Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar share Father’s Day recipe
Married couple Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, co-hosts and producers of Cooking Channel’s “Extra Virgin” and Lavazza brand ambassadors, shared their favorite Father’s Day recipe with Metro – lamb skewers with coffee and rum, and talked to us about what grilling, coffee and Father’s Day mean to them.
Does grilling have any significance as a father’s activity?
Debi Mazar: Grilling has always played a big role in the way we eat. From Tuscany to California and now in Brooklyn, we always have a barbecue ready to go and a bag of coal. We even know the butcher’s shop hours by heart. Gabriele tries to celebrate as many events as possible by grilling a two-and-a-half-inch steak that that he ends up eating over the span of two to three days. However, any time the grill is on, a multitude of ingredients are tossed on it: sausages, chicken, zucchini, peppers, red onions. Gabriele’s father taught him everything he knows about grilling on a pit or in a fireplace. It’s wonderful to channel the same experience and tradition here in the concrete jungle of Brooklyn.
Is coffee a frequent ingredient in your recipes?
Debi Mazar: Tuscan food is extremely simple in terms of seasonings. I mostly use salt, pepper, olive oil and the occasional herb from the garden like sage, rosemary or fennel; therefore, the main use of coffee usually manifests itself in a pastry or cold or frozen desserts. We use plenty of coffee desserts in our house, especially when we entertain adults: tiramisu, coffee granita, affogato (a scoop of vanilla ice cream afloat in a shot of espresso), coffee ice cream, etc. We have even made Lavazza coffee lollipops a few times. Lavazza is a flavor that Gabriele grew up with back in Italy, and being able to recreate the same culinary experience here in America is something he considers very special.
Do you drink coffee, too, or just cook with it?
Gabriele Corcos: Our mornings always start with Lavazza coffee. I have been serving Debi coffee in bed since I met her 13 years ago. No matter where we are, my queen gets coffee in bed, rain or shine. In general, we mostly drink coffee, but we also use it for desserts and occasionally in rubs to cook meats like lamb or pheasant.
On Father’s Day, do you envision dads preparing the meal or their kids preparing it for them?
Gabriele Corcos: Well, I’m not sure if my wife would allow my daughters to fire up the grill. But, if I was to throw down on Father’s Day with my dad and his granddaughters, I would absolutely treat him to something special like this. When the grill is on, it is easy to please the masses because of its versatility. This coffee rub is a wonderful complement to lamb and game meat because it cuts off the sharpness of the meats and offers a wonderful and deep aroma. It’s one of those flavors you can taste in your ears!
What are your plans for Father’s Day?
Gabriele Corcos: We’re going to go see the movie “Maleficent” and then grabbing dinner at Cecil’s in Harlem. I’m very excited to spend the day with my family.
Lamb skewers with Lavazza coffee and rum (Spiedini di agnello al caffe’ e rum)
Created by Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos, co-stars of Cooking Channel’s show “Extra Virgin”
1 1/2 pounds lamb, cut into 1 1/2” chunks
1/4 cup Lavazza Classico coffee (grinds)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound baby potatoes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh sage, torn by hand
1 ounce Lavazza espresso (brewed)
1 ounce Due North Rum
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine and mix the black pepper and ground coffee. Roll the lamb in the rub, coating all sides thoroughly. Skew the lamb onto 8 medium-sized wood sticks. Let rest for one hour.
In a pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes until tender, for about 10 minutes, then remove from water. Allow the potatoes to cool off for a few minutes and then slice in quarters. In a large non-stick pan, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and herbs and sauté until they are golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.
In a separate non-stick pan, heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, then place the skewers and sear evenly on all sides until the meat is cooked. Add the rum, lower the flame to medium and let the alcohol reduce for about two minutes. Then add the shot of espresso (optional) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for a final three minutes and remove from the stove.
Place the sautéed potatoes on a platter and arrange the spiedini (lamb cubes) on top. Finish by drizzling the meat sauce from the pan over the skewers.