Espresso x 3

On October 13th, 2012, a group of coffee-loving women will gather at my home outside of Chicago - and we will have an "espresso dinner". I'm pretty excited about this because it was so much fun to orchestrate recipes around the bold flavors of espresso. The folks at Saeco are letting me try out their espresso machine for this event and I've worked to learn the nuances of grinds to get the flavors where I wanted them to be. Check out the menu here - try them with us on the night of Oct. 13th - and enjoy the depth of this exotic flavor in some very new ways.


Recipe #1 / The Espresso Martini


  • 2 cups freshly brewed espresso, chilled
  • 2 cups orange-flavored vodka, your favorite
  • 1 cup coffee liqueur, your favorite
  • 8 slices orange peel, thin slices

Instructions - Fill a  shaker halfway with ice. Add the espresso, vodka, and coffee liquor of your choice. Shake for 30 seconds or so. Strain into a chilled glass and decorate with the orange peel. Serve at once because everyone will be waiting to indulge.

Recipe #2 / Heirloom Tomato Salad with an Espresso Balsamic Reduction


  •  1/2 cup freshly-brewed espresso
  •  1/4 cup of local honey
  •  1/3 cup balsamic vinegar plus 1 tablespoon honey if your balsamic is not that sweet
  •  1/8 teaspoon salt
  •  zest of one lemon

Start by setting up the reduction. Pour the coffee, vinegar, salt, and honey into a small saucepan. Zest the lemon directly into the saucepan using a microplane. Stir to combine and dissolve the honey, then simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. cook until reduced by 1/3.  This can be down a day ahead. bring dressing to room temp before using on the salad

You can build your salad however you wish 

I am using a goat cheese log rolled in fresh cracked pepper and fresh basil.

4 slices of medium tomato per person

1 1/2 inch slice of the goat cheese and a couple of torn fresh basil leaves

drizzle a small amount of the dressing over the salad and finish with some nice sea salt or pink salt

Recipe #3 / Espresso BBQ sauce & Assorted Grilled Meats

I am going to be grilling some locally raised chickens and using this BBQ sauce for the main part of this amazing espresso dinner using my Saeco Espresso Machine.

Espresso BBQ Sauce


  • 1/2 cup brewed espresso
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped, about 1 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 fresh hot chili peppers, such as jalapeno, or hotter if desired, seeded
  • 2 Tablespoons dry mustard mixed with 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder

Put espresso , ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, onion,  garlic, chile peppers, dry mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, cumin, and chili powder in a small pot, stir them together, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat so the mixture is just simmering and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, let the mixture cool, then puree it with a hand blender if you have one or a blender

The barbecue sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Posted on June 14, 2013 and filed under dinner menus.