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Coffee Gravy and Brown Potato Soup

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This comes from an email discussion with my a fellow Geman Chef friend, and contributor to this newsletter George Moser.
So we talk like chefs do ...meaning we don't use measurements and we talk like we are in the kitchen and sometimes use french cooking terms because that seems to be the industry standard. So instead of a recipe I am going to just share our email discussion.

So when we say roux, that is a French term for using an oil and flour mix to thicken a sauce. You may call it different. If you cook the flour and oil it starts to brown the flour and you get a wonderful nutty aroma, we call this a brown roux.

George was talking about the depression era on Cabbage Hill in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and he talked about using leftover coffee to make a gravy or potato soup.

George wrote, to make  a brown roux(with bacon fat if you have it) then add garlic,onions, and paprika. When cooked and well toasted add left over strong coffee and potato water if you have it and salt and pepper to taste.If you do not have potato water plain water will do. This a good gravy for when you do not have meat drippings or when you want a gravy for potatoes( that is why I put potato water).

When you have meatloaf, the coffee is a great base for onion gravy or for smothered pork chops. You can also add Julienne celery,onions,red sweet peppers,and gherkins pickles with a touch of the pickle juice and you get a very nice sauce for a schnitzel, especially beef ones or roulettes.

When I make mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes I save the water for making bread or for the gravy. When I was young we were poor and there was days when we did not have meat and we would eat the gravy over bread. if you boil some diced potatoes and diced celery and add to this you get a great soup that was popular during the depression we called it brown potato soup. You will swear there is meat in it.

From a discussion with Geroge Moser and Stephen Block

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Last updated April 4, 2005