30 December 2008

Caffé e Lambrusco!

Coffee is the perfect Democrat.

Wine is bottled Poetry.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

I was pleased to find in the recent edition of La Cucina Italiana January/February, a rather large segment dedicated to the art of coffee, as I am a bit of a coffee fanatic.  I'm not an expert on the subject like my friend James, who has devoted much of his time and talents to the science of coffee, but as an  art, I too consider myself a connoisseur. Or at least, a grand admirer.

A bit of a purist, I prefer simple and exacting coffee. At home, I use a French Press and enjoy a Macchiato in the afternoon from the neighborhood coffee shop, Ristretto Roasters (my personal favourite espresso in Portland).  I also often look for ways in which I can subsume coffee in food, such as Hungarian Lamb Stew, the subject of the posting that precedes this one.

There are some great looking recipes that embody coffee and food in this issue, and with Lamb on my mind, I promptly prepared the recipe for Spiedini di Agnello Lamb Skewers. 

I'm not going to repeat the recipe here, but it is readily available on their website, which I have linked to this post.

I will note that I substituted baby red potatoes for the larger ones and left them whole.  I also par brewed freshly ground espresso in place of instant espresso powder, which I then let dry slightly before tossing with the Lamb and Pepper. I served the Lamb rare.  This was a delicious, quick meal, perfect for a weeknight dinner with a beautiful presentation.

I enthusiastically recommend a Lambrusco (highly underrated).  I like San Giacomo Maggiore 2007.  The way this dry red effervescent  plays with the coffee notes in this dish is nothing less than exquisite. 

This wine is available at Cork, which has two locations in Portland; 2901 NE Alberta and 1715 NW Lovejoy. Be sure to ask Darryl about his Olive Oil selection as well. It's the best in town.

If Lambrusco is not your thing, try with a Barbera d'Alba.  

Buon Appetito!

La Cucina Italiana link HERE


  1. Thank you for the nice Ristretto shout out

  2. Ah, coffee! And you get to live in Portland (the slightly underrated neighber of Seattle), a place known far more for coffee than my hometown of Miami. Sorry, but cuban coffee doesn't really count, since the sugar hides a multitude of sins.

    I plan a future (soon, really!) post on roasting my own beans.