On October 13th, 2012, a group of coffee-loving women will gather at my home outside of Chicago - and we will have an "espresso dinner". I'm pretty excited about this because it was so much fun to orchestrate recipes around the bold flavors of espresso. The folks at Saeco are letting me try out their espresso machine for this event and I've worked to learn the nuances of grinds to get the flavors where I wanted them to be. Check out the menu here - try them with us on the night of Oct. 13th - and enjoy the depth of this exotic flavor in some very new ways.
Recipe 1 / The Espresso Martini
• 2 cups freshly brewed espresso, chilled
• 2 cups orange-flavored vodka, your favorite
• 1 cup coffee liqueur, your favorite
8 slices orange peel, thin slices Instructions -Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Add the espresso, vodka, and coffee liquor of your choice. Shake for 30 seconds or so. Strain into a chilled glass and decorate with the orange peel. Serve at once because everyone will be waiting to indulge.
Recipe 2 / Heirloom Tomato Salad with an Espresso Balsamic Reduction
• 1/2 cup freshly-brewed espresso
• 1/4 cup of local honey
• 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar plus 1 tablespoon honey if your balsamic is not that sweet
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon Start by setting up the reduction. Pour the coffee, vinegar, salt, and honey into a small saucepan. Zest the lemon directly into the saucepan using a microplane. Stir to combine and dissolve the honey, then simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. cook until reduced by 1/3. This can be down a day ahead. bring dressing to room temp before using on the salad
You can build your salad however you wish
I am using a goat cheese log rolled in fresh cracked pepper and fresh basil.
4 slices of medium tomato per person 1 1/2 inch slice of the goat cheese and a couple of torn fresh basil leaves drizzle a small amount of the dressing over the salad and finish with some nice sea salt or pink salt .
Recipe #3 / Espresso BBQ sauce & Assorted Grilled Meats I am going to be grilling some locally raised chickens and using this BBQ sauce for the main part of this amazing espresso dinner using my Saeco Espresso Machine.
Espresso BBQ Sauce on Grilled Prawns / Serves 12 as an appetizer
3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1/4 cup extra-large capers, drained well and finely chopped 5 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped fine tbsp fresh shallot, finely minced 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice S and P to taste 24 large prawns, about 1 1/2 pound, peeled, deveined, tail left on Olive oil, for grilling
Prepare as follows:
Preheat a your grill out side or a stove top grill pan to high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, capers, olives, shallots, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let stand to allow flavors to blend. Toss the prawns with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp, turning once, until bright pink and just cooked through, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.
To serve, put dollop of sauce on a plate; stand the shrimp upright with their tails touching around the yogurt. Great little app served with a tasting of Assyrtiko, a great little greek wine to go with these greek flavors. If you cannot find it a nice Sauvignon Blanc, not to flowery, will due just fine.