'Espress' Yourself


KAC FOOD HOME KITCHEN — There are too many food-related holidays for me to even care to keep track of. Luckily the internet is rife with constant reminders week in and week out.

And so it was only this morning that I discovered—via a Dunkin' Donuts ad—that today was National Coffee Day. But as I'm not as maniacal a coffee drinker as many of my friends, I decided to not celebrate with a coffee-related drink, but with a coffee-infused dish.

Using some espresso grounds from the Bustelo can I always have handy, I made a dry rub mixing it with some salt, pepper, brown sugar, onion powder, and a pinch of nutmeg.

The spice mixed got liberally rubbed onto a shell steak, which was then placed into a hot cast iron skillet, seared on both sides and cooked to just past medium rare. I accompanied the steak with extra cream mashed potatoes (slowed stirred with heavy cream and butter—"coffee & cream"!) and topped it all with sliced cremini mushrooms sautéed with soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and garlic.


The bold slight bitterness of the espresso grounds balanced nicely with the beef's natural sweetness, highlighted by the smoky caramelization of the brown sugar and the subtle aromatics of the hint of nutmeg.

The pleasantly tothsome mushrooms as well took on the earthy salty of soy and fruity acid of balsamic quite nicely, and the buttery, creamy mash made for a grounding, layered base for all those flavors to play on.

I don't ever expect to celebrate every food holiday. But I'm happy to have done so in my own way today, winding up celebrating a day dedicated to a beverage with a steak!