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8 Savory Coffee Recipes for National Espresso Day (November 23)

by Dale Dauterive

1. Chicken Mole

Chicken mole is known to be a fiery dish with subtle notes of chocolate and other sweet flavors, but adding coffee extract to the recipe certainly kicks it up a notch. In the words of Emeril Lagasse: Bam!! The concentrated coffee syrup is made from strong coffee, vanilla, and sugar. This mixture is a crucial component to serve as a rich marinade for your chicken. All these flavors are absorbed into the chicken and the hint of bitterness from the coffee adds a rich, nutty complexity to the base of the mole sauce that is packed with flavor.

2. Chili

When you’re making a great bowl of chili, you need to deconstruct the elements into equal parts--making sure each ingredient gets special treatment. The chiles, the beef, the beans, and seasonings all play an equally important and tasty role in your bowl of chili. You need something to bring all those flavors out to add a wide depth of flavor with each spoonful. Soy sauce, dark chocolate, and most importantly, finely ground coffee, create a unique twist that brings both the heat and the sweet to your chili recipe. Serve with cornbread and a dollop of sour cream. It would be rude if you didn't.

3. BBQ Spare Ribs 

Barbecue might be the best flavor profile to blend coffee into for a savory dish. Sticky BBQ spare ribs with a coffee rub is a prime example! Ground coffee is a fundamental ingredient in this dry rub, along with cocoa powder and black pepper. These pork ribs are exceptional when accompanied by a tomato-based barbecue sauce that provides added heat from smoky chipotle chili peppers. It’s a sticky, messy plate of food that pairs beautifully with coleslaw and a stack of sweet potato fries. When you’re craving some BBQ ribs, this recipe is sure to satisfy your craving. Warning: Extra napkins needed!

4. Lamb Ragu

The complex flavor in this lamb ragu is brought out from a coffee balsamic vinaigrette that is sure to wake you right up. The lamb is slowly stewed on low heat with plum tomatoes, carrots, onions, rosemary, along with coffee and a splash of red wine for a bold, delightful stew. The vinaigrette is a tasty blend of coffee and aged balsamic, which provides all the rich coffee flavor without any of the gritty coffee grounds taking over your dish. It’s warm, it’s comforting, and it feels like home-cooking.

5. Roasted Beets & Heirloom Carrots

If you’re cooking for picky eaters, try to get a little more adventurous with your vegetables. Try roasting your beets and carrots over a bed of medium-roast coffee. This cooking technique is a great way to add a hint of sweetness to root vegetables. We understand veggies can be a little dull on their own at times, but this coffee-roasting recipe takes produce to the next level. An added fennel vinaigrette and pickled mustard seed create a fresh, summer-like dish to enjoy in the fall.

6. Country Ham & Gravy 

If you’re making a southwestern breakfast recipe, then coffee is a necessary ingredient. Coffee grounds are used to deglaze the pan when preparing country gravy to go with this salty, smoky breakfast staple. The gravy includes a combination of butter, coffee, water, and a little bit of ham fat for a complete depth of flavors. It’s a very rich and savory breakfast food that goes well with cheesy grits, a slice of sourdough toast, and a couple of fried eggs. If you still can't get enough coffee flavor, might as well fill up your mug with decaf while you’re at it. 

7. Chicken Drumettes

If you don’t want something quite as heavy as ham and gravy, espresso-brined, sea salt chicken drumettes are a light and flavorful dish that make a great appetizer for game days or filling entree for fancy family picnics. Chicken drumsticks are salt-brined in coffee grounds overnight and baked with your favorite seasoning to your preferred spice level. That cayenne pepper is no joke! While your chicken is in the oven, lightly coat each piece with a maple syrup glaze for a spicy, sweet, sticky treat. 

8. Roasted Almonds

The next time you need a crunchy snack that’s both sweet and savory, try whipping up a batch of espresso-roasted almonds. It’s a healthier alternative at snack time that packs big flavor with each handful. These nuts are coated in a mixture of espresso powder, cocoa powder, cardamom, and a touch of sugar. Egg whites help the dry ingredients stick to the almonds during the baking process so each nut is evenly coated with salty-sweet flavor. These candied almonds are an easy snack to take with you on the go to curb your appetite when you’re busy or just too hungry to wait for dinner.

If you’re trying to find the perfect savory dish to whip up for National Espresso Day or simply need some new kitchen accessories to bring your creations to the surface, stop by our store today and we’ll help you with all your kitchen appliance needs. We’re here to answer any questions you may have to make every day (not just Espresso Day) worth celebrating. Swing by today!