning into the meat with your hands.

Set a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat, adding vegetable oil. Cook the steaks for about four minutes on either side, watching for a crust to form.

Bring excitement to eggs

Epicurious gave directions for using coffee in a mole to top off fried eggs. Prepare the mole by pouring three-quarters of a strong cup of joe in a blender with stewed tomatoes, onion, garlic, vegetable oil and canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. Puree until smooth.

Place in a skillet and simmer for about 10 minutes while you fry your eggs. When the mixture thickens, stir in a teaspoon of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and salt. Then, remove from heat and serve the eggs with the mole poured on top.

Coffee can make an excellent addition to desserts, including cake.Coffee is an excellent addition to desserts, including cake.

Add depth to chocolate cake

Perhaps the best use for coffee flavor in your recipes is making rich desserts. A malted chocolate cake from Bon Appetit takes full advantage of the delicious possibilities, beginning with whisking together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a separate bowl, combine two eggs, an additional yolk, granulated sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract and coffee.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry gradually, using a spatula to stir. Then, move the batter into a loaf pan coated with nonstick spray and lined with parchment paper, smoothing out the surface. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes.

Mix another quarter cup of coffee with brown and granulated sugars. When the cake cools, place on a wire rack and brush on the coffee mixture.

Prepare a glaze by bringing heavy cream, malted milk powder and salt to a simmer in a saucepan. Pour in a mixture of bittersweet chocolate and vanilla extract and allow to rest for five minutes. Carefully stir with a spatula, and then pour the glaze onto the cake. Allow half an hour before serving.