Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Add a touch of tea to your classic holiday dishes

Always on the look out for ways to reinvent the old favorites, many chefs have turned to tea this holiday season in order to add an entirely new depth of flavors to their proteins, produce and pastries. Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard loves to braise duck legs with tea, while Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson has a great green tea donut and David Burke is a fan of marinating his proteins in the cozy beverage.

While many will turn to tried-and-true holiday recipes for turkey, stuffing and cookies, the smart and savvy few will be taking top chefs’ lead by offering a more refined twist on holiday classics that will not only brighten the taste buds, but will truly personalize each menu. Working with traditional holiday ingredients like Granny Smith apples, turkey, ginger and brown sugar, the recipes included below incorporate this season’s hottest culinary trend – tea. Bringing turkey to new heights, Mighty Leaf’s Bombay Chai adds a hint of spice, while Rainforest Maté’s fruitful zing is a great addition to salad dressings and Ginger Twist adds the unexpected flavors of lemongrass and mint to gingerbread.

Created by Chef Vinita Jacinto, these three recipes – a salad, main course and dessert – will carry you through the holiday season with sophisticated ease.
Green Apple and Walnut Salad with Rainforest Maté Dressing

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


1/8 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
¼ cup Mighty Leaf Tea Rainforest Maté reduction
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup celery, sliced on the diagonal
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored; each quarter then thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Combine celery, apples, and walnuts in large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.


Use 2 Tea Pouches to brew I cup of tea following the prescribed 5-minute brew time. Then reduce the tea on medium heat to about one quarter cup.

Turkey in Bombay Chai Brine

(for brining a 20-22 pound turkey)

· 15 Mighty Leaf Tea Bombay Chai Tea Pouches™
· 2 cups Kosher Salt
· 1 1/3 cups Light Brown Sugar


Bring one and a half gallons of water to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat. Add the Tea Pouches and steep for about 20 minutes.

Remove the Tea Pouches and add the sugar and salt. Stir until both are dissolved. Cool the liquid.

Submerge the turkey in the tea brine. Refrigerate for 36-48 hours.


Drain the turkey. Pat dry. Stuff with your favorite stuffing. Tie the legs together. Brush with oil and roast for about 3 hours till the thermometer registers an internal temperature of 175◦ Fahrenheit.
Let it rest at least 30 minutes or more before carving.

Serve with your favorite cranberry sauce.

Ginger Twist Gingerbread Cake

YIELD: Makes 12 servings


2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Large Egg, beaten
1 cup Mild Molasses mixed with 1 cup hot Mighty Leaf Tea Ginger Twist infused tea (to make the tea use 6 Tea Pouches™ to 1 cup hot water and brew for 6-8 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

Beat together butter, sugar, and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. In 3 batches, alternately beat in flour mixture and molasses mixture at low speed until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 9- by 2-inch square metal baking pan and smooth top.

Bake cake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack.

Serve with lightly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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