A while back I mentioned my adventure to the Green Goddess cafe in New Orleans for the Notorious Bacon Sundae; and while I was there, I had a FANTASTIC cup of coffee.
New Orleans is famous for the cafe au lait or “milky coffee”. This traditionally made with 1/2 steamed milk, and 1/2 strong-brewed dark roast coffee with chicory. The chicory adds a rich, somewhat bitter flavor to the coffee. New Orleanians will joke that, much like the cowboys of the west, a cup of traditional New Orleans coffee should be thick enough to stand a spoon in.
(Traditional cafe au lait & beignets at a New Orleans institution.)
The taste for coffee and chicory was developed by the French during their civil war. Coffee was scarce during those times, and they found that chicory added body and flavor to the brew. The Acadians from Nova Scotia brought this taste along with so many others to Louisiana.
This cup o’jeaux I had at Green Goddess was not a “cafe au lait” in the traditional sense; while it was made with chicory coffee, it wasn’t half steamed milk. Rather, they sweeten the strong brew with sweetened condensed milk. And it was sooooooo delicious, that I had to replicate it at home.
Now, my good, sweet, wonderful husband (who does not drink coffee unless it doesn’t taste like coffee) caved to my pleas and bought me a single-brewer system for Christmas last year. It’s a Mr. Coffee, but it has the Keurig system in it (therefore less pricey than the ones with the Keurig name stamped on the front). It takes K-cups, and can also use the “My K-Cup” insert that allows you to brew a single serving of your favorite bagged coffee (meaning you don’t have to constantly shell out $$ for the pre-made singles).
So…what we need:
1. A Keurig or other single-serve brewer
2. “My K Cup” or other reusable single serve filter
4. 1 tbsp Fat Free sweetened condensed milk
5. 8-10 oz filtered water
Pop the regular K-cup holder out of the Keurig.
Put 2 tbsp of chicory coffee in the My K Cup filter basket, screw on lid, & insert into the Keurig.
Add 8-10 oz of filtered water to the tank. Then press “Brew”.
About 90 seconds later, you have a nice, thick, hearty cup of coffee.
Add to that one full tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk, and stir until fully dissolved. (For me, this was the perfect amount. Not overly sweet, but just sweet & creamy enough to still enjoy the flavor of the coffee. If you prefer less sweet coffee, you could start with a 1/2 tbsp & then add more from there.)
Enjoy in your favorite mug.
And there, my friends, you have one AMAZING cup of cafe au lait for a mere 55 calories per 10 oz cup (compared to the average 160-200 calories that the same amount of Starbucks would run you).
And with that, I leave you with the wisdom of the “Honorary Cajun” mug:
Just doin’ my part to share the “joie de vivre”. :D