Three Days of Tea: Two Recipes from Culinary Tea


Have the last few days inspired you to slow down a bit and sip some tea? We hope so. Not only do Barr and I love the flavor of tea, we love the tradition of tea and the versatility of tea. Be sure to scroll down for the recipes that would be perfect for holiday entertaining.

Cynthia and Lise’s book, Culinary Tea has given us some fabulous ideas.  We have one book to give away for one lucky flavorista.  Simply leave a comment to this post and we will enter your name in the drawing.  We will close the contest one week from today. Cheerio!

Jasmine Tea-Cured Gravlax from Culinary Tea
Serves 16

We think that this gravlax would make for some pretty sensational party fare served on toast points with just a touch of creme fraiche. Pair with a nice, dry sparkling wine.

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup kosher salt
1 whole side of salmon (3-4 pounds) preferably with skin on
1/2 lemon
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup loose-leaf Matcha green tea leaves

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and salt. Spread a large piece of plastic wrap on a work surface. Take ½ of the sugar-salt mixture and spread it on the plastic wrap to be roughly the size and shape of the salmon side.

Place the salmon on the sugar-salt mixture, skin-side down. Check that no bones remain in the salmon, squeeze the lemon over the skinless side, then spread the black pepper and garlic over evenly. Sprinkle on the dill and the tea. Spread the remaining 2/3 of the sugar-salt mixture over the tea powder.

Bring the plastic wrap up around the salmon to enclose it very well. Place the wrapped fish in a large pan that can hold the fish lying flat. Place a 2nd pan on top so that it presses down on the fish. Place canned goods on the 2nd pan to weigh it down. Refrigerate.

Flip fish over every 12 hours. After 24 hours, unwrap the fish and check for doneness – it should be firm and translucent, similar to smoked salmon. Depending on the thickness of the fillet, it should take between 24 and 48 hours to cure. Wipe the sugar-salt mixture and seasonings away from the salmon.

To serve, cut cured salmon thinly on the diagonal. When you reach the skin, curve the knife upward and the fish will release easily. Leftover gravlax should be wrapped well in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 10 days.

Orange Spice Tea-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Mango Peach Salsa from Culinary Tea
Serves 4 – 6

We love that this pork can be served at room temperature of cold. It can be tough to procure fresh peaches in the winter, so substitute frozen peaches or just use two mangoes.

2 (1-lb.) pork tenderloins, cleaned of excess fat and silver skins
1/4 cup Eleven Spice Tea Rub (recipe below)
2 cups orange juice, more as needed

1 fairly firm mango, peeled
1 fairly firm peach, peeled
1 medium red bell pepper
1 small red onion
1/2 to 1 small habanero pepper or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
zest and juice from 1/2 orange
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Eleven Spice Tea Rub (recipe below)
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro, basil or parsley
fine sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prepare the pork: Rub the pork tenderloins with the tea rub; cover well and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

To make the salsa: Dice the mango, peach, bell pepper, and onion into 1/4-inch dice and add to a medium bowl. Seed and cut away the membranes of the habanero and finely mince (it is a good idea to wear kitchen gloves when cutting this fiery chile). Add to the mango mixture.

Add the lime juice, orange zest, orange juice and the rice vinegar. Sprinkle in the tea rub, brown sugar and fresh herbs. Season salsa with salt and pepper. Stir well. Cover and chill until you are ready to serve.

When you are ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and place it in a small roasting pan. Pour the orange juice in the pan and ¼ of the way up the sides of the tenderloins; add more juice, if needed.

Roast the pork uncovered, basting frequently with the orange juice (2-3 times) until desired doneness (if you prefer pink, 150°F on an instant read thermometer). Depending on the size of the tenderloins, this may take as little as 18 minutes or as long as 30 minutes, so check frequently.

If serving hot, allow pork to rest 8-10 minutes before slicing on the bias to serve. If serving cold, chill the whole tenderloin until needed, then slice on the bias. Stir the salsa before serving, adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Eleven Spice Tea Rub from Culinary Tea

5 Tbsp. finely ground full-bodied black tea leaves (Chinese congou, Ceylon, and Niligiri)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp.ground cinnamon
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground star anise or anise seed
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground mace

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing well until thoroughly combined. Store in a tightly sealed jar or tin at room temperature for up to 2 months.

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