There is nothing like a great cup of coffee in the morning, except maybe that cup in the mid-afternoon or perhaps that cup of decaf with dessert. Does this sound like you? Then you are a coffee junkie, too always on lookout for that next perfect cup. Coffee comes in many varieties and quality levels, but in essence, every cup consists of only two ingredients coffee beans and water and you cant skimp on either if you want to brew a great cup.For amazing coffee, start with the best beans. It doesnt matter if you like single origin, blends, flavors, light or dark; choose a local roaster that uses only Grade 1 Arabica beans. No two varieties have the same characteristics, so a quality-minded roaster roasts each variety individually in small batches.Coffee beans begin to lose character in storage, robbing you of a lively cup with those nice creamy bubbles, but with all the area roasters, theres no reason to use old coffee. Buy fresh beans at least once a week from a reliable source and store them in an airtight container. Refrigeration is not recommended.For ideal extraction, your coffee must be ground to consistently even particles at a size specific to your filtration system. A commercial burr grinder is the best tool to get this done. If you want to grind at home, invest in a good burr grinder avoid grinders with rotating blades.If you dont like the water from your tap, dont make coffee with it youll have better luck with filtered or bottled water. Always start with cold water and use a coffee maker that heats the water to a very high temperature. Never leave coffee on the burner over 30 minutes; use an air pot to keep coffee hot for longer periods of time.Ward off bitter and off flavors by cleaning your carafe and filter funnel regularly, soaking and scrubbing with a brush as needed. Paper filters are excellent, as are Gold filters and French press, but take the time to clean them well after every single use.Coffee isnt just for brewing. Here are some fun savory and sweet recipes for the coffee lover. Buon Appetito Salte! Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty FoodsChef Michael Angelo (Mick) Rosacci and family own and operate Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods and Tony Rosaccis Fine Catering in Littleton and Centennial. More recipes at http://www.TonysMarket.com.Coffee Crusted SteakBoasting a rustic, smoky flavor and a Southwestern twist.bacon wrapped filet mignons, 11⁄4-11⁄2 inches thick2 tsp. salt2 tsp. pepper1⁄4 tsp. granulated garlic1⁄4 tsp. granulated onion1⁄2 tsp. oregano1 tsp. cinnamon sugar1 tsp. crushed red pepperolive oilfresh coffee, medium grindLight grill and allow steaks to rest at room temperature. Combine salt, pepper, garlic, onion, oregano, sugar and crushed red pepper dont hesitate to add/omit/replace seasonings to taste.Rub steaks generously with olive oil, and then sprinkle generously with seasonings. Spill ground coffee onto a plate and roll steaks in coffee grinds, gathering a light to medium coating on all sides.Mist grid with oil and immediately add steaks grill for 3 minutes, reposition and grill 3 minutes longer. Turn steaks over and reduce grill to medium heat. Continue to cook until steaks are to your liking suggested rare to medium rare. Remove from grill and rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Chef MickTiramisu3 large eggs1⁄2 cup sugar1 cup espresso or strong coffee2 TBS Cognac or brandy8 ounces Mascarpone1⁄8 cup cocoa20 ladyfingers, toastedCombine three egg yolks, 1 tablespoon espresso, sugar, and cognac in a large bowl. Beat 2-3 minutes. Add mascarpone and beat 3-5 minutes or until smooth.In another bowl, combine 3 egg whites and a pinch of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into mascarpone mixture.Dip one side of each ladyfinger into remaining espresso and layer in the bottom and sides of a serving dish. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture and sprinkle with cocoa. Layer ladyfingers, more mascarpone and finally a sprinkle of cocoa. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.Coffee Crme Brle4 egg yolks 1 cup sugar, divided 11⁄2 cups heavy cream 1 TBS instant coffee 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extractPreheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat egg yolks and 6 TBS sugar with a whisk for approximately 1 minute, or until smooth. Reserve. In a second bowl, whisk together coffee and 1⁄4 cup cream until smooth, then add remaining cream and whisk until well blended. Add coffee cream mixture and vanilla to egg yolks and gently fold together. Ladle into individual ramekins, filling 3⁄4 full. Place ramekins into a roasting pan. Transfer to oven and pour hot water into pan until it reaches half way up the side of the ramekins. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the brle jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. Remove from oven and rest on countertop to finish the cooking process. Refrigerate for later use.Sprinkle 11⁄2 TSP of sugar evenly over each individual portion and carefully caramelize the sugar with a blow torch or brown under broiler. Serves 4.Coffee Custard3 large egg yolks 1⁄2 cup sugar 2 TBS all-purpose flour 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 shot strong espresso, at room temp. Scant 1⁄4 cup skim milk 1 cup heavy whipping cream 6 coffee beans In a small saucepan, combine the egg yolks, sugar, flour, vanilla, and espresso. Whisk until well combined. Add a bit of milk and turn the heat to medium-high, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Bit by bit, add the milk to the egg mixture, being sure to keep stirring so as not to let the eggs begin to cook at the bottom edges of the pan. Once all the milk has been added, bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring all the while. Keep sitting until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and let the cream cool. In a separate bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, mix the cream until it forms thick whipped cream. Using a spatula, gently fold 2⁄3 of the whipped cream into the egg custard mixture. Separate the custard into 6 tall glasses. Chill the filled custard glasses in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Just before serving, top each glass with a spoonful of the remaining whipped cream and a coffee bean. Serve 6. Mario BataliCoffee Granita4 cups freshly brewed espresso 4 TBS sugar 1 pint heavy cream 1⁄2 cup vanilla-flavored sugar 6 fluted glasses, chilled 1⁄2 cup brandy or anisetteSweeten the coffee with the sugar while it is still hot. Place into 2 ice-cube containers and place the containers in the freezer for several hours or overnight. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the vanilla flavored sugar and beat a few seconds longer, but do not overbeat. Crush the iced-coffee cubes in an electric crusher and distribute evenly among the chilled glasses. Add 1 TBS liqueur to each glass and top with the whipped cream. Serve immediately. Serves 6. Mario Batali
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