A lot of people can’t live without coffee, and I’m one of them. It’s one of the first things that pops into my head in the morning, and it’s a late afternoon friend when I need a pick-me-up. That’s why it’s not a stretch for me to consider how I could use my favourite brew in coffee recipes.
I rely on a single serve coffee maker for my morning coffee fix, and although I used to visit a coffee shop when it was time to get a shot of espresso later on in the day, I’ve since picked up an Breville Espresso machine and have been making the most amazing coffee drinks at home. Gingerbread and eggnog lattes, Americanos, and a nice cappuccino are easy to do when you have your own espresso machine, and you can also brew a few shots just to have around and keep cold in case you want to use them in coffee recipes.
Using coffee in cooking and baking isn’t something everyone does, but you’d be amazed at what that one ingredient can add to your main or baked dish. Here are a few coffee recipes you can try, so you can have your drink and eat it too.
Coffee Beef Stew
From SheKnows.com, this coffee beef stew uses 5 tablespoons of espresso and 5 tablespoons of white wine to create a very flavourful stew. I recommend serving it in a sour dough bread bowl. Photo from the foodnetwork.com.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 pounds lean stew beef, cut into cubes
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 green bell peppers, halved, seeded, thickly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons dry white wine
5 tablespoons espresso
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides. Remove meat and keep warm.
2. Reduce heat to low and add onions, garlic and peppers and cook over low heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring continually, for 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually stir in wine and coffee.
3. Increase heat to medium and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Return the meat to the pan, season with salt and pepper to taste, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, two bay leaves, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 1 hour or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves and serve hot.
Grilled Filet Mignon with Chocolate Coffee BBQ Sauce
Filet Mignon sounds fancy, but it’s just a name for a different cut of steak. What is fancy about this recipe is the addition of a chocolate coffee BBQ sauce. You’d think it would be a strange combo, but I’ve tried it and it’s got a peppy taste. Photo and recipe from the foodnetwork.com.
4 (6-ounce) filet mignon steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small or 1/2 large onion, small dice
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika or regular sweet paprika
1 cup plain tomato sauce
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup brewed coffee, dark roast
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Preheat the grill to medium heat.
Bring the steaks to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Rub the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cocoa and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and brown sugar and cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in the coffee, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses and mustard. Simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is reduced and the sauce has thickened, about 25 minutes.
You may transfer to a blender and process until smooth or leave it natural. Will keep, tightly covered, in refrigerator for up to1 month.
Grill the steaks over medium heat until desired done-ness. Arrange on serving plates and serve with BBQ sauce either on top or on the side.
Fudgey Coffee Brownies
You can’t go wrong when it comes to pairing chocolate and coffee. This brownie recipe uses espresso powder, but I’d switch that up for a double shot of brewed espresso and just increase your flour by 1/4 of a cup. Recipe and photo from epicurious.com.
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
Melt butter and chocolate with espresso powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Whisk in sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time until mixture is glossy and smooth.
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, and salt, then whisk into chocolate mixture.
Spread batter in pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with crumbs adhering, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.
Although adding coffee to your recipes won’t give you the same mental clarity and antioxidant boost as drinking a cup of java, it’s an interesting and fun ingredient to experiment with when you’re cooking or baking. And because tis the season, I highly recommend leaving a plate of the Fudge Coffee Brownies for Santa when he pays your home a visit. Paired with a nice cup of steaming hot coffee in a thermos, it will give him a pick me up right when he needs it.
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