May 08, 2020

Hello Void of the Internet, 

Today we had a special guest on - Chef Leicel Ros who most recently was teaching folks how to cook at the Institute for Culinary Education in Pasadena and before that was Sous Chef at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills @ Waldorf Astoria California. But honestly, IMHO, this is the coolest thing she's ever done:

Her new thing is a teaching platform she launched called Yes I Can, Chef. Check them out for all sorts of tutorials and tips. Including what we did below. I've known Chef Leicel since her days at Simbal when they were both our neighbors in Little Tokyo and serving our cold brew at their amazing restaurant. So I approached her to do something with coffee in her cooking. She used it in three different ways and told me to come up with a boozy coffee drink to match since we were going live on Cinco de Mayo. Because it's so much shorter, here's the drink first, followed by her braised chicken tacos using coffee three ways! 

Boozy Cold Brew Pineapple Cocktail Shazaam (for lack of better term):

First you need to make some Rum Coffee Cold Brew:

Add 50g coffee to 600g or 1 cup of rum.

Throw in 2 cinnamon sticks and a pinch or two of cardamom. Steep overnight.

Strain over 1/3 cup of sugar over and then cook this using low heat until the sugar has melted. 

Take a 1/2 oz the cold brew and into a shaker with some ice, add:

2oz rum

1oz lime juice

4oz pineapple juice. 

A quick, quick shake and then pour over crushed ice. Put a fancy umbrella in it. 

Coffee-Infused Chicken Tinga Tacos 

by Leicel Ros, Yes I Can Chef


Coffee Rub

1 T freshly fine ground coffee

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin ground

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne 

1 tsp white pepper

optional oregano ground 

fine salt to taste



Chicken Tinga 

1 lb Boneless Chicken Thighs 

1/2 White onion sliced 

4 Garlic gloves smashed 

1/2 10 oz Can diced tomatoes

Chipotle in adobo sauce (use 1-2 chipotle and some of the adobo sauce to taste)

1-2 T Dark Soy Sauce 

1 T White vinegar

1-2 tsp Brown sugar

1.5-2 cups freshly brewed  coffee

.5 to 1 cup chicken stock

Optional mexican oregano

Coconut oil


Season Chicken with coffee rub just to lightly coat. With coconut oil in a non-stick pan, sear chicken skin side down to give just light brown color. Add sliced onlons and garlic. Lightly saute. Add diced tomato and chipotle/adobo sauce and mix for 1 minute on medium heat. Add soy, white vinegar and sugar. Add coffee and chicken stock just to almost cover chicken. Bring liquid to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover lightly and cook until chicken is tender and cooked, about 30-40 mins. Chicken should reach safe internal temperature of 180 for thighs. Take chicken out and shred/pull. Take braising liquid mixture and blend in a blender and adjust seasoning with more soy, vinegar, and/or sugar if needed. When reheating put pulled/shredded chicken in pot and heat with blended sauce just to cover chicken. Reserve extra sauce to serve on side. 



Handmade Blue Corn Tortilla 

2 cups instant blue corn flour (masa)

1-1.5 cups freshly brewed coffee 


mix coffee into masa until it forms a dough ball that feels like play dough. Let rest 1/2 hour. Shape into balls, your choice size will determine size of tortilla. 1.5 oz to 2oz is a good size to start. Using a tortilla press or technique shown with plastic and pan, flatten masa ball into desired tortilla thickness. Cook right away about 45 seconds-1 min on each side on a non-stick or cast iron skillet. You can use a little oil if it’s sticking. 


Avocado Mash


freshly squeezed lime juice

salt & pepper

optional evoo


Mash and combine. Season to taste


Pineapple Salsa

Fresh Pineapple small dice

red or white onion small dice

cilantro chopped.

freshly squeezed lime juice 

(optional jalapeno or serrano pepper)



Combine and season to taste. 



thin sliced serrano pepper

cilantro leaves

lime cheek 


Add 2oz of rum

1 oz of lime juice

1/2oz of coffee rum cold brew syrup

4 oz pineapple juice

Quick shake and then poured over ice in a tall glass