Cooking with coffee is that even a thing? We can definitely let you in on a little secret, it is!
Don’t just limit quality coffee to your morning brew because it can provide a real flavour lift for your food too in all manner of dishes including marinades, sauces, rubs and loads more…
The handy thing is when you’ve brewed up there’s always a little left over coffee either in the pot or in the form of coffee grounds to cook with. You can avoid wasting them by incorporating them into your food, which not only makes sounds environmental and financial sense it also has the potential to bring out a little creativity in your cookery too.
Coffee adds a subtle depth of flavour to all manner of dishes and one of the easiest to get you going is to infuse oil with coffee grounds.
Cooking with coffee grounds
Coffee infused olive oil is just the thing for adding to your meal time routine. It’s the perfect for using in your red meat marinades, helping to tenderise whatever you are cooking and delivering a subtly delicious bitter sweet taste… try adding it to your meatball sauce and you’ll see what we mean.
Coffee infused olive oil also makes an ideal all-purpose BBQ marinade, really lifting those run of the mill boring BBQ sauces, bringing a depth of flavour to your grilled chicken that will really surprise you. Or you can simply drizzle a little on your salad, try it as a drizzle with an aubergine, tomato, red onion and chickpea salad or simply some fresh leaves served with walnuts and blue cheese.
Simply add the coffee grounds to a neutral oil like sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil and here’s how to do it.
Heating coffee grounds in oil is a really quick way of infusing oil and not only that because you’ve gently heated the oil and the coffee grounds you get a much more intense flavour profile too.
How to infuse oil with coffee grounds
- Place the coffee grounds into a clean sterilised glass jar
- Cover the grounds in oil and place the lid on loosely.
- Add water to an old pan to about 1/3 full. Make sure that when you put the jar in the pan the water covers the sides of the jar but can’t come into contact with the oil inside.
- Place the pan on your hob and turn to a low heat. The water should steam but should not simmer or boil as to avoid heating the oil too much and also cracking the jar.
- Allow the jar to gently warm through for around three to four hours, making sure the water doesn’t evaporate.
- After the allotted time remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature and the strain using a cheese cloth and place in a sterile glass jar ready four use.
How to cook with coffee grounds
But that’s not all you can use freshly brewed coffee in sauces like bolognaise or as a rub or marinade for beef or lamb (the coffee helps the enzymes in the meat relax and tenderise prior to cooking). Why not do a different take on chilli con carne using half a litre of brewed coffee instead of the normal stock?
Add a bit of oomph to your desserts by adding finely ground espresso coffee to your brownie mixture to really lift the flavour and make the chocolate really shine or make the ultimate loaf cake with coffee.
You could even freshen up your breakfast smoothie by using some homemade cold brew coffee, salted caramel sauce with a banana or two and blitz.
Whatever you decide to cook just get creative in the kitchen with coffee you’ll be really surprised what a useful ingredient it is.