This month, I have the pleasure of introducing some new tea seasonings and recipes developed by The Tea Spot’s own chef, Karen Harbour, who recently returned to the Cooking School of the Rockies to further develop her culinary skills.

General Instructions for Making a Tea Seasoning

To make a tea seasoning, use a grinder to finely grind the loose-leaf tea.  Combine the ground tea leaves with herbs, spices, and/or seasonings.  Tea seasonings can be used in sauces, marinades, dressings, soups, breads, rubs, compound butters, and more.  Don’t ever grind coffee in your tea/herb grinder because it will taint the grinder.  You can double or triple the recipe and store in a metal or glass container away from light and moisture.

Tea Seasoning 1 – Tangy Sweet Boulder Blues

Yields ~ 9 TBS

2 TBS Boulder Blues, finely ground
2 TBS Chipotle Chile Pepper
1 TBS garlic, ground
1 TBS orange peel, dried
1 TBS salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp cilantro flakes
1 tsp cumin

Casanova Sliders (Uses Tea Seasoning 1 – Tangy Sweet Boulder Blues)

Servings: 14-16 sliders
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes / Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb 95% ground beef
¾ lb bulk chorizo
8 oz black beans, rinsed and dried
1 orange, zest & juice
1 lime, zest & juice
9 TBS Tangy Sweet Boulder Blues, divided (note: use 4 TBS for patties, 3 TBS for sautéed veggies, and 2 TBS for guacamole)
2-3 TBS olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 poblanos, thinly sliced
Queso Machego, 10-12 ¼ in slices
2 avocados
1 medium tomato, chopped
14-16 small buns, light and fluffy
1 cup sour cream
Garnish: 1 orange, 6-8 slices & pickles

Preparation:

1.  Heat grill to medium-high.  In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, chorizo, black beans, orange zest, lime zest, and 4 TBS Tangy Sweet Boulder Blues.  Form 14-16 sliders; each slider should weigh about 2-2.5 oz.  Create each slider by rolling it up like a meatball and softly patting it down on the top and the bottom to form a mini-burger.  Set aside to tenderize.

3.  Heat oil in a skillet over a medium-high flame.  Add onions to the skillet and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add poblanos and cook another 5-6 minutes.  Add juice from the orange and 3 TBS Tangy Sweet Boulder Blues, and sauté until golden brown.  Reserve.

4.  As the poblano mixture sautés, place the burgers on the grill.  Cook to medium rare or medium, about 3-5 minutes on each side.  Remove from the grill, place on foil, put cheese on top, and tent, letting the cheese melt and the sliders rest.

5.  Guacamole: In a medium mixing bowl, mash the avocado.  Fold in the tomatoes and zest and juice from the lime along with 2 TBS of Tangy Sweet Boulder Blues.

6.  Lightly toast the buns.

7.  Place a bun on each plate, spooning the sour cream into small side dishes.  Top the base of the bun with the burger and top the burger with the poblano mixture and a spoonful of guacamole.  Garnish the plate with orange slices and pickles.

Tea Seasoning 2 – Spicy Mate Limon Chai

Yields ~ 8 TBS

3 TBS Mate Limon Chai, finely grounded
2 TBS Salt
1 TBS Sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika

Spicy Chai Compound Butter (Uses Tea Seasoning 2 – Spicy Mate Limon Chai)

This recipe is easy to make.  It is a great finishing touch to any sauce and packs a punch when spread on top of bread.

Ingredients:

1 LB unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 TBS Spicy Mate Limon Chai

Preparation:

1.  Place butter and Spicy Mate Limon Chai tea seasoning in a mortar pestle and mix to combine.

2. May form into a stick of butter or place in a container.  Store in the refrigerator.

MAIN: IMAGE 1: IMAGE 2