167 Recipes + Tea + 52 weeks = #CulinaryTeaChallenge
WEEK TWO RECIPES
STARTER: Genmaicha Vegetable Soup, pg.61
ENTREE: Tea-Roasted Tofu with Peanut Sauce, pg. 109
DESSERTS: Rosy Green Tea Truffles, pg. 175
TEA BEVERAGES: Basic Simple Syrup, pg. 237
Genmaicha Vegetable Soup
Out of all the recipes that I prepared for week two of the #CulinaryTeaChallenge, the vegetable soup prepared using a broth base of Genmaicha by The Tao of Tea was my absolute favorite and was a hit with my husband. I decided to employ the suggestion in Culinary Tea to add an animal protein for a heartier soup, so I added chicken and it was really delicious.
If this dish was entirely vegetarian I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much as I did. Genmaicha, a green tea with toasted rice, was a perfect compliment to the mushrooms, corn, spinach, and seasoned chicken. My husband suggested using beef or pork the next time around and I actually can imagine the soup becoming even heartier and more flavorful.
According to Culinary Tea, Genmaicha Vegetable Soup is considered a starter, but since it was the heartiest recipe that I prepared in week two, I decided to switch out the starter for the entrée and vice versa. My husband and I ate the soup with bread but I would have rather had egg rolls as this soup gave me a pho vibe. It was delicious, warming, and filling.
Something that I did that wasn't in the recipe book was season the chicken with salt, pepper, and cube maggi. I also used some of the Genmaicha by The Tao of Tea in which to simmer the chicken. I believe this contributed to the intensity of the tea's seasoning effect and the soup's overall robust taste.
Tea-Roasted Tofu with Peanut Sauce
I actually like tofu and I used to prepare it all the time for my husband and I, who also was a big fan of tofu. He found out that tofu causes fat in men or lowers their libido or something like that and he was quickly turned off from it. He was nice enough to taste the Tea-Roasted Tofu with Peanut Sauce recipe and he loved it. He wanted to finish the entire morsel but he couldn't stop thinking about the risks lol.
I didn't like this recipe at all. Although I like tofu, I do not like the sweet peanut sauce. I've never been a fan of sweet anything for my meal. The peanut sauce is tangy and sweet and I just couldn't get over this combination. I prepared the sauce with Pu'er by Arbor Teas and this may have been the reason why the sauce took on a heavy and slightly musky mouth-feel. Seeing how the tea manipulated the taste of the sauce was the only pleasure that I took out of eating this recipe.
This recipe looked more like an appetizer to me so I decided to serve it as such interchanging it for week two's entrée. I'm happy that I served it as an appetizer because between my husbands fears and my taste buds it wasn't really a hit at the dinner table.
Rosy Green Tea Truffles
Ok, so honestly, I'm over the truffles. In week one I mad truffles prepared with Earl Grey and they were delicious but very rich. Besides, there's still so many of them in the fridge and I don't think we will be able to eat all them! What is more, they are hard to give away because they melt easily. Rosy Green Tea Truffles were also delicious, and very pretty may I add, but at this point I think we're all truffled out.
Rosy Green Tea Truffles are made with two types of tea: a rose infusion and Matcha Green Tea by Teavana. This week, I read the recipe correctly and instead of using egg whites I properly used the egg yolk. I think this is what made the truffles turn out creamier. The rose infusion perfumed the chocolate while the matcha lent an earthy element.
Basic Simple Syrup
Since I don't use sugar when preparing my tea I never think about how convenient a simple syrup is compared to using sugar cubes. I love the idea of infusing a simple syrup with tea or herbs! I prepared Basic Simple Syrup using 1 cup of rose tea. The effect was a delicately perfumed simple syrup that I found delicious drizzled over the Rosy Green Tea Truffles. I can imagine myself using Basic Simple Syrup to sweeten a black or white tea.
What did I learn in Week Two of #CulinaryTeaChallenge? I learned that although I like chocolate, I can easily tire of it. I learned that week three includes a dessert of milk chocolate truffles and I'm like dying right now as I type this. I learned that peanut sauce isn't my thing. I discovered a really good genmaicha tea broth for soup. And I learned that simple syrup made with tea, floral, or herbal infusions is my new best friend.
Be sure to also follow @teaendblog on Instagram as I am always posting photos of different foods and asking my tea sipping bookworm friends for recipes inspired by tea.
Have you ever prepared simple syrup using tea?