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Matcha Panna Cotta

Matcha Panna Cotta

Special thanks to local chef and friend, Sookyung Lee for creating beautiful recipes featuring our Matcha Wakatake.  We are so grateful for her sharing this recipe with us!

Ingredients:

2/3 c whole milk
2/3 c heavy cream
1/4 c sugar
1 T Matcha Wakatake powder
1 T hot water
1/2 T gelatin powder
2 T water

Procedure:

1. Sprinkle the gelatin powder on top of room temperature water.  Stir and allow to bloom.

2. Sift matcha into a small bowl, add in hot water, and whisk so there are no clumps.

3. In a saucepan, add in the milk, heavy cream, sugar and stir to combine over medium heat. Bring the temperature to a simmer on low heat, do not let it come to a boil.

4. Remove the pan from the heat, once it reaches a simmer, and add in the whisked matcha and gelatin.

5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, into a bowl set on an ice bath. Stir the mixture gently.  When it starts to thicken, pour into serving cups and refrigerate until firm.

6.  Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Variations for a summer treat!  Use Mango Infused Honey instead of raw sugar.  Garnish with mango purée and fresh mango hot days!

Matcha Panna Cotta With Mango

Ghost Pepper Honey Mojito

More than ever, this 2020 summer feels like a time of slowing down and enjoying what is around us.  Whether it's children splashing in water, crickets chirping, or the smell of the grill, simple pleasures of sharing time together seem all the more meaningful.  Darien Leigh of @pantry.hill captures this feeling of gathering with Adirondack refinement at her family's retreat up north, where they all enjoyed Ghost Pepper Honey Mojitos.  We hope you enjoy them, too, in good company.

Ghost Pepper Mojito

Yields: 1 cocktail

2 tablespoons Ghost Pepper Honey simple syrup* 
1.5 oz rum
10 fresh mint leaves
1/2 fresh lime cut into wedges
1/2 cup club soda
Ice cubes 
2 glasses (one for muddling and one for serving)
Muddler

Fine mesh strainer

Ghost Pepper Mojito

*Ghost Pepper Honey Simple Syrup:
2 parts honey
1 part hot water

Stir together until honey is dissolved.

Directions: 
Place mint leaves, limes and simple syrup into a sturdy glass. Muddle to crush the mint leaves and limes and extract the juice/flavors. Add rum. Fill separate cocktail glass with ice. Place fine mesh strainer over the top of the cocktail glass and strain the muddled rum mixture over the ice. Add club soda. Stir and garnish with lime wedge and extra mint leaves

Kabusecha Ochazuke with Salmon

Chazuke, or ochazuke, is a meal that gets its name from cha, meaning tea, and tsuke, meaning submerge. This Japanese dish includes pouring green tea over rice. Traditional variations include toppings of pickled vegetables like eggplant or daikon radish, proteins like salmon, tuna, sashimi, or roe, and vegetables like green onion, spinach, and mushrooms. 

This version of ochazuke includes salmon cooked two ways, a salty, umami version and a garlic, butter and herb version. It features one of our Teas of the Month, Kabusecha Takamado. This tea from Uji, Japan is covered two weeks before harvest, resulting in an infusion with less bitter and more umami characteristics. You may find this tea brings to the nose and tongue springy notes of spinach, pea shoots, and creamy nuts. This makes for a perfect pairing over rice and salmon, as it provides an umami depth of flavor in unison with the fish and fresh herbs. 

Salmon Kabusecha Ochazuke

Yields about 4-6 servings 

Prepare Jasmine Rice following package instructions.

Miso Salmon:

1 medium-large salmon filet
3 t miso
3 t tamari
5 t rice wine vinegar

2 T water

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine miso, tamari, rice wine vinegar, and water in a bowl. Add mixture to a sealable bag and marinate for up to 6 hours. 

Bake on baking sheet for 12-15 minutes.

Salmon Kabusecha Ochazuke


Garlic, Butter, and Dill Salmon:

1 medium-large salmon filet
2 T butter
2 large garlic cloves
4 T lemon juice
1 T fresh dill, or dill to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Melt butter and mix together with garlic, lemon, and dill in a bowl. Pour mixture over salmon filet and cover in foil, place on baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. 


For the Kabusecha concentrate:

Brew 3 tsp of Kabusecha Takamado in 1 cup of 175°F water for two minutes, right before serving so the tea is warm. 


For the plating:

Dill, garlic scapes, scallions, cilantro, and/or parsley
Sesame seeds
Wasabi
Soy sauce

Sesame Oil

Use a small bowl and pack down rice inside of it to form a rice ball. Flip it over onto a plate. Place salmon over the rice, and finish with your choice of fresh herbs. Pour over the Kabusecha Takamado infusion and top off with sesame seeds and other garnishes to tastes. Enjoy

Salmon Kabusecha Ochazuke

Simple Summer White Tea 'Sangrias'

I don't know about you but the last thing I want to do on a 90 degree day is turn on my stove and boil some hot water for my caffeine fix, and second to that is drinking a hot cup of tea. So what does one do when they need their tea but it's sweltering hot outside? Pull a pitcher (or jar!) of cold brew tea out of your fridge! Cold brewing tea is super easy and pretty much foolproof which is why it's our favorite way to prepare iced tea. Perhaps like me, you have a tendency to forget about your tea steeping on your counter, and by time you remember, the tea is bitter and unpalatable. With cold brew however, it's practically impossible to over-steep, so long as you don't forget it for days! I'll give you an abbreviated scientific explanation for why this is, so you can walk away from reading this blog with not only a few refreshing iced tea recipes but a little more knowledge too.

Why Cold Brew? Tea leaves contain a number of chemical compounds within them that when steeping break down, form complexes with one another and form new compounds. During the steeping process, thousands of volatile (aroma) compounds rise from the tea liquor and thousands of non-volatile (taste) compounds float within the tea liquor. Some of these compounds extract at a quicker rate than others. When you're brewing with hot water the time between extracting those first compounds and the last ones is very short so timing (and temperature) is everything. You have to stop the brewing process at just the right time to achieve the right flavor profile or else your tea will end up bitter. Cold brewing is the slow motion version of that process, the window of time between those first compounds being released and later ones being released is much larger so you have much smaller risk of ending up with a bitter cup of tea. The later compounds to release tend to be the more bitter and tannic catechins in green and white tea. Therefore, cold brewing tea tends to result in a less bitter, less astringent brew. You can also brew it stronger and have more of the theanine, more umami, more of the vegetal notes, and more of the high notes!

At Saratoga Tea & Honey we usually have 3-4 cold brew teas to choose from daily! And while we tend to be purists and love our cold brew unsweetened, sometimes you just want something a little more fun! Our Queen Bee put me up to the challenge to create some fruity tea mocktails to quench your thirst by the pool, at your picnic or at your bbq! For the three drinks below, I used three of our white teas as the cold brew base; Nan Mei Wild Buds, Bai Hao Yin Zhen, and Bai Mu Dan Wang.

At home, I have the Takeya Iced Tea Maker and I LOVE it, but since I was making three different teas I thought I would show you all how you can make cold brew with things you probably already have in your kitchen; a jar and a mesh strainer. Easy peasy!

First Step: Cold Brew. Place your tea in a 16oz jar. I just eyeball it with my cold brew because it's pretty foolproof, but if you want to be more economical than I am (I really should work on that!) you can measure out two loose tablespoons of white tea. It may seem like a lot but white tea is very voluminous and light. Fill your jar with filtered or spring water, cover and put in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours! Once your tea has done it's magic, strain it over ice into another glass! Now, for the fun add-ins!

Keep scrolling to see the thirst-quenching combinations I came up with!

Nan Mei with Peaches, Fresh Mint and Tupelo Honey 

Deliciously refreshing and summery, the idea of fresh mint and sweet peaches proved irresistible and what better honey to pair with peaches than famous southern Tupelo Honey! These add-ins compliment the tropical fruit and honeyed notes of the Nan Mei Wild Buds.

Bai Hao Yin Zhen with Cucumbers, Melon and Basswood Honey

The combination of cooling honeydew melon and refreshing English cucumber are a perfect pairing, and complimented by a touch of Basswood Honey, our light mid-western mono-floral that has a delicious hint of fresh spearmint. These add-ins accentuate the florality and vegetal notes of Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needles) one of China’s most revered teas!

Bai Mu Dan Wang with Strawberries, Lemon and Italian Lemon Tree Honey

Nothing says summer like the fresh flavor of ripe strawberries and an icy glass of lemonade. While there is no lemonade in this drink (you could certainly add some), the combination of fresh lemons and citrusy Italian Lemon Tree Honey adds that same thirst quenching quality. Also known as White Peony, Bai Mu Dan Wang is a more full-bodied white tea, and the perfect base for this combination of strawberries, sliced lemon and delectable honey from Sicily! 

There are so many fruits, herbs and florals that would pair nicely with these white teas, so get creative! I just went with what is in season and usually happens to be in my fridge. What are you going to infuse your cold brew iced tea with? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram and Facebook!

Crimson Berry Vodka Cocktails

Our Herbal of the Month, Crimson Berry, is one of the shop favorites!  It is tart, fruity and beautifully red; so when we heard our great customer Denny Severin was making cocktails out of it, we had to find out more!  These two refreshing summer drinks are so easy to prepare, and only require a little bit of time for the vodka to infuse. Enjoy, and thank you, Denny!

Crimson Berry Cocktail

Procedure 2-3 Days Ahead: Infuse 3 T of Crimson Berry to ½ liter of vodka for 2-3 days in refrigerator. Once infused, strain off the vodka from the herbal leaves and berries. Place in sealed jar in refrigerator. The infusion will last a very long time!

Crimson Berry Lemonade
1 ½ oz Crimson Berry Vodka
5-6 oz lemonade
Splash of club soda (optional)

Shake or stir in ice filled glass. Enjoy!

Saratoga Mule
1 ½ oz Crimson Berry Vodka
½ cup Ginger Beer
½ oz lime juice
Garnish with line wedge (optional)

Pour into ice filled glass. Enjoy!

Italian Acacia Honey Almond Walnut Cake

This wonderful cake has a moist almond flavored batter and a beautiful honey cream cheese frosting. The double toasted almonds and walnuts layered on top add a tremendous extra depth of flavor and texture. The use of Italian Acacia Honey in the cream cheese frosting adds a light and sweet essence with delicate flavor notes of vanilla. The richness and complexity of flavors are too hard to resist and are paired perfectly with an afternoon black tea

Italian Acacia Cake

For the Cake:

1 ½ c all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
½ t nutmeg
½ t cloves
1 stick of soft butter (8 T) 
2 t almond extract
¼Italian Acacia Honey
½ c brown sugar
2 eggs
¾ c vanilla Greek yogurt
¼ c crushed walnuts
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Butter and parchment line an 8 inch cake pan.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in large bowl.
  • Cream together butter, sugar, and honey. Mix in the almond extract, yogurt, and eggs.
  • Fold in dry ingredients to wet ingredients until well combined.
  • Fold in ¼ cup walnuts, crushed to desired size.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes on the lower rack of the oven, until the edges of the cake are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Italian Acacia Cake

    For the Frosting and Topping:

    2 T butter softened at room temperature
    3 T  cream cheese softened a room temperature
    ¼ c Italian Acacia Honey
    1 T confectioners’ sugar 
    ½ c toasted walnuts and almonds 
    1 t extra virgin olive oil
    • Add the walnuts and almonds in the prewarmed 350°F oven and toast for 8-10 minutes, stirring once.
    • Combine honey, butter, cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl, whisking together until well combined and fluffy. 
    • Spread over the cake in an even layer.
    • Add toasted nuts on top of the frosting.

    Lemon Bars À La Provençale

    An herbal twist on a classic recipe, these La Provençale lemon bars will make your whole house smell like a lavender and lemon dream. They are a sure way to brighten up any rainy, chilly, or dreary Spring day. This blend includes aromatic lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, and mint.

    Ingredients for the Shortbread:

    2 t La Provençale Herbal Tisane
    ¼ t salt
    1 ¼ c AP flour
    1/2 c good butter

    ¼ c sugar 

    Short Bread Preparation:

    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    • In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, salt, and La Provençale.
    • Transfer to a bowl, add in softened and cubed butter, then bring together the dough by hand kneading. 
    • Press dough into a 9x9 panned, lined with parchment paper. 
    • Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes, or until the edge of the shortbread crust is golden brown.

      Shortbread

    For the Lemon Filling:

    ⅔ c fresh lemon juice
    1 T lemon zest
    1 ⅓ c sugar
    3 T AP flour
    4 eggs
    ⅓ c milk
    Powdered sugar

    La Provençale Herbal Blend

    Preparation:

    • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
    • Combine sugar and lemon zest in a bowl until the oils from the zest have been absorbed by the sugar. Then add flour.
    • Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.
    • Combine sugar, flour, and lemon zest mixture with the eggs, lemon juice, and milk.
    • Stir well, then pour over the shortbread crust.
    • Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes.
    • Allow to cool and garnish: sift powdered sugar and sprinkle La Provençale herbal leaves over the bars.

     

    Enjoy La Provençale Lemon Bars with your favorite tea!

    6 Recipe-Free Snacks w/ Honey 🐝

    We've compiled a fall inspired list of easy snacks for kids & adults that requires no recipe, simply look at the photo, find your local ingredients and recreate!  Tag us on Instagram or Facebook to share with us your favorite snack ideas using our honey!  

    Apple with Cinnamon Honey

    1. Crisp Local Apples with Cinnamon Infused Honey

    Greek Yogurt with Orange Blossom Honey

    2. Greek Yogurt with Orange Blossom Honey & Walnuts

     Pumpkin Spice Honey with Roasted Squash

    3.  Roasted Squash & Carrots with Pumpkin Spice Honey & Sage

    4. Almond Butter, Buckwheat Honey, & Ricotta Salata Cheese on Wasa Crackers

    Chestnut Honey on Toast

    5. Warm Baguette with Chestnut Honey, Local Butter & Sea Salt 

    Banana Bites with Chocolate Honey

    6.  Banana Bites with Chocolate Honey & Peanut Butter

    Strawberry Shortcake with Local Honey

    Strawberry Shortcake with Local Honey

    Fresh fruit over buttery biscuits doesn't sound like it could get any better, but when Darien Rozell of @darienleigh added our Local Wildflower honey to the macerated berry topping- it became a celebration of summer!  Darien incorporated some of our Local Raw Honey Comb, which only comes once every summer, as a gorgeous garnish of sweetness and texture.  Check out this simple recipe as we hold on to the last month of summer and, by all means, serve it with our white Strawberry Fields tea, and maybe even make an afternoon of it, like Darien did!

    Strawberry Shortcake with Local Honey

    Makes 6 servings

    Ingredients:
    2 1/4 c Bisquick
    4 T butter, melted
    2/3 c milk
    1 lb. fresh, ripe strawberries, washed & diced
    1/4 c Saratoga Wildflower Honey + extra for drizzling
    Vanilla ice cream 
    Raw Honey Comb for garnish

     

    Berries:

    Wash and dice strawberries. Gently mix with 1/4 cup of

    Saratoga Wildflower Honey. Cover and let sit for 20-30 minutes until juices begin to run.

    Biscuits:

    Preheat oven to 450°F. Stir Bisquick, milk and melted butter until a soft dough forms. Drop dough by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet or baking stone. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

    To serve:
    Spoon berry mixture over warm biscuits. Add a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with extra Saratoga Wildflower Honey or a chunk of  Raw Honey Comb. Enjoy! (Can also be made with raspberries and blackberries!)

    Ghost Pepper Honey Salmon with Yogurt Sauce

     

    Ghost Pepper Honey Salmon 

    We love this easy to make sweet & spicy salmon made with Ghost Pepper Honey for warm summer nights.

    Ingredients:

    2 quarter-pound pieces of salmon

    1 lemon

    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    2 tbsp Ghost Pepper Honey

    Salt and pepper

    1 8oz container of plain Greek yogurt 

    1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

    Steps:

    1. First, make the Greek yogurt sauce by mixing together yogurt, juice from ½ of the lemon, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside while making the salmon.
    2. Turn the oven on to high broil.
    3. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and set the pieces of salmon in the dish.
    4. Sprinkle the salmon with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
    5. Juice the lemon half and pour over the salmon.
    6. Drizzle both the olive oil and honey on top of the salmon.
    7. Place in the oven on a middle or upper rack (the higher the rack, the crispier the edges of the salmon!) and broil for about 15 minutes. Halfway through cooking, use a brush to coat the salmon with the extra olive oil that collects in the baking dish.
    8. Once done, serve the salmon immediately with a dollop of Greek yogurt sauce on top!

    Recipe courtesy of @thesecretgf

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