Cooking with Tea (Daring Cooks Challenge November 2011)

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.

My streamlined tea collection – fairtrade & organic

Earl Grey risotto with salmon & vegetables – delicate flavour of bergamot & lemon creeping through this warming winter dish.

Green tea custard and apple crumble – tea-smoothiness against the sharp Bramley apples, and crunchy crumble.

Green tea ice cream & fresh raspberries – creamy indulgence with antioxidants!

Jasmine steamed tea infused bread with tea soaked cranberries – extremely gentle tasting springy buns

Tanzanian Tea porridge – I was feeling inquisitive! I had a cold pot of tea & some oats…

Assam steamed potato salad – extremely subtle again

Beef Rooibos stew – I used cape malay rooibos chai instead of conventional rooibos, this was delicious!

Beef Braised in Rooibos Tea with Sweet Potatoes

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients
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

Directions:

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.

Green Tea, Tofu, and Noodle Soup
Servings: 4

Ingredients
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

Directions:

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.

Chinese Tea Eggs

Servings: 6 eggs

Ingredients
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

Directions:

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.

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:

The green tea soup can be kept for five days in the fridge but is best eaten fresh. It’s not suitable for freezing.

The beef stew can be frozen for two months or kept in the fridge for five days.

The Chinese tea eggs are best eaten within 24 hours and are unsuitable for freezing.

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3 responses to “Cooking with Tea (Daring Cooks Challenge November 2011)

  1. Ooh, chai roobios sounds amazing and I imagine it would make the stew even better; great idea. I am impressed by the number of recipes you tried, including both sweet and savoury. I think risotto with Earl Grey is a brilliant idea. Thank you so much for participating this month – you are a truly daring cook!

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