Considering that my kitchen could technically pass for a tea shop, it's easy to find ways to infuse new dishes with a favorite tea that's well within reach. A little over a month ago I volunteered to test a Genmaicha Pilaf recipe, as part of the Food52's Community Picks Recipe Testing adventure that happened to have a tea theme. The concept was deliciously simple: sign up to test a tea-infused recipe shared by a Food52 member, test the recipe in the comfort of your kitchen, and email a headnote to the editors for a chance to have it published with a Community Pick winning recipe.
Genmaicha green tea brings a unique duo of nutty, toasty notes that are brightened by vegetal grassy notes, which make it an ideal steep for culinary escapades. In previous kitchen adventures, I've replaced water with brewed genmaicha when cooking rice, so this recipe seemed like a natural evolution (with the addition of re-hydrating dried shiitake mushrooms in the brewed tea-as shown above). Needless to say, I was smitten with every aromatic experience, and having my headnote selected by Food52 editors and featured with the recipe was just icing on the cake (or an extra sip of tea).
Take a peek at my headnote below and then skip over to Food52 to see the full recipe (and then hurry to the nearest market for the necessary ingredients):
"The genmaicha green tea broth brims with toasty, savory notes, naturally enhancing the umami of earthy shiitake mushrooms and adding delicate depth to this warming pilaf dish. Aromatic citrus (opt for meyer lemons for a sweet, floral zest) and spicy ginger add bright nuance. Be sure to brew the tea in 180 degree water for 2 minutes to achieve the perfect flavor, and treat yourself to an extra cup to sip as everything gently simmers in the pot."