The holiday season can be a flurry of frenetic energy. Family arrives from out of town and needs to be entertained and fed. Parties begin filling the calendar with ink. Spice up the table this holiday season with tea-infused recipes. Chef Vinita Jacinto brings together tea with fall and winter ingredients to whet the appetite and not break the bank. Try the Green Apple and Walnut Salad with Rainforest Maté dressing paired with your favorite stuffing recipe. Enjoy the Bombay Chai Brined Turkey with your favorite cranberry sauce or chutney. Warm up some Ginger Twist Gingerbread and serve a la mode. These recipes will get you in the holiday spirit!
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 tea 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.
TO MAKE THE RAINFOREST MATÉ REDUCTION:
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.
Bombay Chai Brined Turkey
(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.
Ginger Twist Gingerbread
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.