Tea and ...vegan cheese? Who knew?
Yes, I am a “coffee person.” As in, if forced to choose, I would choose coffee over tea. Then I went on a bender at the Teavana tea bar. I entered thinking I would just get one thing of tea, and then ended up walking out the door with one basic green tea, one black tea, four different herbal/fruit blends and a white chocolate peppermint tea. I like Teavana’s stuff because it is loose tea as opposed to bagged. You can see whole chunks of the dried ingredients in them. And their stuff smells fantastic.
I wanted to go beyond just nibbling on the tea like a bunny rabbit with a caffeine habit. I wanted to cook with tea. A quick library search landed me with the Cooking With Tea Celestial Seasonings Cookbook by Jennifer and Mo Siegel.
I was tempted by the cookbook’s “happy tea” chapter. Because happiness is good. And so is combining a nice little adult beverage with tea. But I’ve done that before, so I wanted to use the tea in solid foods. There were a surprising amount of tea infused meatballs for a small cookbook, and an amazing amount of tea-spiced salad dressings. The dips and cakes were drawing my attention, too. Still, what is a girl with plethora of vegan cheese to do? Make a sauce for it, that’s what.
I decided to make the “Brie with Strawberry Kiwi Cranberry Sauce”. The wheel of cheese I had was the vegan almond milk cheese by Kite Hill made with truffle, dill and chive, which is not exactly brie, but maybe better because it has truffles and there are no unhappy cows involved. I wanted to use my citrus lavender sage tea for the sauce, since I thought sage and cranberries were sure to work together. In retrospect, it might have been better to pair the sauce with a blander cheese. That said, can two wonderful things together really be all that bad together? In this case, they most certainly were not. So go play with your tea! Just try not to be as cheese-y as me.
You knew I couldn’t close without a bad pun.
Cheese and Tea-Spiced Cranberry Sauce adapted from Cooking With Tea (Celestial Seasonings Cookbook) by Jennifer and Mo Siegel
- One big hunk o’ cheese (I went with this vegan delight)
- 1 cup water
- 2 heaping Tbsp. citrus lavender sage tea or another fruity tea of choice (if using bagged tea use 3 bags)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups whole cranberries (I used frozen ones)
- Garnishes of choice-they suggest walnuts I suggest…whatever you want! I sprinkled some of the whole tea on top too
Boil the water in a big saucepan and add tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Strain (or remove tea bags). Put strained liquid back into pan and add sugar and cranberries and simmer for an hour stirring every ten minutes. Pour that sauce over cheese (let it cool first) and garnish as you wish (I tossed on extra loose tea and a walnut or so). Goodness!