Archive for December 2013

Tea cookies

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So literal… making tea cookies flavored with tea and, with any luck, shaped like teabags. Pinteresty shenanigans.

I’m using this recipe, incredibly quick to put together in the food processor:


Earl Grey Tea Cookies

makes 2 dozen

1 cup all purpose flour 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar 
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves* 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375°F. Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor until the tea leaves are pulverized.

Add vanilla, water, and butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed. Form the dough into a log onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Wrap the paper around and roll the log smooth. Freeze now, or chill for at least 30 minutes.

When chilled, slice the log into 1/3 inch thick pieces. Place on baking sheets and bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

*One would think that expensive loose leaf tea would be best in this recipe. But I’ve actually gotten the best flavor with tea from cheap bags that I’ve ripped open. I think the leaves are more fine and flaky

I made one batch with very strongly scented but possibly too high-quality vanilla Earl Grey tea from Teavana, and one batch with about 1.5 Tbsp of the contents of some fairly cheap cardamom chai teabags from the Indian store.

Hoping to have them look like this, though I’ll probably skip the chocolate dipping.

update: they spread in the oven, looking more like those eco-teabags with no string, so for the cardamom chai batch I just sliced them up instead of shaping them and punching holes with a toothpick.


Written by orata

December 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Tamale Pie from Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers

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3 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 cups chicken broth

8 slices bacon, chopped

1 onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, drained

1 14.75 oz can creamed corn

1 6-oz can sliced pitted black olives

1 cup whole milk

3 large eggs

2 cups yellow cornmeal



3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 cups enriched chicken broth (left over from making the filling)

1 8-oz can tomato sauce

For serving:

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

sour cream


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Brown the chicken, then add broth and simmer till cooked through. (I used boneless thighs instead of the bone-in ones)–remove from broth, let cool, shred the meat. Save 1 1/2 cups broth for the sauce.

Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

In the meantime, cook the bacon until crisp, cook the onion and garlic in the bacon fat, then add the oil, tomatoes, corn, olives, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Whisk the milk and eggs together in a bowl; whisk in the cornmeal until incorporated and smooth. Slowly pour the cornmeal mixture into the pot while stirring constantly, and cook till mixture thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

Measure out and reserve about half (4 cups or so) of the cornmeal mixture. Smooth the mixture left in the pot, add the chicken as a layer, then top with the rest of the cornmeal mixture. Cover the pot, place it in a large roasting pan, and pour the boiling water into the pan to reach 1/3 of the way up the sides, like a giant bain-marie. Bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, till the mixture is dry to the touch and lightly browned.

Nota bene: i made this with TJ’s cornbread mix because they didn’t have cornmeal, and I didn’t want to go to another store for it.

Sauce: Cook the flour in a dry skillet over medium heat until light golden brown, 3-5 mins. Stir in the spices, cook till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth and tomato sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 2 minutes, till thickened. Season with salt and pepper. 

Cut slices, top with sauce, cilantro, and sour cream.

Written by orata

December 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm