9 Ways to Cook With Coffee

The bold flavor of coffee goes well in both sweet and savory recipes. Find out how to use it to enhance your meals.

Jazz up a spice rub, add ground coffee. For an especially good combination, mix together ground espresso or other coffee, paprika, chili powder (or pure ancho chile powder), cumin, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Add a touch of sugar to balance the bitterness of the coffee. This spice rub is especially good with grilled beef and pork.

For onion soup with that je ne sais quois, stir in 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder per 1 cup broth.

Supercharge bottled barbecue sauce, stir in a few tablespoons of strong-brewed coffee or espresso.

Create a mocha flavor in chocolate desserts, dissolve 1 to 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water (or other warm liquid from your recipe). Add to the ingredients for an 8-inch square pan of brownies. Try it in other chocolates desserts, too, like chocolate pudding, fondue, mousses, and chocolate sauce.

Perk up the taste of a spicy gelatin dessert, dissolve the gelatin in brewed coffee instead of in water.

Add a blast of flavor to homemade biscotti, add freshly ground coffee to the batter.

Make a simple glaze for cupcakes or muffins, mix together strong-brewed coffee and enough confectioners’ sugar to make the mixture spreadable.

Make ham steak with red-eye gravy, stir 1 cup brewed coffee into the skillet used to fry the ham, scraping the pan bottom to loosen any browned bits. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half and simmer over medium-low heat until the gravy thickens up a bit, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then pour over the ham steak. Some say the name “red-eye” in this classic Southern sauce comes from the slightly red tinge the sauce gets from the smoked ham being cooked in the same skillet. Others say the name refers to the red-eyed early risers who often make this dish in the morning to help wake them up.

Make a novel marinade for turkey, improvise a combination of brewed coffee, cider vinegar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, freshly ground black pepper, sugar, and ground cinnamon. Use to marinate boneless, skinless turkey breast before grilling or broiling.

Tidbit: Coffee is the second largest traded commodity in the world. Oil is the first.

Try these 4 recipes using coffee as a secret ingredient.

Plus download the Easy Meals app for easy recipes and quick tips using secret ingredients.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest