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Tea & Honey Recipes

Golden Honey Cornbread

Cornbread is a satisfying seasonal dinner accompaniment that is quick and easy to prepare.  Present it elegantly at the holidays or throw it together for a weeknight chili. We've sweetened our cornbread with honey, which is a great substitute for refined sugar, particularly when baking muffins, cakes, quick breads, and pies!  Honey contributes additional moisture to the recipe, and when it comes to this cornbread, it creates a really rich and wonderful result. We used Alfalfa Honey, because of the beautiful light florality and hint of spice.

Golden Honey Cornbread Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup Bob's Red Mill Cornmeal, medium grind 
1 c milk
1/2 c + 1 T Alfalfa Honey
1/2 t salt
1 c all-purpose flour 
2 t baking powder 
1 egg
1/3 c melted butter

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray or lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan, cast iron skillet, or muffin pan.

In a large bowl, soak cornmeal in milk for 10-15 minutes. If you are using a cast iron skillet preheat it with a little bit of butter.

Then combine flour, sugars, honey, salt and baking powder to cornmeal mixture. Stir in egg and butter until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Serve with room temperature butter and honey!

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

Grilled Peach, Prosciutto & Ghost Pepper Honey Flatbread

Celebrate the end of summer's harvest with a beautiful homemade pizza, courtesy of our friend, Darien Leigh, of @pantry.hill.  She beautifully combines the sweetness of grilled peaches, the savoriness of prosciutto and parmigiano reggiano, and the spiciness of arugula and Ghost Pepper Honey. This summer flatbread is elegant and complex, yet so easy in execution.

Ghost Pepper Honey, Peaches, and Prosciutto Pizza

Ingredients:

20 oz raw pizza dough (We use Portland Pie Co. Shipyard Beer Dough - available at Hannaford)
Olive oil for drizzling
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella 
1/2 cup shaved parmigiano reggiano
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 cups arugula
1/2 fresh lemon
2 peaches grilled* and sliced
1 shallot sliced
3 pieces of prosciutto torn into bite-sized pieces
Sea salt
Black pepper

Saratoga Tea & Honey Co. Ghost Pepper Honey

Ghost Pepper Infused Honey

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Roll pizza dough to desired thickness and place on a baking stone or baking sheet. Drizzle dough lightly with olive oil and spread oil evenly on the entire surface. 3. Sprinkle mozzarella, 1/4 cup shaved parmesan, blue cheese and half the sliced shallots evenly on the crust. Add salt and pepper.
4. Bake at 400 degrees until crust is crispy and mozzarella begins to brown (approximately 15 minutes). 
5. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Top with arugula. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the arugula. Add the sliced grilled peaches*, prosciutto, remaining shallots, and shaved Parmesan. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
6. Drizzle desired amount of Ghost Pepper Honey over the pizza. Slice and serve immediately.

*To grill peaches: oil grill grates. Heat grill to 500 degrees. Slice whole peaches in 4 large quarters. Place peaches flesh-side down on grill. Grill 5 minutes until peaches are warm and have char marks. Be sure not to over-cook or they’ll become mushy. Remove from grill and slice.

Flatbread with Ghost Pepper Honey

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!

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!

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