January 2015 archive

Cold Brew Coffee – Ice, Ice, Baby

You can't buy happiness but you can buy coffee and that's pretty close.I love coffee. Regular coffee, latte, mocha, iced coffee, coffee ice cream, coffee cake – ok, not really coffee, but you get the idea. I try to make it at home as much as possible since that’s most cost efficient. Although, you could put up a good argument that my five different coffee / espresso making devices will take a lifetime to dollar cost average for each cup. Whatevs.

Cold Brew Chameleon

If I see this on sale I’m stocking up, even though I can make my own! It’s so tasty.

My latest obsession is cold brew coffee. After buying a bottle of Chameleon Cold Brew “on sale” for $7 at Whole Foods, I decided that it would be cheaper and more convenient to make it at home. The nearest Whole Foods is about a half hour away from my house (thank freakin’ god or I’d be poor). As mentioned, I love iced coffee. I can drink this cold out of the refrigerator without having to dilute hot coffee (or espresso) with ice.

After a hasty search online for cold brew coffee maker reviews, I decided to buy the Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Pot. I paid roughly $30 at Amazon and got free Prime shipping. I waited a very anxious two days to receive my new baby and was stupid excited when it finally arrived!

Cold Brew - Full Pot

Looking at this picture has me jonesing for coffee.

I’ve made a few batches of coffee and I’m still refining my technique. Of course, a lot of the flavor will come from the type of coffee beans used. Right now I’m using a bag of organic coffee bought at Costco (High Desert Roasters Medium Blend). Definitely not high end stuff but it’s decent.

Making the cold brew only takes a few minutes. Yes, you have to wait a day for it to steep in the refrigerator, but the active time to make it is quick.

Here’s what I’ve been doing.

First I grind my coffee beans. I grind extra and put it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I know you coffee aficionados are cringing. I’m super lazy and don’t want to haul out my burr grinder every couple days. It takes approximately 13 heaping tablespoons of coffee (80 grams) to fill the reusable filter with my beans. If you grind yours more or less coarsely, your spoon count will vary. I would recommend weighing out the coffee to get an accurate number of spoons the first time you do this.

Cold Brew - Fill carafe with Coffee Grounds

I fill the pot with room temperature water to the 800ml line, according to the English instructions I found online. The user manual is in Japanese only, and while it does come with illustrations, I wanted to make sure I was doing everything correctly. I drop the filter into the pot and stir the coffee grounds with a chopstick. You could use a skewer or a knife, but just make sure you don’t poke a hole in the filter! Then I pour in more water to top it off.

Cold Brew - Add Water

I put on the lid and set it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Cold Brew 24 Hour Steep

24 hours in the refrigerator transforms the water into coffee infused deliciousness.

When it’s ready, remove the filter and rinse it. The bottom of the filter unscrews so it’s really easy to wash. Then you can put the filter back into the carafe with the lid, or pour your coffee into another air tight bottle. I find the lid to the pot doesn’t fit snugly without the filter inside.

Cold Brew Clean Filter

Unscrew the filter’s bottom to thoroughly clean it of coffee grounds. I store my coffee with the filter inside the carafe for a better fit.

Cold Brew Sediment

Sediment at the bottom of my carafe. I haven’t needed to chew my cold brew coffee yet, so I’m not bothered by it.

There is some sediment in the bottom of my carafe. I’m not sure if this is normal or if my coffee isn’t coarse enough. The sediment doesn’t pour into my coffee cup, so I’m not bothered by it.

This makes enough for me to enjoy two big servings of cold brew coffee. Told ya I like coffee.

*Side note: I have a Kitchenaid A9 Burr Grinder. I’ve had it for about 10 years and I don’t think they sell it anymore. I love it and highly recommend it. The only burr grinder Kitchenaid sells now is $400. Ummm, no thanks!




Tailgate Shrimp – A Little Spice Is Nice

Shrimp-CookedToothpick

Spicy Tailgate Shrimp tastes good even when you’re not standing in a parking lot. You don’t even need a plate – a toothpick works just great!

It’s been almost 24 hours since I watched my Oregon Ducks facepalm at the College Football National Championship. There’s always next year, right? Sigh.

The night started out with high hopes and lots of yummy food at my friend’s house. My contribution to the spread was Spicy Tailgate Shrimp. It’s a make-ahead dish that is portable, cooks quickly and is a crowd pleaser.

My first taste of this shrimp was several years ago at one of the Chargers home games, where the tailgate was often the highlight of the day. A dear friend came up with this recipe and quickly rattled off a list of ingredients which I promptly forgot (I’ll blame the beer) and then tried to remember much later when I made the dish.

This is a perfect dish to make for the upcoming Superbowl or any other pot-luck type event. It would also be delicious over linguine or rice for a main dish.

The shrimp can be cooked on a barbecue, in the oven or on the stove top so pick your poison. It’s versatile.

After a few variations on ingredients, I’m finally satisfied with the recipe listed below.

Warning: here comes my “know your food” rant…Let’s talk shrimp. Or actually not. I get really grossed out when I think about foreign shrimp farms. Read this article if you want to know more. This is a more helpful article that breaks down what type of shrimp to buy. I buy wild caught shrimp from the U.S. and rarely eat shrimp when I’m at a restaurant unless I know its origin.

Back to my delicious recipe now that you’re thoroughly grossed out.

Shrimp-Shells

I prefer shell-on shrimp but if you want to make this recipe even quicker, get peeled and deveined shrimp. Don’t buy the pre-cooked ones!

Clean your shrimp if you buy them with the shell on. If they are already shell-less and deveined rinse them under cold water and let them drain while you prepare the other ingredients. I buy 26/30s or 31/40s. We’re going for a hefty bite-size here. Any bigger and it’s awkward and any smaller is just silly. WTF am I talking about? Read this for shrimp sizing because jumbo shrimp is just an oxymoron and you can’t eat those.

Chop a crap load of fresh garlic and gather up your olive oil and dried seasonings. There are a lot so make sure you have them all: cayenne, red pepper flakes, paprika, old bay, onion powder, salt and pepper. Yep, that’s it for prep. Told ya it’s quick.

Put your clean shrimp in a bowl and add all of the ingredients on top. Now, if you like less heat, decrease the cayenne by half. Add more cayenne if you like it hotter. The amount I’ve included in this recipe was consumed by a room full of white people so you can guess that it’s got just a little kick but not that much.

Shrimp-Spices

Stir it up.Shrimp-Stirred

Dump it into a zip top bag and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to 24 hours. I set mine in the 8 x 8 foil pan that I’ll use to cook the shrimp.Shrimp-Baggy

When you’re ready to cook the shrimp you have several options as I mentioned. Regardless of the method, remember that shrimp cook quickly!  It will take roughly 10 minutes for any method. They have their own built in thermometers so once they are opaque (not see through) then they’re done. If you’re taking this to a tailgate, put the “shrimp on the barbie” (in the foil pan) on medium low heat. Put them in a 425°F oven or on medium heat if using a stove top (put them in a saute pan, not the foil pan). After a few minutes, check on them and stir them to ensure even cooking.

Once cooked, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and dig in. I’ve always eaten them with a toothpick

Shrimp-Cooked

 

Spicy Tailgate Shrimp
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A quick and easy make-ahead appetizer for tailgating, summer barbecues or any party!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 - 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs wild-caught shrimp, cleaned
  • ⅓ to ½ cup organic olive oil (use your judgement...if the shrimp look dry use more)
  • 3 tbsp chopped organic garlic (about 6 cloves) - or more if you like garlic
  • 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp organic paprika
  • ½ tsp organic onion powder
  • ½ tsp organic red pepper flakes (add more or less to adjust intensity)
  • ¼ tsp organic cayenne (add more or less to adjust intensity)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp organic black pepper
  • 1 organic lemon, juiced
Directions
  1. Clean and rinse shrimp.
  2. Add shrimp and all ingredients except the lemon to a bowl.
  3. Stir thoroughly and add olive oil if it looks dry.
  4. Refrigerate for 2 - 24 hours.
  5. Cook in a foil pan on the barbecue or in the oven. Use a saute pan if cooking on the stove.
  6. Add lemon juice to the shrimp after they are cooked.

 

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