Using up coffee

Of course, what do I do after a post where I lukewarmly condone baking/roasting? I made a (1) bread pudding and (2) coffee-roasted quail.

I felt like making bread-pudding. I was put to mind to it by seeing it on the dessert menu. I had a quarter of a pannetone in my freezer, specifically for making bread pudding. Eggs and milk in the fridge, rum and vanilla in the pantry. It came out rather deflated though.

The second item . . . well Truc had given me a bag of Starbucks ground Sumatra coffee. Someone had given it to her as an X’mas gift, but she’d never opened it. It was past its expiration date. “I thought you could use it for compost in your garden.” I can’t really bear the thought of dumping it straight into the garden, so I’m trying to extract some use from it for culinary purposes first, before I dump the soggy, gritty grounds into the plot.

So far I’ve been doing a lot of cold brew coffee. I drink it, but because it’s not hot, it doesn’t have that strong coffee aroma. The flavor of coffee is really more about the smell than than the taste in your mouth. It’s always been a puzzle to me that coffee doesn’t taste as good as it smells.

I usually forget to dilute it, and so drinking it gives me a buzz.

When I was a small child, we used to frequent this restaurant where they had their own twist on roasted squab: they roasted it with coffee. It was scrumptious. But we stopped going there are after a family feud. (You know how sometimes a couple breaks up, and they have to divide up restaurants, i.e. one party can’t go there any more, because it ‘belongs’ to the other party? Well in this case, it was in the Capulets’ neighborhood.)

I decided to try to reproduce this dish and bought some quail (on sale at Ranch 99), thawed out the little birds, and marinated them in the cold-brewed coffee. (Quail! Joe said disdainfully. “They’re just bones, it’s too much bother to eat them. Next time, get cornish game hens.”)

The house was filled with a nice coffee aroma when they were in the broiler. The birds came out OK; they didn’t taste very strongly of coffee. I think I should have marinated them overnight instead of for just the afternoon, and use cornish game hens instead.

Next on the experiment list: coffee panna cotta.

Actually, I’m using up the coffee at quite a good clip.


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