Melt white, milk or dark chocolate slowly in a bain marie (or in a bowl set over a pan of warm water). Place over a low heat. Chocolate can "seize" up if heated too quickly, too much, or if water drips onto the melting chocolate. White chocolate, especially, melts quickly so do not overheat. Remove the bowl from the pan of water, drying the bottom of the bowl and being sure no water drips onto the chocolate. Cool slightly.
Fold in your favorite tea (use dry leaf) and additions of choice:
Use green sencha and some crushed candy cane pieces for a traditional Christmas combination(looks very festive in white chocolate)
Or use green sencha and red rooibos to create that color scheme without the mint
Red Rooibos in white chocolate is a loving combo for Valentine's Day
Green Sencha in white, milk or dark chocolate can be a lucky treat for St Patrick's Day
Fold in Great Falls Grey with its colorful flower petals
Use any color of crushed hard candy:
Try black tea leaves with butterscotch bits
Green, oolong or black leaves with ice blue peppermint candy
Fold in nuts and/or dried fruits
After folding in your ingredients of choice, pour and spread onto a parchment lined cookie sheet to firm up. When firm, break into pieces of "bark". Can be stored away from heat in a sealed container for several days.
TEA-lightful Cheesy Cornbread Muffins
The ingredient amounts in this recipe are fairly standard for muffins. What makes this recipe so tasty and unique is the use of cornmeal, stone ground at the historic Colvin Run Mill, Cabot's Tomato Basil Cheddar Cheese and some Lapsang Souchong tea. The tea adds a bit of smokiness to the flavor combination lending a familiar taste reminiscent of a BLT without the bacon! That flavor nuance is especially noticable when served warm from the oven.
1 cup all purpose flour 1 cup cornmeal, stone ground from Colvin Run Mill 1 Tbsp Lapsang Souchong tea leaves, dry 1 Tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 2 Tbsp sugar 1 cup (4oz) Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar Cheese, diced 2 eggs 1 cup milk 1/4 cup canola oil (or melted butter)
Preheat oven to 400°, grease (or spray) a 12 cup muffin tin or 2-3 mini muffin tins. Finely grind the dry tea leaves in a spice grinder. This will yield about 1 1/2 tsp ground tea leaves. Combine ground tea with other dry ingredients. Fold in diced cheese. In separate bowl, beat eggs, add milk and oil (or butter) to blend. Add blended liquids to the dry ingredients and stir briefly just until mixed. (Over mixing can cause tough muffins.) Spoon batter evenly into greased muffin tins. Bake at 400º for 15-20 minutes, depending on size of muffins, just until tops are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Enjoy warm, room temp or slightly reheated.
Variations: ~ Stone ground whole wheat flour from Colvin Run Mill may be substituted for some of the all purpose flour or the cornmeal ~ Try this recipe with other teas and cheeses for a variety of flavor combinations ~Add some corn (off the cob or frozen/defrosted) to the batter ~Add chopped nuts and/or fruit to the batter ~To make a sweeter muffin, add 1 or 2 additional Tablespoons of sugar to the dry mixture; and/or sprinkle some sugar on top of each unbaked muffin after filling the pans ~May also be baked in a greased 8x8 or 9x9 inch square pan for cornbread. Bake 20-25 minutes
"Smoke" chicken breasts or raw shrimp for salad by poaching them in brewed Lapsang Souchong tea instead of plain water or stock. The potent smokiness of the brewed tea lends a subtle smokiness to the chicken or shrimp. Chop some of the brewed Lapsang Souchong tea leaves and fold into mayonnaise for an added level of smokiness. Or, grind up some dry Lapsang Souchong and fold it into mayonnaise. Let that mixture meld a bit before serving. Either of these mayo combinations can also be mixed with already poached plain chicken or shrimp. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was SO EXCITED when I discovered these adorable chocolate dessert cups - shaped like TEA CUPS!!
They are made from dark Belgian chocolate and they are truly DECADENT!
You can fill them with any number of fillings - your favorite mousse, pudding, fruit puree, or
Fill with fresh berries and nap the plate with the following crème anglaise recipe.
You may purchase these chocolate tea cups from www.rolandfood.com
Tea Infused Crème Anglaise Dessert Sauce
Any tea will lend intriguing flavor to custard sauce. I especially love using Great Falls Grey, our creative take on a traditional Earl Grey. The sauce needs no additional flavoring. Be adventurous and try other flavors of tea for infusing and flavoring. Just another way to add more antioxidants to your day!
1 heaping tsp. Great Falls Grey dry tea leaves (or tea of your choice)
1 1/4 cup milk
2 or 3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
Put dry tea leaves in milk, stir, heat to just below boiling, let steep 10 - 15 minutes, strain. (This will yield 1 cup of infused milk.)
While the tea is steeping in the milk, beat the egg yolks well. Add the sugar and beat well - until the mixture turns light in color and thick enough to "form a ribbon" as you lift the beater.
Reheat the strained, infused milk briefly if it has cooled. Pour a small amount of the heated milk into the egg/sugar mixture and blend well. Repeat. This will "temper" the eggs and warm them up slowly. (If all the hot milk were added at once it could curdle or cook the eggs into lumps.)
Pour this blended mixture into a saucepan and over low heat stir constantly with a wooden spoon. As steam starts to rise pay close attention that it does not boil. To test for proper thickness - lift the wooden spoon and run your finger through the sauce. If the "trail" holds its shape and the sauce does not run together, the sauce is done. Pour it through a strainer into a clean bowl. Stir briefly to help it cool a bit. Refrigerate until cold.
Serve this tea infused sauce over pound cake, fruit, brownies, or your choice.
Tea Brined Pork Tenderloin
This luscious recipe comes from Chef Monica Thomas – owner of Tailored Taste Personal Chef Service (see the Links page for her website) and a colleague of mine in Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. It is a wonderful dish any time of the year. As spring approaches and fresh mint begins to pop up in local gardens, try adding that optional ingredient for an additional bright flavor note.
For the Brine:
1 Tbsp Great Falls Lemon Ginger Green Tea – dry leaves
2 Tbsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp sugar
1 cup hot water – just off the boil
A few ice cubes plus cold water
2 Pork Tenderloins (approximately 2 pounds)
For the Rub:
1 Tbsp Great Falls Lemon Ginger Green Tea – dry leaves
1 tsp dried whole leaf thyme
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp fresh chopped mint (optional)
1 cup chicken stock
To make Brine: Combine 1 Tbsp Great Falls Lemon Ginger Green Tea leaves, salt, and sugar in a two cup Pyrex measuring cup. Add the 1 cup of just boiled water. Stir to dissolve salt and sugar, then infuse for 5 minutes. Add a few ice cubes to cool the brine quickly, then add additional cold water to bring total brine amount to 2 cups.
Trim all fat and silver skin from the 2 pork tenderloins and place in a one gallon zip lock bag. Add the brine, zip closed and place on a platter or shallow pan in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Flip bag once or twice while brining. After brining, remove pork tenderloins to a flame proof roasting pan and discard the brine.
To make Rub: Place 1 Tbsp Great Falls Lemon Ginger Green Tea leaves and the thyme in a spice grinder and grind finely. Add this to the lemon zest (and mint, if using) and mix well. Rub this mixture all over the pork.
Roast in a preheated 375° oven 25 – 30 minutes. Using an instant-read meat thermometer, ensure that the pork reaches an internal temperature of 150°. Pork will be slightly pink in the middle. Remove from oven, transfer pork to a platter and tent with foil to rest 5-10 minutes to settle the juices in the meat. Place roasting pan on burner over medium heat, add chicken stock and stir, scraping up the small bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for several minutes to reduce slightly and blend flavors.
To serve - slice pork and arrange on plate or platter. Nap with pan sauce or serve sauce on the side.
Perfect Peach Tea Bread – Perfect for Gift Giving!
This traditional pound cake like recipe was developed in collaboration with Chef Bev Bates for publication in 2009’s Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Crowning Cuisine Calendar. It can be flavored many ways with premium tea leaves which add valuable antioxidants. For this recipe we’ve chosen a fragrant peach infused tea so you can enjoy the fresh orchard taste of peaches all year long. Try the Spiced Chai for its winter spiciness, the Great Falls Grey if you love bergamot or whatever type of tea pleases your taste buds.
Sliced thin as is, this tea bread is wonderful any time of day. Dress it up by serving it with fresh or tea poached fruit, ice cream or classic anglaise. To bake in a bundt pan, just double the recipe. This tea bread holds well for several days and freezes beautifully.
4 oz soft butter
1 ½ cups (11oz) granulated sugar
1 2/3 cups (8oz) all purpose flour
2 - 3 tsp. dry tea leaves – finely ground (use spice grinder or mortar & pestle) of -
Great Falls Tea Garden Peachy Keen Tea
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup (4oz) sour cream
*Grease and dust with flour, 1 standard loaf pan, or several small ones.
*Sift flour, ground dry tea, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
*Cream butter well, add sugar, beat till fluffy, scrape bottom and sides of bowl.
*Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
*Fold dry ingredients and sour cream into mixture and mix gently till smooth. Do not over mix as this can toughen the finished cake. *Pour batter into prepared pan(s), bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 – 55 minutes, depending on size of pan(s) being used. Tea bread is done when golden on top, sides have come away from sides of pan slightly and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool about ten minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack. When completely cool wrap well. The texture is best when this tea bread is allowed to “set up” overnight. It seems to improve with age.
Lemon Ginger – Add 2- 3 tsp. of Great Falls Tea Garden’s Lemon/Ginger Green tea leaves (ground) to dry ingredients and the zest of 1 lemon to the creamed butter and sugar. Chocolate Spice – Substitute 1/3 cup cocoa powder for 1/3 cup flour and add 2 - 3 tsp. of Spiced Chai (ground) to dry ingredients. Fold ½ cup chocolate chips into batter if desired.
Orange Vanilla Poppy Seed – Add 2 tsp. of Great Falls Tea Garden’s Creamy Orange tea leaves (ground) and 1 Tbsp. of poppy seeds to dry ingredients and zest of one small orange to the creamed butter and sugar.
Summertime or anytime - these cocktails are always TEA-licious!
Moroccan Mint MoTEAto or Moroccan Mint MarTEAni
Brew some gunpowder green tea with a few mint leaves infused at the same time. (Avoid the thick stems of the mint as they can add a bit of unwanted bitterness.) Or use an already blended Moroccan Mint tea. Strain and chill.
Mix - 1 part rum 1 part frozen limeade concentrate (it can be defrosted, but not diluted) 2 parts Moroccan mint tea, brewed and chilled 2 parts lemon/lime flavor sparkling water 1/4 to 1/3 part minted simple syrup (optional)*
Mix well and taste. Adjust to your taste preference, if necessary
*( Hint: I sometimes use a minted simple syrup to balance the flavor profile. To make: Bring 2 parts sugar and 1 part water to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Turn off heat and add plenty of fresh mint leaves. Let infuse 15 - 20 minutes. Strain and chill.)
Pour over ice and garnish with mint leaves or shake in cocktail shaker and pour into a martini glass, garnish with mint leaves and enjoy!!
Genmai Vegetable Soup
Have you ever used brewed tea as a base for soup? It's convenient, easy and a perfect answer for vegetarians looking for a tasty but meat free stock. Use your imagination and culinary creativity to develop your own signature soup. But to get you started, here is one of my favorite combos -
6 cups brewed Japanese Genmai Tea 1 package fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced about 8 oz corn, frozen is fine fresh baby spinach - about a 6oz bag 1 -2 Tbsp soy sauce 1 -2 tsp vinegar (I use rice wine vinegar but cider vinegar or other is fine) a few grinds pepper (Szechwan, if you have it) salt, if it needs it
Strain the tea before putting it in a stockpot, but save the leaves in case you want to add some at the end for interest. Keep your "tea stock" on a medium heat as you add the rest of the ingredients. (If you haven't already tried using your egg slicer to slice the mushrooms - try it. The slices come out nice and even.) Let everything heat through, taste and adjust seasonings and it's ready to serve!
You can add any veggie you like along with rice, or pasta, or beans and turn this simple soup into a filling, complete protein meal. You can also add shrimp, chicken, beef. pork, etc (unless, of course, you want to keep it vegetarian). Or you can keep it simple like this recipe and serve it as an Asian style soup.
Altering the tea and other ingredients can change the flavor dramatically. Have fun experimenting!
Smoky Tea Spiced Pecans
For each pound of pecans (or other nuts of your choice) -
Finely grind the dry tea leaves in a spice grinder. Once powdered the yield will be just over 1 Tbsp. Mix ground tea leaves with all the other dry ingredients.
Whisk egg white in bowl until it looks like soap suds. Add the water. Whisk to incorporate. Add the dry ingredients to this mixture. Whisk well. Let rest for 15 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve and the flavors to blend together.
Set oven temperature to 300°, line baking sheet with parchment paper.
When 15 minutes is up (do not wait longer than that or the mixture can separate) whisk mixture again briefly then pour over nuts. Coat as evenly as possible. Pour onto baking sheet. Put into preheated oven and immediately turn oven temperature down to 250°. Bake for about 1 hour.
To test doneness, remove a few nuts from oven and let cool 3-4 minutes. Taste to see if nut is crisp. If not, test every 5 minutes until desired texture is achieved. After removing tray from oven, let nuts cool completely before attempting to remove from sheet and break into pieces. Store in airtight container.
Variations - substitute any flavor tea and/or spices to suit your taste.
For Example - Use Great Falls Peachy Keen Tea, plain salt and omit the cayenne.
Use Great Falls Spiced Chai, plain salt, omit the cayenne but add ground cardamom.
Great Falls Tea Garden Shortbread Cookies
2 Tbsp. Great Falls Tea Garden Spiced Chai, dry (or tea of your choice) 2 oz. slivered almonds (or nuts of your choice) 1 cup flour ½ tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. salt 4 oz. unsalted butter, softened to cool room temp. 1/3 cup sugar Finely grind the dry tea in a spice grinder. Finely grind the almonds in a spice grinder or food processor. (Be careful not to overprocess or it will turn into almond butter.) Combine ground tea, ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt in bowl. Set aside. In food processor, beat butter briefly. Add sugar and beat to mix well. Add dry ingredients and blend til just mixed and has somewhat formed a ball. Turn out onto a piece of wax paper. Shape into a round to prepare for rolling. Cover with another piece of wax paper and roll to desired thickness. Cut into desired shape/s, place on baking sheet lined with parchment and bake in preheated 325° oven and bake 20 - 30 minutes, depending on size and thickness. Remove from oven. Let cool on baking sheet. Eat and enjoy! Substitute your favorite flavor of tea and /or nuts in this recipe. You may also substitute ¼ cup cocoa powder for ¼ cup flour to make a chocolate chai or other chocolate flavored shortbread.
Substitute 1/3 cup stone ground Whole Wheat Flour or stone ground Cornmeal, both available at Colvin Run Mill's General Store, for the ground nuts.
Sweet Heat Green Tea Spice Rub
This dry rub that I make with green tea is sometimes available at my classes. I most often use this on salmon but have also enjoyed it on grilled chicken, pork tenderloin and flank steak.
For appetizer salmon bites, cut the raw salmon filets into bite size cubes or pieces - about one inch in size. Put them in a bowl and toss with one to two Tablespoons dry rub per pound of salmon. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and place in a preheated 425° oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To prepare a salmon filet - cut into serving size pieces ( 4 - 6 oz each), place on foil lined baking sheet, coat with the dry rub and bake at 425° 12 - 15 minutes until cooked to desired doneness. I prefer the salmon to be moist in the middle.
A whole salmon filet with the skin side left on, can be coated with the dry rub then grilled.