Beyond breakfast: cooking with coffee

 Coffee beans

Coffee plays an essential role in my morning routine (it's wise not to talk to me before my first cup), but coffee is also found in foods served throughout the day, adding depth to both sweet and savory recipes. Epicurious lists its top 14 recipes with coffee, noting that coffee's "roasted quality, bitterness, and acidity make it a perfect complement to sweet, bold, earthy, or nutty ingredients, ultimately yielding a taste combination that is surprisingly complex." Intriguing selections in its list include Short Ribs Braised in Coffee Ancho Chile Sauce and Affogato Mocha. Beef and coffee are a frequent pairing (Leite's Culinaria offers a Smoked Brisket with Coffee, and Serious Eats matches coffee with flank steak) but don't overlook pork and chicken offerings. I'm a big fan of ham and grits with red-eye gravy. There is no shortage of possibilities with nearly 600 main course recipes with coffee in the Eat Your Books library.

Let's not forget side dishes. Coffee adds intensity to many baked bean recipes, but I'm particularly captivated by Joanne Bruno's orzo, argula and butternut squash salad in a maple-balsamic coffee vinaigrette.

Coffee & chocolate tart

Coffee has a natural affinity with dessert (especially chocolate), as we can see in the ubiquitous tiramisu, along with a plethora of brownies, tarts, cookies and ice creams. While coffee cakes may be named such because they are meant to be paired with coffee, there are plenty of coffee cakes that are also made with coffee.

With coffee prices declining for the third straight year, it's a great time to experiment with coffee.

3 Comments

  • boardingace  on  1/29/2014 at 5:37 PM

    I was just talking to a friend earlier today about a favorite coffee dessert of mine - a simple icebox cake with chocolate wafers layered with whipped cream, and the cream is flavored with a bit of espresso powder. Delicious!!

  • Queezle_Sister  on  1/29/2014 at 7:40 PM

    Coffee is Rhode Island's state flavor. My elementary school's little cartons of flavored milk even included coffee flavor!

  • ellabee  on  1/30/2014 at 1:48 PM

    Instant coffee is an essential part of the Homesick Texan rub for pulled pork, which also includes chipotle powder. The only reason I'd ever have for buying instant...

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