6 Unexpected Ways to Use Instant Coffee in the Kitchen
Instant coffee is the secret ingredient you should be using in your dishes.
Artisanal coffee has become part of one’s daily routine, we’ve practically forgotten all about instant coffee! But don’t let that bottle in your cupboard go to waste. Here are nifty ideas on how you can use it in your cooking.
1. Bake it!
When it comes to baking, use instant coffee in your goodies instead of a brewed cup of joe. In powder form, you’re less likely to mess up proportions—and instant coffee easily dissolves to release its concentrated flavor.
Try these recipes:
2. Mix it with chocolate.
Chocolate and coffee go so well together! There are so many recipes out there to prove this perfect pairing.
Here’s another trick: when you’re making something chocolate-y (like brownies or mouse), add a sprinkling of instant coffee to perk up flavors even more.
Try these yummy desserts:
3. Coffee is the secret ingredient!
If you’re making a pot roast, beef stew, or some chili, add a teaspoon of instant coffee. It’s a little known ingredient that adds and interesting depth of flavor to the sauce. Make sure to add only a little bit so it won’t have an overwhelming coffee taste.
4. Coffee brine, anyone?
Brining is the process of soaking meat in salty liquid before cooking. It flavors and tenderizes the meat—making it extra juicy, too. Use this technique for dishes like pork chops, ribs, or chicken.
In a large container, dissolve 3 tablespoons instant coffee in ½ cup of warm water, ¼ cup salt, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Let it cool. Then add 2 cups cold water (or you can speed up the process by adding ice cubes). Let the protein soak for a few hours or overnight. Then discard the brine, pat protein dry with paper towels, add flavorings (like a spice rub), and cook using your prefered method.
You can experiment with your own combination. Use ingredients like maple syrup, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, thyme, and other herbs.
5. Rub it good!
Coffee is an excellent ingredient to make a dry rub!
In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup instant coffee, ¼ cup brown sugar, with a tablespoon each of paprika, cayenne, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Rub it all over a pork chop or flank steak, cook it on a griddle, and you’ll get a lovely crust for its outer layer. Rub it all over ribs, wrap it in aluminum foil and grill it or bake it until the meat falls off the bone. Yum!
You can also make a big batch and place them in nice bottles and you have a quick, easy homemade gift perfect for holiday gift giving.
Check out these recipes:
6. The secret is in the sauce.
In the US, Southern cooks like to whip up something called red eye gravy. After frying up some ham, they add butter and coffee into the pan. The result is an instensely-flavored sauce that accompanies their fave ham, grits, and fried eggs. Why not give this sauce a shot? They pair it with sauteed shrimp, too.
To make something that has more familiar flavors, add coffee to barbecue sauce. Combine ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon coffee, ¼ cup ketchup, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons each of Worcestershire sauce, melted butter, lemon juice, and vinegar.
Add coffee to these recipes:
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