College Kitchen: coffee break

Cook with mo’ joe.

A simple tiramisu with chocolate shavings on top and strawberries on the side.

Ichigo Takikawa

A simple tiramisu with chocolate shavings on top and strawberries on the side.

Lucy Nieboer

As familiar as coffee may be to students in the neighborhood java stop, it is a stranger in the kitchen. The College Kitchenista has laid the ground work for a savory dinner and sweet dessert that uses our favorite black gold in the kitchen.

When choosing what type of mud you want to sling into your next culinary masterpiece, choose coffee a step above the stuff that comes in big red canisters. A strong, full-bodied roast will give your dishes bold flavors but not add an unpalatable bitterness.

 

Tiramisu

This Italian dessert is a sweet and gooey lasagna with the full flavor of a morning cup. Tiramisu is impressive and elegant for a dinner party or sophisticated luncheon.

 

6 egg yolks

3 tablespoons sugar

1 pound mascarpone cheese

1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled

2 teaspoons dark rum

24 packaged ladyfingers

1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

 

In a bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and light in color — about 5 minutes. To ensure the tiramisu doesn’t make you ill, use pasteurized raw eggs. Add the cheese and beat until smooth. Add a spoonful of the espresso and mix until you achieve an even blend.

In a separate dish, add espresso and rum. Dip each cookie into the mixture. Do not let the ladyfingers soak for so long that they break apart. Lay the soaked cookies on the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Spread a layer of the cheese mixture over the cookies. Repeat the layering until all the cookies are gone. Refrigerate for two to eight hours before serving. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate on top right before serving. Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ Tiramisu.

 

Barbecue Ribs

Cowboys may not have a wide variety of ingredients to choose from, but they do have some good, old-fashioned coffee beans. Make like John Wayne and hit your slab of meat with a full-flavored savory rub. Before serving, add a coffee-inspired barbecue sauce to get the full effect.

 

1 rack baby back ribs

2 tablespoons ground coffee

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon mild paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon hot chili flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

 

Sauce

1/2 cup coffee

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Combine all spices in a small bowl. Mix them thoroughly. Rub the mixture onto the rack of ribs. Wrap in plastic, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the spiced rack onto a cooling rack that has a cookie sheet with a lip below it to catch the drippings. Cook for one hour and turn the direction of the tray. Do this every half hour for two additional hours.

While the ribs are cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Mince the onion. Saute it in olive oil over low heat. When soft, add the remaining sauce ingredients. Cook for about 30 minutes. Adapted from Kay Heritage’s Coffee BBQ Sauce.

 

Although many of us java junkies are just in it for the brief surge of caffeine-induced energy, we should appreciate the bean for its rich roasted bitterness and deep astringency. These complexities can lend themselves to both sweet and savory dishes in unexpected ways.