“Coffee is not a flavor,” says Frank McGinty in the latest issue of Feast Magazine. “That would be like saying something has wine flavor. Most people know that wine is complex. The same is true for coffee.”
Throughout the year Kaldi's hosts what we call "coffee dinners." Every component from the hors d'oeuvres to dessert has a coffee component. The latest one was held in our Columbia cafe and Feast Magazine wrote a great piece on cooking with coffee and filmed a behind-the-scenes video of the dinner in action.
“The inspiration for this dish was the unique blueberry tones we got in the natural processing of this coffee,” says McGinty. “The flavors, from the blueberries and allspice in the gastrique to the notes on the pecans, amplify what the coffee brings to the table. The food elements are mimicking and complementary to the natural coffee flavors.”
Preparation − Panna Cotta Gently heat the cream, milk and coffee in a saucepan. When hot, whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Whisk in the goat cheese until the mixture is smooth, strain through fine-mesh strainer and pour into eight 4-oz molds. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably 12.
Preparation − Blueberry Gastrique Combine all ingredients (minus salt and pepper) in small saucepot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once blueberries have begun to break down and sugar is dissolved, resulting in a syrupy consistency, pass through a fine-mesh strainer to remove all spice. Press firmly to break down blueberries further, resulting in a smooth, syrupy gastrique. Finish with salt and pepper as needed; add lime juice if necessary to brighten.
Preparation − Spiced Pecans Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Mix the salt, cayenne, cinnamon and orange peel together in a small bowl and set aside. Place the nuts in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, until they just start to brown and smell toasted. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add both sugars and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet pan and separate them with a fork or spatula. Allow the nuts to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.