Here is a brilliant idea to help even the most rubbish cook elevate a dish to a gourmet level with hardly any effort but amazing results. Like all great ideas it is simple, straightforward and almost foolproof. I do not claim any fame or fortune for conceiving the idea I am merely the messenger helping to spread the word so that all can enjoy this technique.
As you can probably tell by now I am enthusiastic, correction very enthusiastic about tea smoking. Readers of my blog will know from historical posts that we are big smokers of food, but until now it relied on a massive effort to clean and fire up the Primo cooker in the garden and like all humans sometimes the will is willing but the flesh is weak. Now we have a quick and easy way to imbue our food with a vast range of smoky flavours inside, on the cooker!
So what do you need in the kitchen to join us in total appreciation of this technique? Not much as it goes….
- A vegetable steamer or a saucepan with a colander that fits snugly on top with a lid and can be put on a hot cooker ring. Plastic isn’t going to get the job done it does need to be metal.
- A strip of tinfoil
- A small packet of loose leaf tea leaves (best quality you can find). We used Earl Grey Bravo from Adagio.
- Something to smoke, we used peppers in this example but anything can go in…
Place the base of you steamer or saucepan on to the cooker.
Next you need to tap into you creative side and build a holder for the tea leaves out of the tinfoil.
We have learnt to use a small bowl as a mould as this helps a lot. The key part here is to form it in such a way as to have 4 legs to stand on as we don’t want the part with the tea leaves touching the base of the steamer.
Place you creation into the steamer base or saucepan, DO NOT be tempted to put any water in there!
Put your tea leaves into the bowl part of the tinfoil, a small handful is enough.
Place your colander or upper section of you steamer on top of the base.
Place in a single layer whatever you have chosen to smoke in the upper section, don’t stack them up if you can avoid it as this will impact on the ability of the smoke to get everywhere.
Lastly strap on the lid and turn the heat up to medium.
As the colander gets hot the tinfoil and in turn the tea will get hot and soon it will start to smoke and fill the house with wonderful tea smells. As the heat works its way up it will heat up the veggies and help cook them. It will also help release essential oils that will greatly enhance the flavour of the vegetable, these oils help trap the smoke from the tea resulting in awesomeness.
Go have a cup of tea or prepare whatever you are going to have you lovely, tasty, smoked veggies with.
After 20 minutes turn the heat off, leaving it for longer will make the smoked tea flavour more intense if you prefer that, concurrently cooking for less time will make the flavour much more mellow. Only practise will give you the right level of flavour that suits your palette.
Place in your sandwich, or add to pizzas, with scrambled eggs, or as a topping with your favourite cracker, whatever your mind can dream up, and trust me you will be dreaming of countless ways to involve this technique in even the simplest meals from now on…
Go on… you know you want to try it…