Tea is delicious. Everyone knows that tea is amazing as a baking herb. Ever hear of Earl Grey cupcakes? But what about savory dishes? It seems like there are a lot of recipes for baking but not so many for cooking. So we have scoured and looked and found some of the best teas to cook with and even found a few recipes to get you started. Here are some of the best teas used for cooking.
Jasmine – is often made with green tea and is scented with jasmine flowers. It is aromatic and elegant.
Darjeeling – this is a black tea from the northern part of India. It is delicate and complex.
Lapsang souchong – found in China and Taiwan this black tea is often smoked to varying degrees. Usually over green pine wood or needles. It is powerfully fragrant and smoky.
Genmaicha – a Japanese green tea that is mixed with toasted brown rice. Occasionally, the rice kernels invert during toasting, creating popcorn like bits. The taste is nutty and earthy.
Matcha – From Japan matcha is a green tea that is ground into a jade-green powder. It needs to be kept chilled, and in an airtight container because it is extremely perishable. Its flavor is sweet, floral and velvety smooth.
Rooibos – This dried leave is from a native South African shrub and is technically an herbal tea. It is fruity, mild and is sometimes called red tea.
Many spice companies like McCormick have created spice blends like the McCormick Smokin Sweet Tea. This gives home cooks the opportunity to create dishes like the Smokin Sweet Tea McCormick Mix.
Sweet Tea Smokin Ribs Dinner
Total cooking time: 4 hours
Ingredients – 3 pounds baby back ribs – 1 package McCormick Smokin Sweet Tea – 2 tablespoon olive oil – 2 tablespoon honey – Butter – 6 Yukon Gold potatoes – 2 Corn on the cob shucked and cut into half – Salt and Pepper – Chopped up parsley (to taste) – Chopped up cilantro (to taste)
1. Wash the meat. Place the meat in a Ziploc bag and add the spice mix, the honey and the olive oil. Seal and refrigerate overnight.
2. Wash the potatoes and poke some holes all over the potatoes. Rub olive oil all over them.
3. Wash the corn and rub butter all over them
4. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the potatoes and corn
5. Place the meat in a crock-pot (into two if needed). Spread it around so that it is not sitting on top of each other. Pour the juices from the Ziploc bag into the crock-pot. Cook on low for 4 hours. Add the vegetables.
6. 2 hours into cooking turn the meat and vegetables over so you get even coloring.
7. When done remove the meat and vegetables. Sprinkle the parsley over the potatoes. Sprinkle the cilantro over the corn.
8. Serve and enjoy.
Here is a Smoked Tea Duck recipe utilizing the delicious Lapsang Souchong tea courtesy of myrecipes.com
Smoked Tea Duck Serves 4 to 6
Total time: 40 Minutes
Ingredients – 2 duck breasts, skin on (about 2 lbs. total) – 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. lapsang souchong tea – 1 tablespoon white rice – About 1 tsp. kosher salt – 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns – 1 tablespoon sel gris or other coarse sea salt
1. Dry duck breasts thoroughly with paper towels. Using a very sharp knife, score fat side of duck in a diamond pattern, making slashes about 3/4 in. apart, to allow fat to render easily.
2. Put 1 tbsp. tea, rice, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and peppercorns in a spice grinder and pulverize into powder. Sprinkle powder on the fat side of duck and pat in powder so that it sticks. Dredge underside of duck with any spilled powder.
3. Preheat oven to 450°. Heat a cast-iron pan (or other heavy, ovenproof pan) over high heat, 1 to 2 minutes, until it’s nice and hot but not smoking. Gently place duck, skin side down, in the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until most of fat has rendered and has formed a crisp, deeply browned crust (it will look brown rather quickly due to the spices, but keep going until it’s crisp).
4. Season meat side of duck with a little kosher salt and, using tongs, gently turn over. Slide pan into the oven and roast 4 to 5 minutes for medium-rare, or a few minutes more for medium or well done (cut to check). Avoid overcooking; meat will be tough.
5. Remove duck from oven and transfer to a cutting board and it let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pulverize remaining 1 tsp. tea in a spice grinder, then add sel gris and give it a few pulses to combine.
6. Slice duck thinly, transfer to warmed plates, and sprinkle with tea and then salt to taste. This is just to get you started.
Branch out on your own and infuse meats and vegetables with tea blends. You can even try blending your own with a mortar and pestle. Tea is no longer just an ingredient for drinking or for making yummy desserts. It can be used for anything! Go ahead, explore and enjoy!