Thinking outside the cup..cooking with tea

 

 

Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

I was super excited when this month’s challenge was revealed! I love tea, I have at least 5-6 types of tea on hand at all times. I have used it to marinate dried fruits for baking bread but I never thought of using it in cooking before! This challenge was truly an eye opener and I can’t thank Sarah enough for hosting it.

Apparently brewed tea makes an excellent spice if you simply grind tea leaves in a pepper mill and combine with white pepper.you can use it as a rub for steak or chicken.

Tea makes a wonderful marinade instead of throwing out the extra tea left in the teapot at the end of teatime, try adding it to your favorite marinade for chicken breasts  of kabob

Tea is an efficient tenderizer. Rooibos “Red” tea has been shown to have similar results and may add yet another unique nuance for your culinary delights.

Tea can also be used as an aromatic: Try using Jasmine tea to make rice and transform it from an every day dish to a true treat.

I personally used it to marinate meat for kabob, they turned out phenomenal. I also used it to make chinese eggs with a little change on spices, I used the 7 spice mix instead of the chinese 5 spice, these were a big pleasant surprise, I expected overcooked rubbery eggs. The result was the exact opposite, the eggs were really flavorful, they soaked up the flavors of the tea and spices and that transformed them to a refreshing change from every day eggs. The pattern was the icing on the cake.I also used tea in a salad dressing however I was less impressed by it here(I won’t share the recipe because I didn’t have a chance to photograph it and wasn’t very happy with it). I think it might be due to the fact that I brewed the tea too strong. I will try again with regular tea and I’ll let you know how it goes.

I wish I had more time to try more recipes, I have a whole folder now in my favorites with recipes and ideas but time wasn’t on my side as usual.If you are interested in exploring more you can find some interesting recipes here and here and you can download this PDF that is full of a wide range of tea recipes.

Earl Grey Shish Kebab

1 cup water

4 tea bags  Earl Grey

juice from 1 lemon

1 tbsp. honey

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 teaspoon mustard

1 pound beef or chicken cut into kebab chunks

1 medium onion

1 green pepper

2 nectarines

shish kebab skewers

Bring water to a boil and pour over tea bags in a mug for 5 minutes remove tea bags.

Stir in remaining ingredients and cool to room temperature.

 Add the meat, toss to coat and marinate for 1 hour. 

 Assemble skewers, alternating meat, fruit and vegetables.

 Barbecue or cook in oven, turning skewers and frequently until they reach the desired level of done.

Chinese tea eggs

 

 
6 eggs (any size)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (6 gm) english breakfast tea leaves, or 4 tea bags

2 teaspoons (10 ml) (5 gm) seven spice mix(cinnamon, cardamom, all spice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg”optional”, black pepper)

1 tablespoon (5 ml) (3 gm) coarse grain salt

toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Directions:

    1. In a large enough pot to avoid overcrowding, cover the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for two minutes.
    2. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and keep the cooking water.
    3. With a spoon, tap the eggs all over until they are covered with small cracks. This can also be done by tapping and rolling the eggs very gently on the counter.(do it gently because the eggs are not fully cooked yet and they will be soft)
    4. Return the eggs to the pan and add the tea leaves or bags, Chinese  spice powder, and salt.
    5. Bring to a boil then simmer, for 20 minutes.
    6. Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs cool down in the liquid for 3-4 hours or over night (the longer you leave them the deeper the pattern and color . Next time I am leaving them all night)
    7. Remove the eggs from the liquid. Peel one egg to check how dark it is; the others can be returned to the liquid if you wish to have the web-like pattern darker. Allow the eggs to cool fully

 

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