Creative cooking has lots of surprises for those willing to keep an open mind. One unexpected ingredient to consider is tea. Cooking with tea can add flavors that range from smoky to herbaceous. From sweet dishes to savory, tea can add tasty notes to a variety of concoctions.
When thinking of sweets, tea is a consideration with cookies and with desserts that make use of dairy. Shortbread and sugar cookies work well loose leaf tea leaves or matcha powder incorporated into the dough. The buttery flavors and sweetness make for a delicious blend. Be sure to grind the loose leaf tea sufficiently, perhaps using a coffee or spice grinder if a mortar and pestle are not handy.
With desserts that use dairy, consider ice cream or crème brûlée. Infusing the applicable dairy ingredient with tea is a great approach. When using loose leaf tea, be certain to strain it carefully after going through the process of infusing. Herbal teas work particularly well for these luscious desserts. To infuse the dairy ingredients, add the desired tea and slowly heat the cream or milk until it is slightly below the boiling point. Allow it to cool before straining.
Adding Tea For Flavor
Teas also offer opportunities to add distinctive flavors to savory dishes. As with desserts, dairy infused with tea can create a delicious change of pace. Grassy varieties, for instance, work well with béchamel sauces for rice and pasta. Tea can even be used in pasta noodles, giving the dish a lushly herbaceous flavor. Full-bodied varieties of tea can be a rich complement to the flavors in stir-fry. When added to other ingredients that are typical in a dry rub, tea can introduce further smoky notes to the beef or pork. The addition is flavorful for dishes that are cooked slowly or quickly. Tea that has been lightly brewed also makes a good addition to soups that feature grains.
Some dishes might be a little daunting, but there could be options to be purchased in the supermarket. Green tea soba noodles, for example, can be found at some grocery and specialty stores. The most important ingredient is a sense of adventure.
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