Coffee Wakes Up Your Food

Consider coffee your newest extra virgin olive oil — a semi-ubiquitous flavor-enhancer that begins to show up in the ingredient lists of all your favorite recipes. While olive oil brandishes about its healthy fat profile, coffee counters with its incredibly powerful antioxidant count — even higher than that of the much lauded blueberry or broccoli!

An excellent article in the SF Gate provides unique recipes and explores the many uses of coffee in every day cooking — from broths to rubs to desserts. Among the tips collected by the author, we loved these ideas:

  • Osso Bucco fan? Try adding a shot of espresso to a basic mushroom sauce to accompany
  • It’s great for braising — try beef in a combo of stock and coffee and then add a little unsweetened cocoa powder
  • We’ve talked about a rib-eye rub and a flank steak marinade before, so we’ll definitely be adding a molasses steak sauce to the list, which combines strong black coffee, molasses, raisins and spices…once we’ve determined what those spices should be, of course :)
  • Coffee was often used to heighten the taste of chocolate in desserts, but chocolate has become so well-refined and the tastes complex, adding coffee doesn’t really make a difference. However, using white chocolate in mocha desserts is a great complement and used by a chef in place of dark chocolate, which overpowers the coffee
  • Great flavor pairings include nuts, citrus, raspberry, molasses, caramel, honey and sour cream
  • Perk up the flavor of any pot roast, stew, chili, mole sauce, baked beans or soup with a dosing of strongly brewed coffee

Do you use coffee in your cooking? Please share — we’d love to hear some of your experiences with adding coffee to your kitchen repertoire.

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