There are some food combos you have to try to believe. This chili recipe, featuring coffee as an ingredient, is one such example. Trust us, this creative, tasty chili will keep your guests talking and raving for some time to come.
To start, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, cubed sirloin and ground beef into the saucepan and let cook for 10 minutes in oil (or until the onions are tender and the meat is well done).
Then, add the beef broth, diced tomatoes with juice, coffee, beer, and tomato paste. Season with salt, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, cumin, oregano, and cocoa powder and mix in 2 cans of beans and hot chile peppers. At this point, you’ll want to lower the heat and let everything simmer for 1.5 hours.
Chili I from allrecipes.com
When you think of coffee, you generally imagine a steaming hot beverage that's the perfect pick-me-up any time of day. What you may not consider is that coffee is also a multi-purpose kitchen ingredient. Be it main courses or after-dinner treats, coffee adds a special kick to any recipe.
The Main Event
Ready to give your dinner some zip? These coffee concoctions are sure to be mouth-watering additions to your dining room table.
Espresso Roasted Chicken and Vegetables (Aabree Contest Recipe Winner, Trisha K.!)
|½ cup strongly brewed espresso coffee |
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
|4 boneless skinless chicken breasts |
1 eggplant, unpeeled, diced in 1 inch cubes
½ pound mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, sliced into 1 inch strips
1 yellow pepper, sliced into 1 inch strips
In a medium bowl whisk marinade ingredients, reserve ¼ cup. Divide remainder in half and marinade chicken and vegetables in separate zip lock bags for 2-4 hours. Heat oven to 375o and line a large baking pan with heavy duty foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray. Remove chicken and vegetables from marinade and arrange on baking pan, bake for 30 minutes and drizzle with remaining marinade, return to oven for 15-20 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Makes 4 servings.
Pepper Coffee Barbeque (Surf or Turf)
Perfect for a barbeque or any other summer gathering, this zesty marinade is versatile enough for steak, tuna, or salmon.
Coarse ground coffee beans
Coarse ground black pepper
For Steak: Worcestershire sauce & garlic powder
For Tuna or Salmon: Lemon juice & dill
*Ingredient amounts will vary according to your preference and the quantity of meat/fish you will be preparing.
Create a 1/3 ground coffee, 2/3 ground pepper mixture.
Coat the steak in olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Season with garlic powder and coat heavily with the coffee/pepper mixture. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
For Tuna or Salmon:
Coat fish with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with dill and coat heavily with the coffee/pepper mixture. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
Recipe courtesy of ineedcoffee.com
Coffee Barbeque Chicken Salad
For those of us who prefer lighter fare, this salad has all of the flavor you crave without any belt loosening when you’re done.
|Sauce Ingredients:||Salad Ingredients:|
|1 cup chopped onions |
¼ cup minced garlic
2 cups brewed coffee
3 slices bacon, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chipotle chilies in adobo
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1 cup diced tomatoes
|6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts|
6 cups torn, mixed salad greens
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ cup shredded cheese of your choice
1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 green onions, thinly sliced
In a 4 qt pot, render bacon over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno, sautéing until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients, simmering slowly over low heat for 3 hours, until sauce thickens.
Brush both sides of chicken with sauce and grill until thoroughly cooked. Combine all other salad ingredients in a bowl and distribute evenly in bowls or on plates. Cut chicken into thick strips and add to top of salad. Drizzle with additional barbeque sauce and/or the salad dressing of your choice.
Recipe courtesy of recipezaar.com
Here's a delicious espresso drink that's sure to please any crowd.
2 oz Espresso
2.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
1 oz Kahlua
Brew a double shot of espresso and let it cool to room temperature.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and all ingredients – shake well.
Pour into a martini glass rimmed with chocolate syrup.
Finding your espresso soul mate is no easy feat. If a machine does not walk that fine line between offering convenience and optimal user control, you’ll undoubtedly find it to be a bad match. We’d like to offer our assistance to help you avoid any missteps. As you personal matchmakers, we’re going to give you a rundown of what’s available, compare and contrast the different types of machines, and send you on your way to a match made in Java Heaven.
Super-Automatics: Fast, Easy, Consistent
If these bad boys capes, you’d probably mistake them for Superman. Super-automatic s can perform the entire espresso brewing ritual with just the push of a button. And, they’re the fastest machines on the market; we’re pretty sure they’d give a speeding bullet a run for its money!
Super-automatic espresso machines come with integrated coffee grinders and water reservoirs—they’ll take care of you from beginning to end. All you have to do is press the brew button to kick things into gear; the machine will grind the right amount of beans, apply the perfect tamp, extract your coffee, then toss the leftover puck into an internal disposal unit.
These are the easiest espresso machines to use, which may explain their growing popularity; hands down, super-automatics are the fastest growing segment of the market. Being user-friendly doesn’t mean the super-automatic is a slouch when it comes to taste. On the contrary, it is known for delivering consistent coffee, whose quality exceeds that of the java produced by the average person.
Depending on your preferences, some super-automatics will give you the ability to control the strength of your brew by dictating the amount of coffee used in each extraction. You can use this feature to make crema, double shots, as well as made-to-order espresso. Select super-automatic models even offer enhanced flexibility by providing a bypass doser. This nifty feature will allow you to skip the grinder in favor of using pre-ground coffee. This is key for the occasional decaf drinkers; helping to avoid the temptation of dumping the beans out of the hopper.
All super-automatics come with frothing adapters, which help aerate the milk—producing a thick froth. Instead of boilers, these espresso machines use thermablock technology, heating up water as it moves through a tube enclosed in an aluminum block. This is a very effective system that allows for continuous steaming and is great for hot water dispensing.
For those who dislike the cleanup that invariably comes with brewing a shot of espresso, the super-automatic comes bearing good news. These are the among the most low-maintenance machines on the market. Some models are self-cleaning, with automated decalcification and auto-rinse cycles, while others are no-tools-required systems. If you’re the type that likes to check under the hood, the entire brew group can be removed on some super-automatics. These machines will also alert you if it is out of water and when the internal dump box is full.
While users lose ability to manipulate brew pressure manually with a super-automatic, this will, in turn, help eliminate human error. Another tidbit to keep in mind, you cannot control the tamp pressure with these automated machines. However, the super-automatic will deliver a consistent tamp, each and every time.
Semi-Automatics: Most Popular Machines for Home Use
With a semi-automatic, you’ll be able to participate in the brewing process—firing things up with an on/off switch and stopping the pump when you’ve got your desired extraction. There’s an average learning curve, you should be able to have things figured out relatively quickly.
A separate water reservoir is standard with most semi-automatics, giving users easy access to hot water for teas or café Americano. Some semis use a boiler to heat up water, while others come equipped with thermoblock systems. Unless you’ve got a preference, consider the machine, not the boiler style when making your decision.
All of our semi-automatics will steam at least 14 oz of milk, which should be more than adequate for normal use. Machines with frothing adapters will make the aeration process much easier, however those featuring steam wands are a cinch to use once you’ve mastered the technique.
There are a few things you should look out for when choosing a semi-automatic, one of which is the steam wand’s range of motion—a tall steaming pitcher may prove to be a challenge for some models. Also it may be difficult for the steam wand to reach low levels of milk (4-8 oz).
The Fully-Automatic: A Super-Semi Hybrid
These guys extract and froth in the same manner their semi-automatic counterparts; however, they also offer the convenience of a one-touch system. Once you’ve started the process with a touch-pad switch, the fully-automatic will extract until it has met a preset volume of espresso. Since these machines will stop on their own, you will have the freedom to attend to other tasks without having to watch over the extraction process.
Fully-automatics are great for cafes and restaurants, but the selection available for home use is limited and usually based on modified semi-automatic models. You should compare and contrast the overall price and performance of a fully-automatic to that of a semi-automatic when making a buying decision.
The Piston: The Godfather
This is the device that gave us espresso, as we know it. The piston is a classic, old-world espresso machine—considered to be functional art, some models have even been known to make appearances as museum displays!
These machines are usually reserved for people who truly take delight in the ritual of making espresso. There’s a high learning curved associated with pistons, but they are just as capable of extracting a great shot as their high-tech offspring. To make a beverage, pull down on the piston’s handle to force hot water through the coffee. Be prepared to put some elbow grease into it, as consistent pressure is necessary to produce a good extraction.
Some pistons come with auto-frothers, while others do not, regardless you should have no problem making a cappuccino. But, since these guys don’t come with a water reservoir, you may have trouble keeping with drink orders at a large social gathering.
Before you take the piston home, make sure you’re prepared for its cleaning and maintenance needs. These machines usually come with copper, chrome, or brass finishes—which will show every bump, scratch, and fingerprint mark if not meticulously cleaned. But then again, they make breath-taking showpieces!By now, you should have a pretty good idea of the type of machine that will best meet your needs. If you need more information, check out our Buyer’s Help Center, where you can compare different espresso machines, coffee makers, and grinders before making a buying decision.
Leonardo da Vinci turned a blank canvas into the Mona Lisa. Michelangelo shaped a hunk of marble into the Statue of David. So, how about making your latte into a piece of art? No pressure.
Viewed by coffee lovers as the ultimate finishing touch, latte art has become a source of pride for accomplished baristas, as evidenced by the Millrock Latte Art Competition. Held annually, the contest challenges American baristas to make the best tasting, most aromatic and visually appealing drink. Regarding the competition’s growing popularity, professional barista Chris Deferio says, “Millrock, itself, is getting to be more and more prestigious. It’s gaining in notoriety and is becoming a norm in the lexicon of the coffee professionals.”
Mastering a free pour, required to create works of latte art, is critical creating a creative “signature” to give your beverage that personal touch. “Latte art is the professional ethos of a barista, like the handshake after the deal is made,” notes Deferio.
To create latte art, you’ll want to have these items handy:
Achieving Java Nirvana requires an understanding of the rituals associated with making great espresso. First, you need to know what to look for; crema, or the foam that materializes on top, is the universal sign of a good shot of espresso. A thick crema is easily recognized and respected by coffee lovers worldwide, but achieving a good shot can be a trying experience. So, we’re here to demystify the process for you! Don’t worry; we’ll have you brewing like a pro in no time.
Generally, a double shot of espresso should contain 2-2.5 fl oz and take roughly 20-25 seconds to extract. In order to get the optimal results, you’ll need to spend some time getting acquainted with the nuances of your grinder, espresso machine, and coffee. This is the “art” part of the process, as the interactions among your coffee, grinder, and espresso machine can have an effect on the resulting shot.
The Beans, The Beans! Won’t Somebody Think About The Beans?
Nowadays, coffee beans come many varieties; what you ultimately end up choosing is largely a matter of personal preference. However, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the three different kinds of roasts available. Coffee comes usually comes in light, medium, and dark roasts and can be easily identified by the shade they exhibit. Generally, light roasts are not appropriate for espressos, so we’ll be better served by focusing on medium and dark roasts.
While most people equate a dark roast with a “true espresso,” a great shot can also be made with a medium roast. You can easily distinguish between two by examining the beans, a dark roast will have a glossy surface and because of their oily texture, they have a habit of sticking together. When it comes to down the practicalities, it’s important to keep in mind that a dark roast will require a coarser grind than its medium roast cousin for the same extraction. Also be careful, of a grind that is too fine, as it can wear out your grinder burrs, clog an espresso machine, and make a bitter-tasting cup of Joe! Ideally, you should shoot for a texture that is slightly finer than granulated sugar.
You’ll know you have the right grind when your shot makes its time target (20-25 seconds). Keep in mind that as your beans age, the extraction time will shorten up, even if all the other factors remain constant. This is because the beans are drying out, which causes less resistance when you tamp. Unfortunately, this is also a sign that the flavors are drying out…an indication that perhaps it’s time to kiss those beans goodbye.
Back to the Grinder
Grinders come in two variations, blade and burr. For espresso-making purposes, steer clear of anything with a blade in it! Blade grinders are responsible for causing inconsistent grind fineness, heat, and dust—all factors you want to eliminate, when making a shot of espresso.
Instead of whirling blades, burr grinders have two opposing wheels and it is the distance between them that determine the size of your grind. The grinding is normally slower with a burr grinder, but this is a good thing, because the process produces less heat—helping to preserve the flavors in your coffee.
Burr grinders can be broken down into two categories, conical and flat. There is really no difference in quality between the two; you should be happy regardless of which burr grinder you decide to use.
The ideal espresso grind setting should fall within the 3-8 range on the grinder’s index; the lower the number, the finer the grind. However, the level of finesse of the grind settings is not universal, so you shouldn’t assume that a 4 on one grinder will be the same if you switch brands. It’s also important to note that the grinder should be running when you’re adjusting the settings, to prevent damage to the machine.
Brewing Pressure and Temperature
Drum roll, please, this is where your espresso machine comes in! While home machines may indicate a maximum pressure rating of 15-19 bars, you only need 8 or 9 bars to achieve the optimum environment for extraction. As a general rule of thumb, you really don’t have to worry about the pump’s pressure. Most machines are designed to allow for no more than 11 bars; if the pressure exceeds this level, the back pressure relief valve will open to divert the water. This will prevent your coffee from being over extracted and protect the pump from excessive pressure build up.
Your brewing temperature is controlled by the espresso machine’s thermostat. All of the machines we offer fall within the right temperature range (190-196 degrees). Your in-cup temperature should ideally be between 160-165 degrees. In order to ensure the correct in-cup temp, you should preheat your cup as well as the brew group (the portafilter and it’s the part of the machine that it locks into). Simply letting your machine warm up (5-6 minutes) will automatically pre-heat your brew group. You can also go the extra step and run water through the brew group (with the handle in place). As for your cup, you can heat it using the cup warmer on the espresso machine or by running hot water through it. Hey, whatever works!
So, You Think You Can Tamp?
Tamping, or packing coffee into the portafilter, is often the most difficult part of the espresso making process for beginners. The tampers, supplied with most machines, should do the trick just fine—regardless of whether they’re made of aluminum, wood, stainless steel, or plastic. Generally, you should use 30 pounds of pressure when tamping. Don’t know what 30 pounds of pressure feels like? Fake it, until you make it with the Espresso Gear Click Mat, which will make a clicking sound when you’ve hit the mark. Hey, it’s not cheating. Cheating is having your brother, mother, or significant other do the heavy tamping for you. Think of this mat as your partner in coffee.
Now, if you don’t like working under pressure, consider an espresso machine with built-in resistance technology. These bad boys are designed with pressurized filter handles, which will let you get away with a light tamp.
Quick Tips of the Trade
Now that you’ve successfully completed our version of Espresso Making 101, make sure you check out the Buyer’s Guide to find your perfect machine.
Removable Versus Non-removable Brew Groups
The super automatic machines manufactured by Gaggia, Saeco, and Solis have a brew group that is removable. To access the brew group, you simply open the service door, push a release lever, and simply slide it out. It weighs about 2.5 pounds and it’s made of tough plastic. As part of routine maintenance, you will want to remove and rinse the brew group when possible because coffee residue and coffee grounds tend to collect on the filter screens and other components. Maintenance is a cinch and should only be required once a week or less depending on usage.
The super automatic machines manufactured by Jura and Capresso contain non-removable brew groups. Instead of allowing you to physically remove the group for cleaning, you have to rely on an automated cleaning cycle programmed into the computer on board. The system works very well and it is more convenient than removing the brew group and rinsing it, however you do lose the ability to remove and “inspect” this key component. To clean the group, you simply drop in a cleaning tablet with special detergents that clean and remove coffee residue from the filter screens. The process is quick and clean.
Like all other espresso machines, super automatics come equipped with an attachment to froth and/or steam milk, the most common of which is a steam wand. A steam wand is the visible, external pipe found on espresso machines through which steam is released from the machine’s boiler. These wands are also used to dispense hot water. To dispense steam or hot water from the machine, you will need to turn the steam knob, which opens and closes the steam valve inside the machine. The steam wands on super automatic machines usually have some sort of frothing aid, like the Saeco Pannarello Wand or Jura Capresso Dual Position Frother, which make frothing a very easy task that requires little skill.
As if that was not enough, some of the higher-end machines have built-in automatic milk frothing systems. At the push of a button these machines siphon milk from a milk carton (or a milk container that may be provided with the machine), combine the milk with hot steam, and then dispense the hot, frothed milk right into your cup. All you have to do then is add your espresso and you are done.
Instant Hot Water Dispensing
As long as the machine is at brewing temperature, hot water can be instantly dispensed from the steam wand either by turning the steam wand or by pressing a button, depending on what model you choose. This is a nice feature for teas, hot chocolate, or other beverages that need hot water. Many users make a shot of espresso and then add hot water from the steam wand to make a popular “americano” espresso drink.
Get to Know the Gaggia Classic: Sleek style and heavy-duty construction make the Gaggia Classic an effortless addition to any kitchen. But don't let its unassuming exterior fool you – inside this Gaggia espresso machine are the same high-quality components you'd find in the commercial espresso coffee makers at any coffee bar.
Best Thing about this machine: The Gaggia Classic's 58mm commercial-style portafilter allows you to brew espresso that's as good – if not better – than what you get at the coffeehouse and does it in a footprint that will only take up a small corner of your kitchen counter.
Honorable Mention: This espresso machine's stainless steel housing ensures durability and looks great too.
Best Suited For: A 3.5 oz boiler combined with a temperature-stable, chrome-plated brass portafilter and brew group make the Classic well suited for people who are looking to brew the best straight shots of espresso. Newbies to the machine will have a bit of a learning curve (see the Espresso Rule of Thumb), but once you've got brewing down, using this espresso machine is a breeze. To make things even easier, Gaggia has built the Classic with a Turbofrother frothing wand that takes all of the guesswork out of frothing milk for cappuccinos and lattes.
Look and Feel: The Gaggia Classic is housed in heavy-duty stainless steel, but with its brushed finish and elegant Italian lines, this espresso machine is far from utilitarian. In addition, its chrome-plated brass portafilter is one of the heaviest in its class – just another way to let you know this machine is built to last.
One word that describes this machine: Proficient
Want to learn more? Visit the Gaggia Classic's product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
Best Thing about this machine: The Rancilio Silvia features a 12 oz brass boiler - the largest in its class. This boiler allows you to brew with little or no downtime and still having plenty of power for steaming and frothing!
Honorable Mention: The Rancilio Silvia features a commercial quality three-way solenoid valve, which relieves the machine of water pressure and allows you to brew again almost immediately. This valve also removes water from the coffee puck – making it easier to empty the portafilter.
Best Suited For: Those looking for the perfect combination of quality and performance. The Silvia, while stylish enough to compliment any kitchen décor, features a brass boiler that provides excellent steam pressure allowing you to brew an endless number of cappuccinos and lattes.
Look and Feel: Giving you the look and feel of a commercial quality machine was the intention of Rancilio designers. The heavy chrome plated brass portafilter is excellent for heat stability as well as longevity, while the oversized boiler provides plenty of power for brewing and steaming.
One word that describes this machine: Powerhouse
Want to learn more? Visit the Rancilio Silvia's product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
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