Thursday, May 22, 2008

What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

There's always something cooking in the TeaSpot kitchen, so in accompaniment to our blog about tea-riffic cocktails, I thought I would go ahead and add the piece de résistance: a few mouth-watering recipes for cooking with tea. So put on your aprons, collect your spatulas, and get in the kitchen and make me some dinner!

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Tea has long been consumed at all times of the day and with all types of food, and also as an after-dinner digestif. Tea's wide range of subtle and poignant flavors make it perfect for added flavors in food. So it only makes sense that at some point during the human experience, our big-'ole brains would combine the two in the kitchen for some new culinary experiences.

So, without further ado, I give you the following recipes, courtesy of TeaSpot founders Maria Uspenski and Karen Harbour:

Green Tea Chicken Noodle Soup
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken, cut into1/2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons GREEN ROASTED MINT leaves steeped in one half-cup (4 oz) water
5 ounces dry bean thread noodles
4 cups chicken stock
2 (1/2 inch thick) slices ginger root, lightly mashed
1/2 cup oyster mushrooms, cubed
3 cups packed spinach leaves, large stems removed
Salt and white pepper, as desired

PREPARATION: Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the green tea. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour to marinate. Cover the bean thread noodles with warm water. Soak until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain. In a big pot bring the stock, ginger and mushrooms to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Add the chicken, including the GREEN ROASTED MINT marinade, and noodles. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Add the spinach and boil for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Red Rocks Roasted Potatoes
2 lbs Red Potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
3 teaspoons agave or honey
3 tablespoons TeaSpot’s Red Rocks tea, finely ground
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon white pepper

PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 425°. In a large roasting pan or baking sheet, spread cubes potatoes evenly. In a bowl, mix oil, vinegar, Red Rocks tea, agave, salt & pepper. Drizzle mixture over potatoes and toss together. Cover with foil and place in oven. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes. Uncover and stir. Broil for an additional 5 - 10 minutes to brown top. Serves 6 – 8.

Orange-Mango Tango Duck
2 Boneless duck breast halves
¾ cup chopped shallots
2 ¼ cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups fresh or non-concentrated orange juice
4 teaspoons MANGO TANGO leaves
1 Tablespoon honey
3 Tablespoons diced butter
salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 450F. Pierce skin of duck all over with fork and sprinkle duck with salt and pepper. Place duck, skin side down, in a heated skillet to brown (about 4 minutes). Turn duck breasts over and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Remove and place in a roasting pan, then continue to cook in 450F oven to desired doneness, about 20 minutes for medium-rare. Meanwhile, heat the drippings left in the skillet over medium. Add shallots and sauté until golden. Remove discarded drippings. Add broth, orange juice and MANGO TANGO leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce to about 1 cup and strain. Return liquid to same skillet and add honey; simmer 2 minutes. Whisk in butter and add salt and pepper to taste. Slice thin and serve with sauce.

Fragrant Rice

VINTAGE OOLONG will give your ordinary rice a sweet and subtle aroma. Perfect with any mustard sauce or cream-based entree.
4 cups water
2 teaspoons VINTAGE OOLONG
2 cups rice
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
salt, 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste

PREPARATION: Boil water. Add rice, salt and olive oil and reduce heat to simmer. After 5 minutes add vintage oolong leaves. Cover and simmer for an additional 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is ready. Remove vintage oolong leaves – they will all be at the surface of the rice. Serves: 4 - 6

Earl of Grey Cookies
2 tsp Earl of Grey (dry leaves, ground)
2 c flour
2 eggs
4 oz. (1/2 c) butter, melted
1/2 c cane sugar
1 TBS decorative sugar crystals
a few loose Earl of Grey tea leaves

PREPARATION: Beat the melted butter with the sugar. Add 1 egg, then flour and powdered tea, until you get a homogeneous dough. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour. Grease a cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 400F. Beat 2nd egg with 1 TBS water in a small bowl. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 in thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Cut out cookies into desired shapes, and place on cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg mixture. Decorate with loose sugar crystals and tea leaves. Bake about 10 mins or until just golden. Cool on rack and let come to room temperature before serving.

Boulder Blues Fruit Salad
6 teaspoons TeaSpot’s Boulder Blues steeped in 4 oz hot water
1/4 cup agave or 1/3 cup honey or sugar
Assorted Fruit (Strawberry, blueberry, mango, pineapple, apple, raspberry, melon, grapes)

PREPARATION: Steep Boulder Blues tea in 4 ounces water at 175° for 2 minutes (Note to bring water to 175° - boil and let cool for 3 minutes). Add hot tea to agave and whisk. Mix fruit in a big bowl. Drizzle Boulder Blues syrup over fruit. Mix gently and let sit for 20 - 30 minutes before serving.


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