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To celebrate their love for exquisite ingredients and expert craftsmanship, Pure Leaf Tea House Collection has teamed up with renowned craftsmen from across the country to highlight and unite local craftsmanship in its Traveling Tea House. I was able to attend and enjoy this unique event. The food was great, and so was the tea. Very unique, very tasty, very refined. It was literally some of the best tea I’ve ever had, seriously good stuff.

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So what was the main ingredient? Tea, silly. In fact, it was all about the PURE LEAF TEA HOUSE COLLECTION WITH A HINT OF:

  • SICILIAN LEMON & HONEYSUCKLE
    • ORGANIC BLACK TEA, HINTS OF SICILIAN LEMON AND HONEYSUCKLE FLAVORS ARE ALL CRAFTED BY THE HANDS OF OUR TEA MASTERS FOR AN EXQUISITE, LAYERED TASTE.
  • WILD BLACKBERRY & SAGE
    • IN THE HANDS OF OUR TEA MASTERS, ORGANIC BLACK TEA, TOUCHES OF WILD BLACKBERRY FLAVORS, AND A HINT OF SAGE FLAVOR ARE CRAFTED FOR EXCEPTIONAL, LAYERED TASTE.
  • FUJI APPLE & GINGER
    • ORGANIC GREEN TEA WITH HINTS OF FUJI APPLE AND GINGER FLAVORS, ARE ALL UNITED BY CRAFT BY OUR TEA MASTERS FOR AN EXQUISITE, LAYERED TASTE.

AVAILABLE IN A 14 OZ. SIGNATURE GLASS BOTTLE FOR $2.49 with 90 CALORIES PER BOTTLE WITH ORGANIC CANE SUGAR.

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Ok, so back to the “sweet” event.

Here’s some of the awesomeness I witnessed at this really great event right in the middle of the Meatpacking District in NYC!!

SUMMER RECIPES BY MARCUS SAMUELSSON – more details right below

  1. Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Blackberry Tea Vinaigrette and Pimento Cheese
    • Fun Fact from Marcus: Pimento cheese is part of the recent trend toward Southern comfort dishes that everyone can related to. I use it in the Watermelon Salad recipe to add texture, flavor and as a plating component.
  2. Lemon Black Tea Brined Chicken with Couscous
    • Tip from Marcus: You can use tea in a marinade, vinaigrette, and even a brine!
  3. Pure Blackberry Smash
    • Tip from Marcus: Infusing a simple syrup with herbs, such as thyme, basil, rosemary is a great way to add another flavor to your iced tea, your cocktails or marinades at home.
  4. Apple Ginger Summer Punch  
    • Fun Fact from Marcus: Check out the Kaffir Lime Leaves in this drink! Kaffir Lime Leaves are often used in southeast Asian cooking, specifically Thai food. They add a citrus flavor with a little bit of pungency that adds depth. There is a recent trend toward southeast Asian restaurants, specifically in New York City, as people are becoming more versed in the intricacies of regional cuisines instead of blanketed Chinese and Japanese foods.

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Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Blackberry Tea Vinaigrette and Pimento Cheese 

By Marcus Samuelsson for Pure Leaf Tea House Collection

Serves 2

For the Salad:

  • 3 pieces of Watermelon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 scallion, roughly chopped
  • 4 leaves of mint, ripped
  • 1 sprig of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of peanuts, roughly chopped

Directions: Combine the watermelon, tomato, scallion, mint and cilantro in a medium bowl. Gently toss with vinaigrette (see below). Smear several tsp of the pimento cheese on each plate. Place the watermelon salad on top of the smear. Crumble the peanuts on top of the salad.

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Black Tea Wild Blackberry & Sage
  • 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Directions: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

For the pimento cheese:

  • 2 red peppers, charred and chopped
  • 1/2 habanero pepper, pureed
  • 1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Frank’s hot sauce, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Finely ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup bread and butter pickles, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • Sugar, to taste

Directions: In a kitchen stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat all the ingredients except the chopped red pepper. Whip until incorporated and creamy. Fold in chopped peppers. Adjust seasoning to taste. Keep refrigerated.

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Lemon Black Tea Brined Chicken with Couscous

By Marcus Samuelsson for Pure Leaf Tea House Collection

Serves 4-8

For the chicken:

  • 1 5-lb whole chicken
  • Black Tea Brine to submerge
  • 4 ounces canola oil
  • 2 onions, sliced

For the brine:

  • 2 bottles Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Black Tea Sicilian Lemon & Honeysuckle
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 4 lemons, roughly chopped
  • 1 large sprig black tea
  • 1/4 cup salt

Directions: Bring all brine ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for balance and cool. Submerge chicken in brine for up to 12 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove chicken from the brine and dry thoroughly. Rub with canola oil. Place sliced onion on the bottom of a roasting pan. Rest chicken breast side up on onions. Roast at 350°F for 1 hour 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes raise temperature to 400°F. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165°F. Rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with couscous and drizzle each plate with the vinaigrette (cont.).

For the couscous: 

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups couscous

Directions: While the chicken rests, bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the salt and olive oil. Pour in the couscous, stir, cover the pot and turn off the heat. When the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes, fluff the couscous with a fork.

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Combine ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Pure Blackberry Smash 

By Marcus Samuelsson for Pure Leaf Tea House Collection

Serves 2

For the drink: 

  • 4 blackberries muddled
  • 1/8 cup Thyme Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Black Tea Wild Blackberry & Sage
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 3 ounces sparkling water or gingerale

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large shaker. Shake and double strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a skewer of fresh blackberries. For alcoholic version: Add 1 oz four roses bourbon 

For the thyme-infused simple syrup: 

  • 1 cups water
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 1 fresh thyme sprigs

Directions: In a saucepan over low heat, combine the water and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the thyme sprigs. Let steep for 10 minutes, then cool to room temperature before using. Place the unused simple syrup in a sealed container and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks. VIRGIN VERSION: Double the amount of tea and serve without bourbon.

TIP: Infusing a simple syrup with herbs, such as thyme, basil, rosemary is a great way to add another flavor to your iced tea, your cocktails or marinades at home.

Apple Ginger Summer Punch

By Marcus Samuelsson for Pure Leaf Tea House Collection

Serves 6

For the drink: 

  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Green Tea Fuji Apple & Ginger
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Directions: Combine the ice and ginger in a blender and crush. Divide between 6 glasses. Place the glasses in the freezer for 10 minutes. In a pitcher, combine the tea, lime juice, lime leaves and sparkling water. Pour over the ice and garnish each cup with a lime wedge. Serve immediately. FOR ALCOHOLIC VERSION: Replace 1 cup sparkling water with 3⁄4 cup vodka.

This is pretty much the best thing you could possibly eat and drink this spring and summer. It might not even be close. Give it all a shot and let me know what you think! And if just reading this isn’t enough…

After unveiling the Traveling Tea House in New York City with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, the Tea House is headed to Chicago May 19-21, to team up with Chef Lee Wolen of Chicago’s acclaimed Boka. After Chicago, the Tea House hits the road again, traveling to San Francisco (6/22-24) and Portland (7/13-15).

Stay up-to-date on the latest at PureLeaf.com or check them out at:

Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Wild Blackberry & Sage Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Sicilian Lemon & Honeysuckle Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Fuji Apple and Ginger

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