Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cafe de Olla

Last week poor Andy had ONE day one summer vacation, before his awful and boring chemistry summer school started, so we went out to a nice lunch at THE best Mexican restaurant ever (hint: the chef is going to be on Top Chef Master that starts tonight!).

I have been loving this restaurant for years--and although the food is fantastic--the thing I look forward to the most is the Cafe de Olla. It's a Mexican-style coffee that is sweet with a touch of orange and a hint of cinnamon. It is fantastic! I had so many cups, I don't think I think I slept for a week!

Here's a pic, but my camera was being wonky...
See the orange peel in there? It's SO good!

Anyway, I found a recipe on the Internets--I have made it before, but not for awhile--but I will be making a big batch of it soon. I think the iced version would be so good in the summer!

Mexican Coffee

2 cups of water
The zest of 1 orange
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 cup pilloncillo* (or substitute 1 cup of dark brown sugar)
1 big pot of strong coffee

*Pilloncillo is a minimally processed Mexican raw sugar, sold dark brown in cones. It has a unique and very sweet taste, and is worth searching out. It can be easily found in most any Mexican grocery. Dark brown sugar is a reasonable substitute.

To prepare cafe de olla...
Before dinner, add the water, pilloncillo, orange zest and cinnamon to a saucepan and simmer until combined and reduced to about 1 third of its original volume. It's best to simmer slowly, as the syrupy liquid can easily boil over if left unattended even for a minute over higher heat (the aroma that will percolate through the kitchen is pleasant for a leisurely simmer down in any case). Reserve the syrup for later mixing.

After dinner, prepare a pot of coffee as normal. Pour the coffee into mugs and sweeten with the spiced syrup to taste. Serve hot, without cream or sugar.

That's it. Easy-peasy, and very tasty – and a nice change of pace from the everyday cup of Joe.
Any extra syrup can be stored for ages in the fridge. Remove the cinnamon stick (or the eventual taste of cinnamon can get very strong).

This can also be made well in advance, pre mixed with coffee and left to chill in the fridge for a Mexican iced coffee. Serve in tall glass well filled with ice.

Give it a try!

Here are a few more pics from the restaurant:

Pickle's favorite new face--"pig face":
Andy enjoying some crazy-delicious crunchy pork tacos: And one more of The Pickle--still with the pig face--but eating her Mexico City-style quesadillas:


Anne said...

Hi Jenny! Can we go to this restaurant together when we're in town?!!

I'm worried about the Swine Flu just from reading that you are worried.

I'm also stressed out by the last week of school; so much so that I've acquired a tick in my left eye. Yikes!!

Erin said...


The Townhouselady said...

I could rink a whole pot of that. It sounds amazing.

Jennifer said...

That coffee sounds really good, Jen. I'm not big on flavored coffee but the orange and cinnamon sound like they'd mesh great. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you went to Rick Bayless' place? We were there last year, liked it a lot. The mexican coffee sounds excellent! Thank you so much for visiting my blog, keep in touch!

Kori said...

I am a coffee whore, I will admit it; that looks heavenly!

Rebecca Jo said...

That's awesome that the guy is going to be on TV... must be amazing!

Pork tacos? hmmmm...

Love Pickles Pig face.. all her faces are always the cutest!

Allison said...

Sounds delicious.

Love Pickle's pig face.

Susie said...

That coffee sounds really yummy:-)

CaraBee said...

Mexican food is without a doubt my favorite food in the whole world. I can't get enough of it. I'm not a big coffee drinker, but pretty much everyone in my family is, so I might have to make that coffee for our next get together!

noble pig said...

That sounds delicious. I would have never put orange in coffee but I can see how it works. I love orange in chocolate so I'm sure it is the same type of flavor.

Heather of the EO said...

MMMMM, I love me some Mexican food. My fave. That taco pic made me drool. All over my keyboard. can't help it. :)

Jane In The Jungle said...

Ya know the minute I read COFFEE, you had me! I'll definitly try this!!

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