11 October 2011

Tastemakers invitation: Peet's Café Solano blend

This is part 2 of my Tastemaker charge to work with Peet's Coffee. To try your own with a little financial help, go here.

The other Peet’s blend I tried for the Tastemakers program was called Café Solano.  It is also a medium blend and was loosely described as being “bright”.  Compared to Café Domingo, this is a heartier roast better suited to savory dishes.  In fact, it’s nearly perfect with any egg dish I could devise.  I like salty, greasy things after, ahem, a late night, and Café Solano became the accompaniment this week to my favorite “morning after” dish, the Morning After Skillet.  Looking for something a little more upscale, perhaps something you could serve other people without having to explain yourself?  Try a Scandinavian quiche and some roasted potatoes for a totally age-appropriate brunch.  

Scandinavian Quiche

Serves 6

1 refrigerated or frozen pie crust (9-inch, deep dish)
5 eggs
½ cup non-fat half and half
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup grated cheese of your choice (Parmesan, Gruyere, and sharp cheddar are all good choices.)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
4 oz. smoked salmon, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare pie crust according to directions, if necessary, and place on a baking sheet.  Bake pie crust in the oven about 10 minutes while you’re preheating; check to make sure the bottom of the crust I starting to get crisp.  This will keep it from being soggy in the finished product.  

In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients through chopped dill and whisk vigorously.  Gently stir in salmon.  When the crust is ready, remove from oven, pour egg mixture into pie crust, and place back in oven.  Cook 35-40 minutes or until egg is firm in the center.  Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with...

Easy Roasted Potatoes

Serves 6

4-5 large Russet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (or dried oregano)

Washed, trim, and chop potatoes into 1/2- inch cubes.  Place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and Herbes de Provence.  Spread into a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in oven.  Bake at 350°F for 65 minutes or until golden, checking and stirring occasionally.  

Finally, I thought Café Solano’s roasty, slightly nutty flavor would work well in beans, and it did.  Serve this for breakfast, brunch, or lunch--it’s a quick take on New Orleans-style dirty rice, rounded out with beans to make a complete one-dish meal or serve as an accompaniment to egg or meat dishes.  

Peet’s Red Eye Beans and Rice

Serves 4

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 large tomato, cored and diced
 ¼  cup leftover Peet’s Café Solano 
1 14.5-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup sliced green onions

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add oil to pan, and when it shimmers, stir in the peppers, onion, and garlic.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add diced tomato, coffee, red beans, and the rice.  Stir to mix thoroughly.  Add the herbs, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, and green onions.  Lower the heat and cook 10-15 minutes, until flavors are thoroughly incorporated.