This week we got to go to Counter Culture‘s Asheville training center for a coffee tasting to decide which coffees we will brew in-store. We learned about single origins vs. blends and that coffee actually has a fruit called the coffee cherry:
We tasted until I couldn’t blink (probably shouldn’t have had two cups of coffee that morning), and decided on a regular and decaf:
A first of its kind – a single-variety coffee, dedicated to Bourbon (pronounced bur-BONE), the king of the heirloom coffee varieties. Connoisseurs treasure the Bourbon variety for its deep, buttery chocolate and coffee flavor, its unique sweetness, and its gentle fruit overtones.
Decaf farmhouse is based on two simple ideas: that coffees are best at the peak of their season and that decaffeinated coffees can be exceptional. Like all produce, coffee changes over the course of the year: farmhouse is our home for the standout coffees that emerge as seasons change. All this attention to freshness results in decaf that is spectacularly sweet, complex and satisfying, and is fully the equal of any caffeinated coffee.
We love Counter Culture’s commitment to sustainability and their focus on freshness and seasonality. We’re so excited to bring you these coffees and look forward to your feedback. If you’re in Asheville, you should check out Counter Culture‘s free cuppings every Friday morning at 10am.
What does a chef prepare for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner? We asked Chef Brian to share his menu (and a recipe) with us for inspiration. This year, he’s going heavy on the proteins and opts for a non-traditional, yet seasonal homemade treat for dessert.
A twist on the traditional casserole: wild mushroom bread pudding.
- Smoked Turkey– Gotta have turkey!
- Ham– Who says turkey can’t share the spotlight?
- Stuffed Shells– A family tradition that actually started from the Irish side of Brian’s family.
- Brussel Sprouts– One of the most feared and hated vegetables has made a huge comeback.
- Wild Mushroom + Leek Bread Pudding– Leeks are big this year on Thanksgiving menus. Scroll down for the recipe!
- S’mores from Scratch– Homemade marshmallows, homemade graham crackers, the works! A fun, hands-on, family-friendly dessert.
WILD MUSHROOM + LEEK BREAD PUDDING
yields one 13” x 13” baking pan
½ pound wild mushrooms
½ loaf rye bread
white part of 1 large leek
2 tablespoons butter for sweating
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups half-n-half
6 whole eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Slice the leeks and sweat in butter until soft.
2. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook. Season well and let cool.
3. Mix the eggs with the half-n-half and cut the bread into small pieces.
4. In a large bowl, mix everything together and season with the spices and salt and pepper.
5. Pour the mixture into a buttered pan and cover with aluminum foil.
6. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then thirty minutes uncovered for a total of one hour at 350F.
7. Serve warm or let cool and cut pieces. Then reheat as needed in the microwave or oven