Is there anyone else out there like me who sips a drink (tea, wine, whatever) and automatically wonders what food it would pair well with?
I have to admit, sometimes I feel a bit food-crazed, because I get so much pleasure out of preparing, talking about, writing about, reading about and eating food. I'm clearly not one of those people who eats to live. I live to eat.
So, of course I'm always interested in finding out what food pairs best with a certain cup of tea. Just this morning I was having some sugar cookies while sipping our Organic Peppermint tea (no it wasn't breakfast ... merely a mid-morning snack. Got a problem with that?) and thinking how well they went together. I've also talked to two leaves CEO and founder Richard Rosenfeld about how he loves to pair a slightly astringent tea with sweets for a delicious contrast — at the time I think we were specifically talking about our Organic Darjeeling, paired with homemade pie.
But it's one thing to serve a cup of tea with a certain food, and it's another to actually cook with tea, something I've never (really) done. The exceptions? I did a lot of experimenting with making tea-flavored ice cream in the past few months, and I've also used black tea in my husband's family recipe for wassail, that fruit juice/tea/spices drink that's as ubiquitous around the holidays as eggnog.
So I started to look around online, and I found some great recipes for cooking with tea, but I admit, I didn't have a world of time to try any of these out.
My first stop was this newish book, "Culinary Tea: more than 150 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World," by Cynthia Gold and Lise Stern. If you're going to set food in the world of cooking with tea, this book would be a great place to start. Here's a link to an article about the book that includes a recipe for Smoky Black Lentils, using Lapsang Souchong.
And then there's the food section of the New York Times, where I found this recipe printed in 2007 for Tea-Smoked Chicken Thighs with Pomegranate Glaze. It sounds pretty irresistible.
I also came across a blogger who loves tea and loves cooking, so it makes sense that she's combined her passion now and then, and presents a few recipes that involve cooking with tea. "Cooking with Amy" gives us Smokey Citrus Tea Shrimp, Kiwi Matcha Lime Tea Cake that includes matcha (powdered green tea) and a simple recipe for Tea-infused Hot Cocoa. Try it!
So of course, we're looking for more promising recipes to try out. Have you ever cooked with tea, and what would you recommend? Bonus points for using two leaves and a bud!