Tea cooking better this time
Two pro tea types, Robert Wemischner and Nancy Charles Longo, talked me into giving the technique another shot. Wemischner, who from 1987 to 1991 ran a specialty food business in Pikesville called What’s Cookin’, now lives in Los Angeles and teaches cooking courses in the Los Angeles Trade Technical College. One night he teamed with Longo at her Fells Point restaurant, Pierpoint, to prepare a dinner of tea flavored dishes.
I missed the dinner but spoke with Wemischner and Longo whose enthusiasm for using tea as an ingredient rubbed off on me.
“Tea is a pure flavor,” Wemischner said. “It acts as an herb, or a condiment.” He distinguished between green teas, which he said provide “light” notes to seafood dishes, and dark teas, which complement the flavors found in the dark meat of poultry, some vegetables and in beef.
I was still tepid about cooking with tea until I spoke with Longo on the morning after the dinner. She was still buzzing both from the caffeine and the success of the meal, which featured six tea flavored dishes. As she described the spring rolls with tea sauce, the green tea and miso soup, and the tea seared sea bass that she served at the restaurant, my mouth began to water.
“Tea adds another dimension, a tartness to dishes,” Longo told me.
So I decided to give i asics trainers t another try. Following the advice of Wemischner, I tried the easiest of the recipes in his book, Tea Sauced Scallops With Honey and Orange. He also advised that I improve the quality of the tea used in my cooking. Instead of lowly supermarket tea bags, I went to a shop that sells loose teas, the Coffee Mill in Hampden, and bought a quarter pound of highly regarded Keemun.
I made the seafood dish, substituting peeled shrimps for scallops. I liked the flavor of the tea sauce. I wasn’t wild about it, but it was better than my first foray into this realm, tossing cold tea bags on hot charcoal. I guess you could say I am warming up to cooking with tea.
Tea Sauced Scallops With Orange, Soy and Honey
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1 pound sea scallops
juice of 1 large orange
1 tablespoon Keemun tea leaves
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
4 servings cooked Chinese noodles or linguine pasta
Heat olive oil until almost smoking. Add the garlic, stir briefly. Add the scallops and cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove scallops to bowl and co asics trainers ver to keep warm.
Deglaze (add liquid to dissolve caram asics trainers elized juices stuck to bottom) pan with orange juice, stirring to dislodge browned particles. Add the tea leaves and stir, cooking for 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, honey and any scallop liquid t asics trainers hat has pooled in bowl. Cook until just before the sauce thickens. Pour through fine mesh sieve into another bowl.