artisan food

4 Incredible Artisan Food Recipes Using Coffee

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To Camille Ratton, renowned French-Costa Rican chef, the coffee bean has memory and body. It’s production - from the moment the coffee flower blooms to the minutes the freshly ground beans are placed in the filter - garners all the flavor and experiences. 

As she notes in her book, The Coffee Cookbook: “Coffee possesses secrets linked to each phase of its production, processing and preparation. Like wine, it has its moments of rest and fermentation during which it develops aromas and flavors that impact on the bean.” The story of coffee is one filled with experimentation, not only in its process or how it is brewed, but also how it is paired and added to other foods. 

This full-bodied grain, which fills your mouth the minute it enters your palate, is incredibly flexible and provides great depth to many dishes. It’s meant to cross boundaries and push your palate to other interesting places. But exactly how do you do it? What’s the right way to add coffee to your everyday meals?

Here are some great artisan food recipes, using coffee and other ingredients, that are ensured to make your dinner a genuine feast!

Appetizer: Coffee-cured Salmon

From Camille Ratton’s The Coffee Cookbook


  • 1 lb. fresh salmon
  • ¼ cup ground coffee
  • ⅓ cup coarse salt
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp broken pepper
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup blini mix to make blinis or use pre-made store bought blinis


In a zip lock bag place coffee, salt, sugar and pepper, well mixed. Put the salmon in the bag, covering well with the coffee mixture. Close the bag as airtight as possible. Place in a small tray, covering with another tray and something heavy over it. 

Cure in the refrigerator for 3 days. After curing, remove from the refrigerator, wash lightly with cold water to remove the marinade, leaving some of the black mix. Dry with paper towels and cut into thin slices.

Make blinis with the mix, around 3 cm in diameter. Mix the cheese with lemon juice and rind. Serve blinis with a little cheese and salmon roll on top.

artisan food

Main Dish: Pork Panini with Coffee Barbecue Sauce

From Camille Ratton’s The Coffee Cookbook


  • 2 lbs pork roast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion cut in quarters
  • 5 peppercorns ground
  • 1 peeled carrot cut in big pieces
  • Water to cover
  • Fresh cilantro


  • ½ cup strong black coffee
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 3 tbsp. chipotle paste
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 small minced onion
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cooking juices


Put the pork roast with bay leaves, garlic, onion, peppercorns, carrot, and cilantro in a slow cooker pot, cover with water for 12 hours. After this time, remove the meat and shred with care. Drain the meat stock and keep the meat.

For the sauce, put all the ingredients in a pot and cook for 30 min. at low heat and stir to avoid drying. Add some of the meat stock to keep the mixture liquid. When ready, blend and cook for 20 more minutes at low heat. 

Make little sandwiches with your favorite bread: ciabatta, country bread or sourdough. Heat without excessive toasting. Add a little olive oil and put the shredded pork on top. Add a spoonful of coffee sauce and a little fresh cilantro.

artisan food

Dessert: Affogato with Vanilla Gelato, Brownie Bits and Strawberry Balsamic-Rosemary Marinade

From Camille Ratton’s The Coffee Cookbook


  • 10 mL strong brewed coffee (or 4 double espressos)
  • 4 balls of vanilla gelato
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 twigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 tbsp cacao nibs (yo esto lo dejaría opcional)
  • 2 brownies cut in cubes

Cook sliced strawberries in a saucepan for 5 min and add the vinegar and brown sugar. Add 2 tbsp rosemary leaves without stems. Cook for 5 more minutes, until strawberries are soft and vinegar caramelizes. Serve the ice cream in a glass or cup and pour the coffee over it, adding brownie pieces, strawberries and a little rosemary for garnish.

artisan food

Corn Tamal: An Artisan Food Favorite to Drink With Coffee

From Isabel Campabadal’s Costa Rica: Cuisine and Traditions


  • 12 fresh ears of corn
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 115 grs. soft butter
  • Salt
  • A pinch of sugar


Remove the kernels of corn from the cobs and blend with milk. Then, add condensed milk, lightly beaten eggs, and mix with the baking powder, butter, salt and sugar. Grease a baking dish and fill with the mixture. Bake at 176 C (350 F) for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked.

Recipes and photographs reproduced with permission from Ojalá Ediciones.

Photographs by Karin Puschendorn and Esteban Fernandez. Food styling by María Alicia Mena.

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