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Book Review: Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea By Annelies Zijderveld

April 29, 2015

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As many readers may know from some recipes on my blog already, I am a big fan of finding ways to incorporate tea into my dishes. When I first stumbled up a new cooking with tea book from Andrew McMeel Publishing I found myself very intrigued without even knowing about the contents hidden inside. They say “don’t judge a book by its cover” however, I knew I had to have a copy of Annelies Zijderveld’s STEEPED: Recipes Infused with Tea because of the book’s outside beauty.

I was most pleased with the tea infused cookbook from the day the packaged arrived. The presentation was wonderful as the cookbook came wrapped up in a Steeped branded tea towel. You could tell there was a lot of thought put into every detail. The book turned out to be even more gorgeous in person, too. Beautiful visuals were shown through various pages from tea leaves, to tea ware to completed dishes from recipes inside.

I loved that the first page started the cookbook off with one of my favourite tea poems from Gary Snyder:

 
There are those who love to get dirty
and fix things.
They drink coffee at dawn,
beer after work,
And those who stay clean,
just appreciate things,
At breakfast they have milk
and juice at night.

There are those who do both,
they drink tea.

 

All of the recipes also seem to be vegetarian friendly which is a plus for me as my boyfriend is a vegetarian and also a major tea lover. We first tried the Green Tea Coconut Rice as it incorporates matcha, which is something he has been a fan of for a few years now. It was a simple recipe that was a great way to dive into incorporating tea into food with just a few steps. There are many recipes in the cookbook that I found to be simple but also quite tasty. I am finding that I am starting to move towards the more elaborate recipes in the cookbook as I feel more comfortable having cooking with tea experience.

What I really enjoy about the cookbook and find super helpful is how well organized it is. After beginning with a brief introduction to tea, there is a Tea Cooking Cabinet section where Annelies goes into details about the types of teas that are used throughout the cookbook and what she finds they are best paired with. Steeped uses 10 classic teas/tisanes ranging from English Breakfast to Chamomile and loose leaf or bagged. I absolutely agree with her comments for Lapsang Souchong as she states “If you only add one tea to your kitchen, let lapsang souchong be it.” I think I’ve mentioned it before but I have learned to love this smoked tea more for an ingredient than a beverage. It has definitely become a staple in my kitchen! If you have a favourite type of tea that you would like to cook with, the Recipes by Teas and Tisanes section in Steeped is a wonderful resource to find all the pages to recipes infused with a specific tea.

Methods for Cooking with Tea is another excellent section that teaches you the many ways you can incorporate tea into your food. It is nice that Steeped uses various practical ways in all of the recipes from grinding tea leaves to extract full flavour to adding hot or cold tea liquids to dishes. Steepeddoes its best to make it possible for anyone to find a way that works best for them. I’m really happy to see that there were no recipes that were only incorporating tea by sprinkling matcha on the top; the easier way out, in my opinion. You won’t be disappointed with the methods Annelies uses to make sure you get maximum flavour from a tea. Here’s one hint: tea butter. Mmm, mmm, good!

Annelies does an excellent job at making sure no tea goes to waste as well. In some recipes, she gives readers tips on how to use the leftover ingredients in other recipes to be found in the cookbook. For example, she has a simple way to make a lovely Green Tea Vinegar. Instead of discarding the fermented tea leaves afterwards, her California Tea Leaf Salad calls for them for an additional delicious bite. You’ll also find simple recipes like the Green Tea Vinegar and a Lapsang Souchong Salt used as a key ingredients throughout the cookbook.

The only thing I wish for more of from Steeped was more visuals of the prepared recipes. As a visualizer, it is nice to be able to see how a completed recipe should look so I’m aware I’m on the right track. I suppose one other thing would be to include more types of teas to be used for the tea cooking cabinet but perhaps that will lead to a second book

Stay tuned because in a few days I’ll be sharing a recipe from Steeped right here on the blog for readers to try a delightful tea infused dish at home. It uses Lapsang Souchong so have that tea ready. This dish will be perfect for dinner!

The post Book Review: Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea By Annelies Zijderveld appeared first on The Cup of Life.



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