By Contributor Gretchen Brown, RD, Kumquat

I am always eager, after a long cold winter, to pull the cover off the grill and start cooking. There is such a simple ease to preparing dinner on a nice evening outside in the fresh air. Not to mention the mountains of pots and pans that don’t need scrubbing after dinner is through.

In my mind, the entire process of grilling should be a relaxed experience. It should include easy ingredients, delicious marinades, and the magic of the grill to produce the flavors that only a grill can.

One ever-present ingredient in my kitchen is coffee. Unexpected, but brilliant uses of your morning (or in my case, all-day) joe are as a marinade or a rub. If you think coffee wakes you up, wait till you see the fantastic effect it has on your dinner! Even if you’re not a fan of drinking the stuff, the flavor coffee adds to the meat is very subtle and pleasantly perfect. So after you’ve had your morning cup, set some aside for recipes like these...

Barbecued Pork Tenderloin uses brewed coffee to marinate and finely ground coffee as a rub. Add your favorite barbecue sauce and your taste buds will be thanking you.

Chili-Espresso Rubbed Steaks with Warm Tomato Sauce combines ground espresso with cumin, oregano and chili powder to make the perfect steak rub.

Coffee-Marinated Grilled Pork Chops (photo) uses brewed coffee, along with molasses, jalapeno and ginger, to infuse the chops with a delicious combination of flavors.


For more ideas about cooking with coffee, see 7 Ways with Coffee.