I have been a proud Daring Cook for several years and it is my absolute pleasure to host the group this month! This month I challenged the Daring Cooks to make a savoury recipe with tea.
I have always enjoyed learning new skills and trying new recipes with the Daring Cooks. They are always so inventive, so I gave them free rein to make one of my three recipes (below) or cook any other recipe with tea. They were able to choose to use black, green, or herbal tea. And there were so many great ideas! I am very grateful for the chance to host the Cooks and thrilled to enjoy what they came up with.
Green Tea, Tofu, and Noodle Soup
4 green tea teabags, or 1½ tablespoons (22½ ml) (3 gm) green tea leaves
1¼ inches (3 cm) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
5 oz (140 gm) thick or thin egg noodles
10 oz (280 gm) firm tofu, drained and cubed
5 oz (140 gm) bok choy or spring greens, shredded
1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) light soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz) (30 gm) red or white miso paste
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) sesame oil
6 scallions (also called spring onion or green onion), trimmed and sliced
a handful of shiso (Japanese basil or perilla) or mustard cress, or other micro greens, to garnish
Place 6 cup (1½ litre) water in a pan with the green tea bags or leaves and the ginger slices. Heat until the water is just below boiling and bubbles start to form.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it steep for four minutes.
Remove the tea bags or strain the liquid to remove the tea leaves. Return the ginger slices to the liquid and reserve.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions in a separate pan.
Return the tea liquid to the heat and add the tofu, bok choy or greens, and the soy sauce. Heat gently for five minutes, until hot all through.
Scoop out some liquid to a small bowl and mix in the miso paste. Then return the liquid to the pan.
Add the sesame oil and scallions. Spoon into bowls and garnish with the shiso, cress, or greens.
Beef Braised in Rooibos Tea with Sweet Potatoes
serves 4 to 6
Rooibos tea is an herbal infusion from South Africa. Also called red tea, redbush tea, or honeybush tea, it is honey-flavored and light colored. It is gaining popularity because it is low in bitter tannins and caffeine-free. It can be substituted in this recipe by black tea, or try another dark herbal tea such as one containing licorice.
1¼ pounds (600 gm) brisket or stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) chunks
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (18 gm) (⅔ oz) flour
1 tablespoon (15 m) oil
2 onions, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (8 gm) tomato concentrate
5 rooibos tea bags (or 2 tablespoons loose tea leaves)
1 quart (1 litre) just-boiled water
5 tablespoons (75 ml) red wine vinegar
4 strips unwaxed orange peel, pith removed (the peel of about half an orange)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 inches (5 cm) fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
¾ cup (175 ml) mild honey (optional)
cilantro (coriander) leaves, to garnish
salt and pepper, to taste
Season the beef and coat in the flour. Heat the oil in a large stock pot and then brown the beef on all sides.
Add the onions and celery. Put on a tight fitting lid and let soften for ten minutes.
Add the garlic and tomato concentrate and cook for one minute.
Meanwhile, place the tea bags in a heatproof pitcher and pour over the water. Allow to steep for four minutes. Then remove the tea bags (or strain out the tea leaves) and pour the tea into the stock pot. Add the red wine vinegar, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and ginger.
Lower the heat and cover. Let the stew simmer for 2 hours, until the beef is tender.
Add the sweet potatoes, honey (if using), and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.
Chinese Tea Eggs
makes 6 eggs
6 eggs (any size)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (6 gm) black tea leaves, or 4 tea bags
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (5 gm) Chinese five spice powder
1 tablespoon (5 ml) (3 gm) coarse grain salt
toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
In a large enough pot to avoid overcrowding, cover the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for twelve minutes.
Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and keep the cooking water.
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.
Return the eggs to the pan and add the tea leaves or bags, Chinese five spice powder, and salt. Cover the pan.
Heat gently and simmer, covered, for one hour.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs cool down in the liquid for 30 minutes.
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.
To serve, peel and slice the eggs in halves or quarters. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Have a look around the internet for other tea-based posts with these blog-checking lines: 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 with tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.
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