37 cooks, coffee marinated pork, cold weather comfort food, comfort food, lock-n-load java, pork

Task Force Zulu: Operation Cochon

The latest sponsor for 37 Cooks was Lock-n-Load Java, a veteran owned coffee company that was more than generous with sending us out our choice of samples. Before I made the ‘Charlie Don’t Surf’ cupcakes, I brined a lovely pork roast with some of their single origin Costa Rican ‘Task Force Zulu’ roast for over 24 hours and it paid off with a richly flavored, tender roast. Saddled up with some all day braised collards and a batch of mac-n-cheese and it was a smile worthy meal.  

Task Force Zulu: Operation Cochon
by Shannon T


1 cup strong brewed Lock-n-Load Java’s Task Force Zulu—Single Origin Costa Rica coffee, cooled
½ cup molasses

¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 ¾ pound pork loin roast, twine removed


Combine the coffee, molasses, vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, the ginger, thyme and pork chops in a 1-gallon zip-top bag; seal and shake to combine. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (I kept it in for 24).


Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the pork from the bag. Strain the marinade into a saucepan; boil gently over medium-high heat, stirring, until reduced to 1/2 cup, 12 to 15 minutes.


Dry the pork loin with paper towels. Heat olive oil in an oven-proof pan until just under smoking. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper and sear the pork loin on all sides. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the internal temperature is 150, approximately 50 minutes. Remove the pork from the pan, place on a plate, tented with foil, and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice and drizzle the reduced sauce onto the pork. Enjoy.


*Served with garlic and onion sauteed kale and homemade mac ‘n cheese
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ACS, Appreciating the greats, certified cheese professional exam, French cheeses, Pont l'eveque, tasting cheese, Tasting the Greats

Appreciating the Greats: Pont l’Eveque

I knew that The Missus would say something about the smell, she tends to. The cheese sat, quietly in its box, for a week in our vegetable crisper before it began to waft through the refrigerator.  The smell was strong enough to touch your nose, even when you opened the door to the freezer. But, being accustomed to comments being made when I’ve hidden a washed rind in the refrigerator, I preempted her and said, “It’s my cheese,” when she opened the door.

Pont l’Eveque is said to have existed, though known by another name, since the 12th century. It is produced by only 6 makers in the Normandy region of France, which is also home to Camembert, and they share the same wild mushroom aroma and velvety texture. Aside from the smell, the bright orange rind, which is created through the process of washing, brushing and turning which encourages the growth of Brevibacterium linens–known as B. linens in the cheese world. 

Though around for over eight centuries, it did not gain AOC recognition until 1976. Today, that distinction requires the following in production:

  • The milk must come from a controlled area around the village of Pont-l’Évêque, extending to the départments of Calvados, Eure, Manche, Mayenne, Orne and Sein-Maritime. 
  • The curd must be successively divided, kneaded and then drained.
  • During affinage the cheeses must be washed, brushed and turned.
  • The resulting cheese must be one of three sizes:
    • Petit – 8.5-9.5 cm square, and a minimum of 85g of dry matter.
    • Demi – 10.5-11.5 cm by 5.2-5.7 cm, with a minimum of 70g of dry matter.
    • Grand – 19–21 cm square, with a minimum of 650g of dry matter.

 Because she was so vocal about this cheese, I invited The Missus to join me in my tasting.

Tasting Notes
Milk: Pasteurized Cow
Brand: L. Graindorge
Appearance:
     Rind: White, powdery-flour like rind with light orange hue underneath.
     Paste: Stark white, small eyes; young in age.
Smell:

     Rind: Mushrooms*, feet*, raw broccoli*
     Paste: Mushroom, hay
   
Mouthfeel: Creamy, but not runny, slightly firm at core
Flavor:  
     Paste: Slightly sour, peppery*, onion, hard boiled egg white. 
     Rind: Salty, nutty

*Notes from The Missus

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37 cooks, baking, lock-n-load java, mocha cupcakes, ridiculous buttercream

‘Charlie Don’t Surf’ Cupcakes

I’m coming up for air this week, trying to rest my brain after a week of studying and an extremely wonderful cheese tasting class with the staff of Bar Lola.  Thank you all for the card and humoring me and my dozen and a half cheeses on your Monday evening. 

So, I’ll let my most recent post from 37 Cooks speak for itself.  And I would recommend getting some “Lock-N-Load” Kona Coffee when you can. Made a nice cuppa.

‘Charlie Don’t Surf’ Cupcakes with Macadamia Nuts
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker “Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream”


Cupcakes:

1-1/3 all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup double strength brewed Lock-N-Load Java Charlie Don’t Surf Kona blend
1½ teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature

1. Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.

3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the liners. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.


Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting:

(Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes)

1/2 cup 1 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, brought to room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder

1. Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.

2. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

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ACS, Appreciating the greats, certified cheese professional exam, cheese tastings, Comte, French cheeses

Appreciating the Greats: Comte

Comte is another French cheese, like Roquefort, to hold AOC protection and has done so since 1958. Those two cheeses however, are vastly different in make, composition and flavor profile.

Comte is made from raw cow’s milk and made in the Jura region of France, quite some distance from Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, and nestles itself closely to Switzerland.  So, it makes sense, that they would produce one of the most famous alpine, or ‘mountain’, style cheeses in the world and have done so for over 800 years. Though it is said to be the most popular and consumed cheese in France, it seems that Gruyere gets more love stateside, especially when being mentioned in recipes.

Because of its AOC protection, Comte carries the following requirements in its production:

  1. Only milk from Montbeliarde Cattle or French simmental (or cross breeds of the two) are permitted, and each must have at least a hectare of grazing.
  2. Fertilization is limited, and cows may only be fed fresh, natural feed, with no silage.
  3. The milk must be transported to the site of production immediately after milking.
  4. Renneting must be carried out within a stipulated time after milking, according to the storage temperature of the cheese.
  5. Only one heating of the milk may occur, and that must be during renneting. It may be heated to no more than 40˚C.
  6. Salt may only be applied directly to the surface of the cheese.
  7. A casein label containing the date of production must be attached to the side of the cheese, and maturing must continue for at least four months.
  8. No grated cheese may be sold under the Comté name.

Tasting Notes
Milk: Raw Cow
Brand: Les 3 Comtoi
Appearance: 
     Rind: Tannish, labled with blue and white ‘Comte’ label and AOC branding
     Paste:Golden in color; paste looks full and rich; no fissures, eyes or imperfections
Smell:

     Rind: Musty, moldy
     Paste: Toast, toffee
   
Mouthfeel: Smooth, pliable with no graininess
Flavor: Brown butter at the center; moving up–closer to the rind–more meatiness. Rind produces huge mushroom finish and lingers, similar to white button or grilled portabella.

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