A cup of hot tea may warm your heart and a glass of iced tea may soothe you in the summer, but tea is definitely having its moment in cooking. In fact, it’s positively stepping out of the cupboard!
For example, did you know that several cups of brewed tea are perfect for poaching apples and pears? Flavored teas, such as cinnamon and spice or black currant, work wonderfully for this.
Brewed tea – try a nice Darjeeling or oolong – can also be used in place of water to cook jasmine rice.
Dried, unbrewed Dragonwell tea leaves are delicious when tossed into your chicken and vegetable stir fry. The tea leaves impart a light, grassy flavor. Unexpected but very flavorful.
Once you’ve sipped your pot of tea, you can use the still-fragrant tea leaves to stuff inside a chicken. As the chicken bakes it will gently absorb some of the tea’s delicate aroma.
Oolong tea, which is a natural sweetener, can be also made into a wonderful rub for chicken and fish. Just combine a small scoop of dried tea leaves (not brewed) with salt, ground pepper, and paprika. Gently rub this mixture on your chicken or fish and then grill it.
Of course, if your taste runs more to reading about tea adventures, you can always check out Ming Tea Murder, my newest Tea Shop Mystery. My main character, Theodosia, is a wonderful tea hostess who sets a fine and wicked tea table in the cozy environs of her little tea shop. The book has the pacing of a thriller and a story line that’s relevant and exciting. With a carefully crafted sense of place, many readers tell me that reading a Tea Shop Mystery is like taking a vacation in Charleston. And they’re just as enthusiastic about the tea lore and recipes that I’ve included. So enjoy!
Laura Childs is the author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Her books have been named to the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists and have been featured selections of the Mystery Guild’s Mystery Book Club. Ming Tea Murder is her most recent book.
Visit Laura at http://www.laurachilds.com