bellocq. tempura edible flowers. chinese tea eggs and tea salt.

06.29.12

We always plant a bed of edible flowers in our garden upstate to add to salads or to eat straight from the garden. So, I was super inspired when we shot our favorite tea atelier, Bellocq, for the most recent issue of Kinfolk. Heidi Johannsen Stewart of Bellocq came up with this brilliant idea to tempura edible flowers and to serve them with tea salt! They were so good and so beautiful! We ate and drank a lot of tea inspired foods that day. We also made Chinese tea eggs and paired it with the same tea salt. I will share them soon! Have a great weekend!

 If you are going to try this make sure you have done your research as to what flowers are edible! Never use anything that has been sprayed!

Tea salt can add an interesting flavor to just about anything you are cooking.

Tea Salt/Lapsang Souchong Salt

1/3 cup tea

We used a smokey tea for this one! (no. 19 Lapsang Souchong) Organic black tea scented with pinewood smoke.  Plucked at high elevations in the Wuyi Mountains, this tea has a distinctive earthy flavor, with strong notes of honey and a rich red liquor.  You can order this tea online from Bellocq

1/4 cup of sea salt

Mortar and pestle until they are somewhat combined

Store in an airtight jar

Tea Eggs

Chinese Tea eggs are a populaur street food in China. I never ate them while I was there because I kind of avoid street food whle working. They were super beautiful however and stayed in my mind long after the trip.

Most recipies for Chinese Tea Eggs call for the eggs to be steeped in a combination of  black tea, star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce and black pepper  but you can get creative and add bits of citrus or ginger.

We served these with another fragant tea salt. We used Kiykuya from Bellocq.

 To Make The Tea Eggs:

One dozen Arucuana eggs

1/2 cup loose black tea.

We used Keemun Panda from Bellocq. A Organic full bodied black tea, prized for it's sweet earthy flavor and floral notes with a touch of smokiness. You can use any black tea.

6 star anice

4 large cinnamon sticks

4 tsp. cracked black pepper

1/2-cup soy sauce 

To Make;

Combine your eggs, spices and soy sauce in a large non-reactive pot with enough water to cover the eggs. Simmer your eggs for an hour. Remove the eggs from the liquid and set them aside to cool. Reserve the liquid and spices. (you will later add the eggs to the cooled liquid.)  When the eggs are cool enough to handle, gently crack the hard-boiled eggs with the back of a spoon all over the surface of the egg but not hard enough to remove the shell.

 Gently place the cracked hard-boiled eggs in the cooled spices and liquid in a big lidded jar and refrigerate for three days.

The liquid will steep in through the cracks and flavor and stain the white of the egg. The outside will become a beautiful brown.

I used Aracauna eggs so that when I cracked them, the shell on the inside would be blue. The outside of the egg took on the most perfect Wedgewood brown. I couldn't help but think that Martha just might fall in love with that color. Heidi and Michael saved the pieces of the egg shell and added them to their famously beautiful Bellocq tableaus.

Prop Styled by the ever talented Shane Powers! thank you Shane!xx

sour soup and solstice

Sunday marked the close of another great year at The New Amsterdam Market. The stalls were full of fish, oysters, smoked trout and eel. It was everything the market should be. The last thing I expected to see was a stall full of beautiful tropical fruits handpicked by Maggie Nescuir at Flying Fox. She ventured down to Holmstead Florida this past week to handpick an astonishing and magical assortment of fruits, some of which I had no idea grew anywhere in the United States. I was inspired by her pilgrimage. On this shortest day of the year, know that tomorrow the days begin to get longer and we are one step closer to the light. Happy Winter Solstice!

1.  Satsuma

2. Chinese Honey 

3. Longans

4. Canestel (Egg fruit)

5. Guanabana (Sour Sop) 

6. Sapodilla (chocolate fruit)

7. Kejaja Wild 

8.Ruby blush

9. Newhall Navel (a red fruited orange)

10. orlando tangelo

11. lemon guava

12. chinese honey 

13. murcott honey  

14. passion fruit

little dickens

I stopped to see my friend, Heidi Johannsen Stewart, and one of her three partners, Michael Shannon, tea proprietors of the wildly gorgeous and successful line of artisan teas Bellocq at the New Amsterdam Market last Sunday. I picked up three of their irresistable teas. No. 18, Afghani Chai, a black assam tea with organic red poppy flowers, green cardamon, star anise, ginger, clove and black pepper. It had been on my mind since a cold winter day at the market when they were handing out samples. I had become somewhat obsessed with it. I also picked up what they were calling their "summertime chai", a little lighter than the Afghani Chaiand caffeine free. It is called Hindu Holiday. It is a rooibos based chai, caffeine free with cardamom, fragrant cassia, spicy ginger rose, jasmine and marigold petals.

I was, however, most intrigued by the tea called Little DickensLittle Dickens, was  lovingly created by Heidi and her son. It is full of all kinds of things that kids love. Like Hindu Holiday, it too is rooibos based and caffeine free.  A few of the ingredients in Little Dickens are ginger, cinnamon, mint, chocolate, marigold and a little rose. Steep it, then add a little milk and honey. 

Hiedi feels that scent and flavor not only bring back forgotten memories, but that they also enrich the present. "Great teas can be powerful conduit to unite life's precious moments." I couldn't agree more. Many of my strongest memories are attached to taste and smell. So I decided to pick up some tea to share with my sweet little friend Odette, who just became a big sister this past week. Odette is no stranger to tea drinking, but part of me just wants to hear her tell me all about Little Dickens and what is in it. She is at the amazing, curious and talkative age of three. Having her own tea, like her mom does, will make her feel very grown up. It will be a nice way to make her feel special in these new and sometimes confusing post baby days.

I am upstate and all is quiet except for the crazy morning birds. I think it is the perfect moment to sit on the porch and have a cup of tea. 

Look for Belloq's new atelier at 37 Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn, coming very soon!

You can order Bellocq's teas online at: http://www.bellocq.com/ 

Bellocq's founders, Heidi Johannsen Stewart, Michael Shannon, Young Yoon and Scott Stewart joined creative forces with a desire to collaborate on a shared aesthetic vision, an appreciation of traditional artisan production and a passion for tea.