Deviled Tea Eggs

Because I seem to thrive on making too many plans involving cooking and cleaning at any one time, I decided to have some friends over for “heavy snacks” and drinks the day before a blow-out French Laundry-inspired New Year’s Eve dinner. Naturally I thought simple, tasty, little effort. And, for me, I think I succeeded. Because I am still finishing details for the afore-mentioned NYE meal, I will just give the basics on a couple dishes from yesterday. It all pulled from my go to dishes, paired wonderfully and made for a really fine evening. First up were the deviled … Continue reading

    My Obsession Continues

    I can’t think of any food pairing that has had more stiction for me than smoked tea and orange peel. And I have now also learned the real meaning of the word “stiction” which I think still fits, but any linguists out there should feel free to set me straight. From savory, decadent duck to complex, creamy, sweet ice cream to my latest daydream that pulls all that together, this combination has never let me down. And that is why every time an idea illuminates in the outer reaches of my mind, I reel it in and toss it around … Continue reading

      A Thanksgiving Twist

      Fond, Yukon Cornelius, sweet potatoes, macerate, brine, not-so-interesting-parade, washing 600 glasses and crispy fall walks. In general, this about sums up Thanksgiving weekend for me. And this year was not much different, though it did involve maybe a few more creative cocktails and some Asian influences where the bird and accoutrements were concerned. And, as one of my favorite holidays, I did do some reflecting on holidays past. I recalled my college semester in Paris where my friends and I sourced and cooked a pretty big (gluttonous) feast for some mildly amused (alarmed?) French hosts. It was really hard to … Continue reading

        Sweet Potato Fries with Smokey Tea Pork and Shiitake Mayo

        During the Olympics, Food52 had a contest asking for our best pub food. Thinking back to college and the alarming things we ate at two in the morning, I recalled the gooey baskets of waffle fries topped with bacon, sour cream, cheese and ketchup. They came out crispy and hot and slowly sogged out a bit as you got to the end. I’m sure I had fitful sleeps cured by sleeping in until 10 or 11 and a metabolism to save me from a Senior 70. As I pondered those crispy, gooey baskets my thoughts turned to a more grownup, … Continue reading

          Pork and Sweet Potato: No Better Pairing

          As the end of the day was nearing I realized there was nothing for dinner besides cheese and crackers, some tubes of strawberry yoghurt and the pile of giant zucchini mocking me from the counter. I had a half hour before I had to pick up my daughter and wanted to at least have something started so I opened the freezer. The very first thing I saw was some frozen smoked tea pork. I could eat the stuff five times a week but my husband was a little over it the last time I served it, like, five times in … Continue reading

            Orange-Scented Smoked Tea Ice Cream

            I have only made ice cream once and it ended up being more of a hassle than I anticipated. Not the actual making of the ice cream, but what was required of me for the next several weeks after dinner each night. It was our first Thanksgiving back in Denver and, coincidentally, my birthday. Being my favorite holiday, and having many family members arriving to share it in our old/new home, we planned a pretty awesome meal. Beginning with sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce and ending with pumpkin ice cream topped with spiced, candied nuts and brulĂ©ed … Continue reading

              Tea Egg Salad

              Last Chinese New Year I decided to make a veritable feast. Tea eggs were perhaps the most festive looking and versatile pairing item on the menu. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but the steeping liquid seeps into the eggs giving them a subtle, but lovely spiced flavor that complements so many other dishes. I had left the leftover eggs in the liquid for yet another day, peeling, chopping and mixing with mayo for a divine egg salad. To improve things even more, I added thin slices of a black bean, tea braised pork rib to some tiny … Continue reading

                A Belated Admission

                Dear Dad, You were right. Pressure cookers ARE great. Fall-aparty meat is where it’s at and pressure cookers can deliver in 15 minutes flat. I’m sorry I screamed and cried and ran from the room when you tried to make me use one. “What were you, like eight?” Ryan asked as I told him the story. “No, more like fifteen. And I was scared of air pumps and bicycle tires, jumper cables and anything else that might potentially explode.” But in thinking back on this awesome display of drama on my part, I think I am realizing I was in … Continue reading

                  An Unexpected Maple Syrup Duo

                  Yesterday I had made an apple tarte tatin in Dutch cheese crust to do away with the pile of apples collecting on our counter. I rarely make desserts like this and when I do I usually eat one piece and give the rest away. And so it was that I delivered a slab of tarte tatin to our friend (and mama of my daughter’s best friend) Andra Zeppelin, author of French Press Memos. While we were visiting she asked what I had planned for my daughter’s dinner to which I replied with a numb kind of stare. Because in my … Continue reading

                    Ummmmmmmmmmami

                    Tonight it was back to something we might normally cook on any given night. Some comforting egg custard, brothy agedashi tofu and my favorite sesame greens. Mostly it was straight forward, though I had the challenge of figuring out how to make our standard japanese broth without bonito. Thinking umami and smokey I went with some steeped shiitakes and lapsang souchong, a smoked tea. Once they had steeped, I added a sheet of kombu and simmered for about 15 minutes, then removed it. I used about a cup for some chawan mushi, a silky egg custard, gently mixing it with … Continue reading