167 Recipes + Tea + 52 weeks = #CulinaryTeaChallenge
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WEEK THREE RECIPES
STARTER: Jasmine Tea Chicken Soup, pg.62
ENTREE: Smoky Black Lentils, pg. 110
TEA BEVERAGES: ---
Jasmine Tea Chicken Soup
This soup was supposed to look like a culinary masterpiece from a high-end restaurant but instead, it turned out like the picture you see above. I mean, it doesn't look so bad but the rice cake that the vegetables were sitting on was a complete fail. I went wrong here simply by not preparing the rice using a little more water to make it sticky. However, I don't think a perfectly round and pan fried rice cake would have made this soup any more appetizing.
My husband and I just weren't feeling the soup's broth made of chicken stock and Jasmine Green Tea by Sunflower. There's an odd and bitter taste that is created when a floral tea is used as a broth for soup, and it just wasn't our thing. We loved the season chicken and the enoki mushrooms which swam in the broth before adding the rice cake (which was supposed to elegantly float on the surface) with the vegetable medley a-top.
I think the soup could be delicious and visually pleasing if the broth was made of a more savory tea such as Genmaicha Green Tea and Toasted Rice by The Tao of Tea and if the rice cake was round, golden, and floating a-top the soup. Perhaps I'll re-do the recipe this way and see how it goes...
Smoky Black Lentils
Ok, so these lentils are obviously not black, I can explain: I was just tired of black food so I bought orange lentils instead. No seriously, take a look at week 1 and 2 of #CulinaryTeaChallenge and tell me if you also don't tire of black food. Honestly, after preparing these lentils I regretted not sticking to the recipe because I do think black lentils would have turned out to be more visually pleasing.
So, I think I overcooked the lentils. The recipe stipulated that they should simmer and absorb the tea in about 30 minutes but I feel like my lentils took forever to absorb all the liquid. I probably simply should have turned up the heat to prevent over-cooking but I didn't so they turned out to be more mashed than granular.
The taste wasn't so bad though as the Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons lent a heavier and more solid taste to the all veggie dish. My husband said, "They're good, but they're not our thing", and he's right. They were ok, but they weren't really our type of meal. I can see myself preparing these, correctly, perhaps for one of my friends whom I know doesn't eat meat.
Honestly, week three of the #culinaryteachallenge has reminded me that there is so much hype surrounding tea. Some of these recipes are really intense! I feel as though it is some-what of a reflection of how the authors feel about tea. Tea can be sophisticated but I believe that tea can be within everyone's reach. I've learned that enochi mushrooms are really hard to find but they add a subtle but pleasant taste to a broth and I also realized that jasmine tea has never been my preference, not in my tea cup nor my soup bowl. If I were to use it again in a culinary way, I would stick with desserts or chilled beverages.
Despite these discoveries, I am still enjoying the adventure of Culinary Tea. Remember, you can always join the fun! Purchase your very own copy of Culinary Tea and cook with me!
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Do you cook with tea?