Zen Tea, the path to enlightenment and good health
Zen Tea from the Monks and other enlightened foods from chefshop.com/enews
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Recipes of the Week
With a lovely aroma that hints of the honey from which it was made, this is one delightful vinegar. Light in body but full of bright flavors and a hint of residual sweetness that softens the finish making it seem less acidic than its 6 percent indicates. I like to think of it as an improvement over Banyuls vinegar. It has more flavor and body than Banyuls and it's softer. This makes it a perfect alternative to both Banyuls and Sherry vinegars.
Wei Mountain Tea
A few months back we met an amazing couple; two people from completely different worlds, connected by a love of real tea and an intimate understanding of how the art of brewing and drinking tea can so closely mimic the art of life.
It's an amazing story about people, love, and tea and we will share it here over the next few weeks. Today, we need to let you know about a tea that is best, like a ripened fruit, at it's best shared now. Here is an excerpt.
Becky and Issac have recently obtained a small shipment of Zen Tea from a temple on the mystic Wei Mountain in Hunan Provence. This particular temple holds an important place in Zen Buddhist history; it was the original seat of one of the "five houses" of Zen, and it has an unparalleled reputation throughout Asia for both its place in Buddhist history and its tea. This tea is grown, cared for, picked and processed by Zen monks for use during their monastic practices. It's famous for being naturally high in zinc and selenium, because of the rich soil where it grows. And, of course, the tea is grown high in the pristine mountains without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, so it's truly organic.
Only a small portion of the tea grown and processed at the temple is made available to members of the local community when they visit the temple. The highest grade is never sold, but used only within the temple for special ceremonies. The mid-grade is made available to the lay community, but never sold openly inside or outside China; one must visit the temple to obtain Zen tea, which is what Becky's brother did not too long ago. The standard grade is what the monks retain for themselves for use during their daily meditations.
Becky and Issac have chosen you, ChefShop customers, to try this very special tea. We have just a dozen of these small packets available this year.
Click here to purchase a very special tea.
Turmeric is a member of the Ginger family. Though it is also used in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, it is cultivated and eaten most frequently in India. Turmeric is peppery, woody, warm and musky, with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. It is at once peppery and citrusy, with just a hint of the gingerroot it resembles.
Curries, pickles, pilaus and spice mixtures would be absolutely bereft without the color and flavor of turmeric. Its very mild taste lends itself well to rice, vegetable and pulse dishes.
Shop now for Turmeric
Bottarga di Tonno from Sardinia
Once known as the poor man's caviar, bottarga is the salted, pressed and dried roe of gray mullet (muggine) or tuna (tonno). The tradition of harvesting the nutrient-rich sea salt of the tidal marshes, and using it to preserve the abundant local seafood is maintained to this day in Italy, especially in Sicily and Sardinia. And now, fishermen from Sardinia bring the tradition of air-cured tuna and flavorful sea salt to the rest of the world.
Bottarga may be shaved, sliced, chopped or grated, and just a little provides a ton of flavor to a whole host of dishes. A very popular dish is Spaghetti con Bottarga, made with grated or finely chopped bottarga, olive oil, red pepper flakes and chopped parsley - simple but delicious. Try topping a salad of bitter greens with shaved bottarga, or grate it into your rice congee for a more flavorful breakfast.
Shop now for Bottarga
Black Truffle Caviar
Like little jewels of black diamonds in a jar, if the lover in your life is a truffle lover, then there is nothing like this jewel of a little jar. Caviar that is truffles. Delicate elegance wrapped up with a punch! We love it!
This Black Truffle Caviar is made from the black winter truffle juice, obtained directly from the fresh truffle during the cooking. The tasty juice is then reduced in small pearls through a very sophisticated technique called "sferification". The end result? Popping pearls that have the taste of the truffle but the same color and texture as black caviar.
Shop now for Black Truffle Caviar
D'arbo Lingonberry Syrup
As great as the Elderflower syrup, the Lingonberry Syrup is like no other. Think lightly tangy, think smooth, sweet, with a bite and a character that will add to a drink or a dessert.
It was 1879 when Rudolf Darbo laid the foundations for a "fruit steamery" in Gorizia (now in Italy by the Slovenian border). That was the start of what is now one of the most successful companies in Austria's history. Some 50 years later, his son, Adolf Darbo, relocated the company in the Tyrolean village of Stans, concentrating his efforts on producing quality syrups and bottling honey.
In 1970, the family company now under Klaus Darbo, went into the third generation. Klaus Darbo followed the company tradition - and resolutely continuing the strategy of manufacturing products of superior quality. Darbo's capacity for innovation was one of the key factors in the company's success. In 1994, Darbo launched its premium quality fruit syrups line - and we are glad they did.
Darbo fruit syrups are highly concentrated fruit juices for dilution with water. Over 80% fruit juice content from selected varieties for a unique taste experience. No chemical preservatives or colourings are used in the production.
It's time to order giant Reed Avocados
We got out the spoons as soon as the box arrived at the shop. It's still early, so the Reeds are still a bit small. But, what memories they evoke. As soon as we see their distinct shape! In about a week or so we will start to ship the pre-orders. Then as soon as those are filled over the next couple of weeks, we will start to ship the "new" orders. This year we are expecting a limited amount due to the weird weather and how much we get to reserve!
Hawkshead Relish is Coming!
The shipment has landed! In the wrong port, but at least is on US soil and when it clears all the usual stuff it will be winging its way to us. Their is still time to place your pre-order now to ensure your order will go out before the rush!
New Batch of Smoked Mangalitsa Bacon
I just spent the morning watching the bacon being sliced. It's a beautiful thing! I can't wait to fry up the bacon ends. These are the ends that don't slice up pretty, but they are oh so good! As an ingredient it changes your dish. Like the lard, it is a game changer. Today though, I can't wait to have bacon and eggs for dinner! Eggs from Larry, one of the guys who keeps the landlord's buildings running, has chickens and, thus, eggs! And they are, like all natural eggs, rich in color and flavor.
Cooking Classes Coming Up
Rustic Italian Table
In this class learn how to make dishes that are typical of the Italian countryside - not fussy, and completely satisfying. Only a few spots left, so call now.
NEW: La Cocina Mexicana
Mexican cooking is full of subtle techniques, savory ingredients you never expected, and combinations of flavors that make your eyes pop... and our taste buds smile. And since the class ends with feasting on the dishes we prepared, you'll go home with more than enthusiasm for the delicious cuisine.
NEW: Cooking for the Sultan
The cookbooks of the era reveal the Ottoman court culture to have been as food obsessed as the most passionate modern foodies. Savor recipes from the kitchens of Topkapai Palace as we discuss this rich history of this ancient cuisine, and recreate some of their dishes.
This Weeks Recipes
Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon & Pecans Vinaigrette
A perfect recipe for Mangalitsa Applewood smoked bacon, and fresh, just-from-the-farm spinach.
Verjus Mint Sorbet
Verjus is a nice, lightly acidic alternative to lemon juice. Many chefs like it because it does not conflict with their wine selection. With fresh mint abound this time a year, this is the perfect summer palate cleanser.
Grilled Avocado and Blueberry and Mango Salsa
Get ready for Reed Avocado season. It is coming very soon. And, with all that luscious, oily avocado meat around, you will need a few recipes on hand. Once you get there, search on "avocado" on our site, and you will find many more where this one came from.
See what you missed in previous Newsletters
A Date to Remember, More than a Newton
Chicken Over the Fire, Hollow Zucchini w/Mushrooms
Apple Pie, Shepherd's Pie, American Pie
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