Thursday, March 31, 2016

Best Ever Coffee Rub

Once upon a time, in a land only slightly far away, I acquired a Carbonic.

What is a carbonic, you ask? And should it be capitalized?

Probably the internets would know. Also the wine guy from whom I bought the carbonic, who explained exactly how you take a pinot noir and something something carbonic maceration something fascinating chemical process something, but by the time he got to that part, he had poured the (potentially-captial-C but-who-really-knows) Carbonic into the glass and I was entirely focused on the startling and deeply delightful fact that it smelled exactly like someone had opened a freshly ground bag of Peet's 101 blend coffee right under my nose, and this is pretty much one of my favorite smells in the universe, and here it was in a glass of wine right here in front of me, only how did the amazing, earthy, chocolatey, rich smell of just-ground coffee get into my glass of wine? Nobody knew. Least of all me. I swirled and sipped and bought.

I decided that this was a bottle of wine that deserved to be cooked for.

"Dear Carbonic," I wrote, shyly, in my mind. "You are most cordially invited to dinner. I will cook for you. Tuesday. Bring a glass."

On Tuesday, I acquired lamb chops. Also some finely ground decaf coffee. Also purple potatoes and rosemary. Also salad ingredients featuring a pomelo, because I thought the carbonic would like pomelo.

We just knew each other like that.

I opened the carbonic. I poured a little into a glass. I sniffed. Coffee. Paprika? Maybe a hint of herbiness in the background, like oregano or thyme.

I poked around the spice rack. Little of this, little of that. The result? An easy yet mouthwatering coffee rub perfect for lamb chops, steak, roasts...even extra firm tofu might work.

But if you have a carbonic over at your house for dinner? Lamb chops. Rubbed with this. And roasted potatoes with rosemary. And salad with avocado and pomelo.

1/4 cup finely ground decaf French Roast coffee
2 scant tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Lots of freshly ground white pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
Pinch dried thyme

Combine in a bowl.

Rub generously over lamb chops about 10 minutes before cooking. Heat a pan over medium heat, drizzle with a little olive oil, then place the chops in the pan. Cook about 3 minutes per side or until medium rare.

Serves 4-8.