To restrict coffee to your morning cup would limit its power. Coffee has dark, deep, complex flavors that are good for so much more than waking up.

It's time that you start thinking of coffee as a spice -- as a secret weapon both in the kitchen and on the grill.

Allow Michael Ober, owner and executive chef at Cordon Bleu Catering in West Palm Beach, to explain: “The intricate flavors of coffee pair perfectly with the smokiness of the flame,” he says. His simple, two-ingredient rub of coffee and lemon zest lends depth and bite to veal chops, bringing out their beefiness. (Brines, marinades, and rubs are three fabulous ways to flavor your food. Learn what to use, when, and how to make the ultimate starter recipes for each.)

Make this recipe. Discover your new favorite weeknight meal. Or, heck, make it for breakfast.

Paired with a coffee, of course.

Grilled Coffee Rubbed Veal Chops
Recipe by Chef Michael Ober of Cordon Bleu Catering in West Palm Beach, Florida

What you'll need:
4 8-oz. (1 1/2"-inch thick) bone-in veal chops
2 tsp light roasted coffee beans
Zest from 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Olive oil
1 bunch medium size green asparagus, woody ends removed
4 large golden potatoes, cut into 1/2"-inch slices
2 Tbsp thyme
Lemon, sliced in quarters

Not a fan of veal chops, try our recipe for Grill Coffee-Rubbed Flank Steak, instead.

How to make it:
1. In a food processor, grind the coffee beans with the lemon zest. Rub the coffee mixture on the chops and then drizzle with olive oil.
2. Grill the chops over high heat until well seared, about 3 minutes per side. Flip the chops and move them to a section of the grill with lower heat, close the grill lid, and continue cooking until medium rare, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the veal to a plate to rest.
3. Rub the asparagus and potatoes with olive oil and thyme and grill until the asparagus is al dente and the potatoes soften, 5 to 7 minutes.
4. To plate, divide the veal and vegetables amongst four plates, drizzle everything with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

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