Spice up your cooking with coffee

Author: Ben   Date Posted:10 July 2012 

When we think of coffee as a flavouring ingredient in foods, we usually think of using it in desserts like coffee ice cream, but not as a spice.

If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll love learning how to spice up your cooking with coffee, so get out your Lavazza coffee pods/ coffee capsules and coffee machine and get started.
As all of us who love coffee know, the flavour of a rich coffee blend like Lavazza is what makes it the world’s most popular beverage. That same rich flavour can be put to use in recipes, but the trick is to not let it overwhelm the flavour of the dish’s main ingredients.
Beef is an ideal meat to spice up with coffee. One of the easiest recipes to begin with is the humble hamburger. You will have to sacrifice one or two of your Lavazza coffee pods to do it, because the finely ground coffee in a coffee pod is perfect for using as a spice, adding flavour and texture without the grit of a coarse ground coffee. Here’s how to make a coffee rub that will transform the “humble” burger into a gourmet delight:

  • Start with one Lavazza coffee pod/ Lavazza coffee capsule
  • Add a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar
  • Add another two teaspoons of freshly ground pepper
  • Toss in half a teaspoon each of coriander, oregano and salt (sea salt is best)

Mix all these ingredients thoroughly together and set aside while you make your hamburger patties. When you’re ready to cook, sprinkle about a teaspoon of your rub on one side of each burger and cook the rubbed side first. After turning, top with a slice of your favourite smoked cheese.
Another way to use coffee when cooking is to use brewed coffee in a sauce or marinade. Most BBQ sauces can be improved with coffee, but for a guaranteed hit, try this brown sugar and molasses BBQ sauce from Epicurious. Start by making a cup of espresso with your Lavazza coffee machine, then set it aside while you mix the other ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped white onions
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chile
  • 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons mild-flavoured (light) molasses
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with puree
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup freshly brewed strong coffee (what could be stronger or fresher than Lavazza?)

Heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat in a large heavy saucepan. Add your onions, garlic and jalapeño chillies; and sauté until the onions are tender. Now add the brown sugar, chilli powder, molasses, cilantro, and cumin. Stir until sugar dissolves. Next, stir in the crushed tomatoes, broth, and coffee.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens slightly (down to about 4 cups), stirring frequently. This should take about half an hour. When it’s done, add salt and pepper to taste.
These two coffee recipes will get you started, but this is only the beginning. Look for more ways to use your Lavazza coffee pods and coffee machine for cooking in upcoming Bluepod blogs – and if you have any you want to share with us, please do!

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