It’s far too hot to cook. Fortunately, one of my favourite breakfasts can do double duty as dinner.
I recently discovered Dorset Cereals; although the locovore in me protests the air miles it earned flying all the way from the UK, I must admit I was lured in first by their packaging and second by their ingredient list: grains, nuts and fruit, and lots of it. No sweeteners, even. It will never replace my crunchy granola, but it is wonderfully real, clean and wholesome-tasting. I’m pretty sure that eating it makes me a better person. And some cereals come with quite possibly the most brilliant use of a cardboard box: Far more fun to a kid than a dinky plastic toy. (Although the Battlestar Gallactica pencil toppers and Tron zip-racers were pretty cool.) In Calgary, you can get Dorset Cereal at The Cookbook Company and London Drugs, of all places.
And because it has hovered around 30 degrees all weekend, we have been hooked on iced coffee; I wrote a piece on where to get the real stuff in FFWD this week. As I did my research I stumbled upon the secret to iced coffee: cold brewing. Here I was, traipsing through life thinking that an iced coffee was no more than a regular coffee cooled down and poured over ice. Although there’s nothing stopping you from cooling down your regular Joe and serving ir over ice, cold-brewed coffee has a lower acidity and less bitterness than the heat-brewed coffee we’re accustomed to, allowing for flavour nuances in the beans to come through.
All you need is some medium-ground coffee, water and a jar. The ratio is half a pound of coffee to 5 cups of water (or for a smaller batch, 1/3 cup coffee to 1 1/2 cups water); stir them together in a bowl or jar, cover and let the mixture steep overnight. There is some debate over whether a 12 hour vs. 24 hour soaking time is best; either way, you have a 12 hour window in between, which allows about as much flexibility as anyone could ask for.
After steeping, strain the sludge; first through a fine-meshed sieve, and then through a coffee filter to get rid of all the grit. (Alternatively, this whole process could take place in a French press; let it sit for as long as you want it to, then press and pour it out.) Dilute the resulting coffee concentrate 1:1 with cool water or milk, or pour it straight over ice and spike with cream. (Pop your blend in the microwave or use a kettle of boiling water if it’s a hot cup you’re after. Besides the fact that this method makes a fine cup of iced coffee, it’s a revelation to know it’s possible to “brew” with nothing but your ground beans and a jar. Hello camp coffee.)
This homemade coffee concentrate will also suit the purpose if your goal is to recreate an Ice Cap in your blender: to ¼ cup concentrate add ¼ cup coffee cream (18%) or half & half (10%), 2-3 Tbsp. sugar and 5 ice cubes, and pulse until it’s a sippable consistency.