So much better than tossing it down the drain

EC: Use Leftover Coffee to Make a Mole-Inspired Sauce
Credit: Photo by Helmut-Seisenberger Via Getty images

There’s always at least one cup of leftover coffee sitting in the bottom of my coffee pot every morning. Try as I may to brew less, I’m always met with this result, and the leftover coffee meets the same fate: poured down the drain. Even my weak mathematical mind can calculate about how much coffee I waste each week, and wow, does it add up. It’s clear that leftover coffee recipes are needed, and as many of them as possible. Perhaps the most successful use for leftover coffee is to mix it into a rich dark sauce inspired by the flavors of mole poblano. This layered sauce of peppers, chocolate, and ground seeds is strong enough to absorb coffee’s robust flavor without letting the bitter drink overpower the recipe. Keep in mind that if you’re not planning to make the sauce immediately after brewing a pot of coffee, stash the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge until you’re ready to cook—don’t wait more than a day.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF and rub 2 seeded and deveined poblano peppers with olive oil. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and roast until the skins are charred, about 20 minutes. Place the peppers in a glass bowl and cover with water.

Turn up the oven to broil and place 7 quartered tomatillos, 1 quartered onion, and 3 garlic cloves on the baking sheet. Pull out the garlic after 3 minutes, then continue to broil the tomatillos and onions for an additional 3 minutes.

Reserving the water, drain the peppers, then place them in a blender along with the tomatillos, onion, and garlic. Blend the vegetables until smooth, adding the pepper-soaking water by the tablespoonful to help the mixture along. Add 1 cup chicken stock and blend on low until smooth.

Grind ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds in a spice grinder with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground coriander, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Add this mixture to the blender and puree.

Scrape the sauce into a medium saucepan and heat over medium. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped bittersweet chocolate and ¾ cup leftover coffee. Continue to cook until sauce is warm. Serve the sauce poured over fried eggs with fat slices of avocado.