WEEK NINE CHALLENGE: COFFEE

Coffee – it’s not just for breakfast anymore – it’s for **DOUBLE POINTS WEEK**as well. And thanks to the stimulatory effect of its main chemical – caffeine – coffee can also be found as a common accompaniment at many other daily meals.  According to the National Coffee Association, 54% of American adults drink coffee every day and 25% drink it occasionally.  As high as this number may seem, in terms of per capita consumption America ranks only 23rd in the world (Finland is #1 with 12kg per person).  Unfortunately, the statistics are unclear as to how many American adults cook with coffee, but it’s clear that not enough people do.  The rich and robust flavors of coffee are as excellent in savory dishes as they are in ice creams and tiramisu.  Hopefully we can give you a couple of ideas to build off of in order to add coffee to your cooking repertoire.  Which one of these dishes is going to be keeping you up all night: the Chipotle-Espresso Braised Short Ribs with Jalapeno-Cheddar Grits and Red Eye Gravy or the Kona Coffee Crusted Rack of Lamb with Sweet Fig Mustard and Kona Coffee Jus

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Chipotle-Espresso Braised Short Ribs with Jalapeno-Cheddar Grits and Red Eye Gravy

Until about a decade ago, beef short ribs were one of the most overlooked cuts of beef and could be bought for pennies on the dollar compared to their pork rib counterparts.  The explosion of the use of this great cut in high-end restaurants has unfortunately pushed up the price for the average consumer, but they still remain a great value and great tasting cut that usually has a better meat-to-bone ratio than pork ribs.  They tend to be a tougher (but more flavorful) cut of meat, which makes them a great cut for braising.

Coffee shows up three separate times in this dish – first in the dry rub, second in the braise, and third in the red-eye gravy.  Like when you’re cooking with red wine, it’s really important to start with a good quality coffee because the taste is going to permeate through the meal.  The spice of the chipotle and jalapeno play well with the pungency of the coffee flavors and the creamy and cheesy grits are fantastic when paired with the fall-off-the-bone tender short ribs.  If you’re worried about all that coffee keeping you up all night, pair your meal with a coffee porter – it will both complement the flavors of the dish and temper the stimulant quality of the caffeine.

When we say "deglaze" this is the nice browned stuff you want to get off the bottom of the pot - it's got great flavor!

Espresso-Chipotle Short Ribs and Red Eye Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons fine ground espresso
  • 2 tablespoons pulverized chipotle (8 dried chipotles in a spice grinder)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 lbs beef short ribs
  • 3/4 cup coffee porter
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee (I used French Roast)
  1. Mix first five ingredients together in large freezer bag.  Add short ribs and toss to cover.  Seal bag and place in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 and heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat in dutch oven.
  3. Remove ribs from bag.  Brush off any excess dry rub.  Sear in dutch oven for three minutes on each side and remove to a plate.
  4. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic to dutch oven.  Saute until soft, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Deglaze with coffee porter.  Allow to reduce by half.  Add chicken stock.
  6. Replace short ribs to dutch oven and bring to a boil.
  7. Put on lid and place in oven.  Cook for 2 to 2.5 hours.
  8. Remove from oven.  Remove short ribs.  Strain braising liquids into medium saucepan.  Add 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee.  Reduce by half or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

If you have an electric cooktop, you can just char your jalapenos right on the oven and clean off any residue with a wet towel when it's cooled a little bit.

Jalapeno-Cheddar Grits

  • 1 cup stone ground yellow corn grits
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup shreddede cheddar cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, skin charred and removed, minced
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Bring water to boil in large pot.  Slowly add grits while stirring.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes or until grits are smooth.  Add salt to taste.
  2. Add cheddar cheese, cream cheese, butter and jalapeno.  Stir to combine and melt cheeses.
Kona Coffee Crusted Rack of Lamb with Sweet Fig Mustard and Kona Coffee Jus

Traditionally, rack of lamb is served with an herb mustard crust. the herbs and mustard add bold flavors to match the bold gamey flavors of the lamb. this modern twist adds and aromatic flair and another layer of flavor that really packs a punch but still touches on the traditional flavors that highlight the fatty goodness of lamb.

The lamb is perfectly cooked to a beautiful medium rare with a golden crust of freshly ground Kona coffee along with thyme and rosemary and paired with a sweet fig honey mustard. And to top it all off, it is drizzled with a delicious Kona Coffee, wine, and stock reduction that really ties all of the components together.

Rustic roasted garlic new Potato Mash

  • 1 lb. new potatoes
  • 4-5 cloves of roasted garlic. Refer to week 4’s pan frying challenge for roasted garlic recipe.
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  •  2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Slice potatoes in half and boil until tender. meanwhile, warm heavy cream and butter in sauce pan until melted and heated through. Do not boil.
  2. Combine potatoes, cream, butter, and roasted garlic and smash until combined. season with salt and pepper to taste.

Kona Coffee Crusted Lamb

  • 1 rack of lamb, Frenched
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
  • 2 tablespoons ground Kona Coffee
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 2-3 large carrots chopped
  • 2-3 gloves garlic

Kona Coffee Jus

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and additional 1/2 tablespoon set aside
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups lamb stock or beef stock
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 small sprig of rosemary
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Season rack of lamb evenly with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary and ground Kona coffee.
  3. Sear the lamb in extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oil in a roasting pan until golden brown, fat side down first, about 4 minutes total. (the olive oil adds flavor while the vegetable oil helps to raise the smoke point of the oil so it doesn’t burn) Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes
  4. Place rack of lamb in a roasting pan with a bed of onions, carrots and garlic and into the oven. Cook until medium-rare about 15 to 20 minutes. Once out of the oven remove lamb from pan and set aside on a plate to rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the Kona coffee jus. Heat a saucepan on med heat. add butter and melt. add shallots, garlic, and coffee beans. saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes
  6. Deglaze with red wine, broth, and pan drippings, including vegetables. Add a sprig of thyme and rosemary. Simmer until reduced by more than half. Strain sauce and return to saucepan. add just a pat of butter to help finish sauce.
  7. Plate the rustic roasted garlic new potato mash, slices of lamb, and asparagus. Serve with sweet fig mustard and drizzle Kona Coffee Jus over plate and serve!

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