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10.18.2008

Tea Smoked Wings From 50 Great Appetizers



If you look over to the side bar of my blog, you will see a widget from Library Thing. Here is where I catalogue all of my cook books. Its daunting enough listing them and not the other multitudes of books I have. Library Thing is a great networking resource for book lovers and so much to to offer. I have barely tapped into Library Thing, but each month I eagerly bid in their Early Reviewers offers.Limited quantities of books are released from publishers on a whole range of topics. I have been bidding for months and had about given up on ever getting a book. Wasn't I presently surprised when I saw I was chosen to receive 50 Great Appetizers by Pamela Sheldon Johns, a reknown cooking instructor and host of Italian culinary workshops throughout Italy.

It arrived immediately from Andrews McMeel Publishing/ Universal Press Syndicate. 50 Great Appetizers is a small gem of book that would make a great gift this holiday season. The author takes the anxiety and angst out of planning a party with party theme/menu suggestions From Middle Eastern Mezes to Farmers Market spreads. She even breaks down traditional entrees and shows how the host/hostess can adapt them to appetizer portions. It is all about presentation, and this book is wonderfully presented. Pamela Sheldon Johns divides the book into four sections Topped and Dipped, Grilled &Skewered, Stuffed & Rolled, and Plated and Sauced. The author even has a detailed vegetarian listing of all recipes. Each recipe has a brief suggestion of other pairings or any ideas or recommendations.So all your bases are covered for entertaining. Jennifer Barry is her visual collaborator and has given us a wonderful package in photos and design. All in all a great resource.
I wanted to choose a more sophisticated and complex recipe for my blog to test a recipe. One of the first recipes that caught me a unique and challenging was Tea Smoked Chicken Wings with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce. I used Assam Black Tea Leaves. I was worried about the brief time in cooking as this process was new to me. My first attempt at improvising a smoker didn't work and the wings were raw after the elapsed cooking time.

The rack was to far away from the smoke mixture.I grabbed a layer from my bamboo steamer that fit more directly over the tea/ spice mixture, and we were in business! The wings were smoked in the exact time the recipe stated. I normally like my wings broiled or fried with a crispier skin, but these were rich and seductive with that smokey flavor. The accompanying sauce wasn't to sweet and cloying, but just right in its simple equal proportioned mix of soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and sesame oil. These are grown up wings, and I will use this technique for other foods down the line. I loved that tea smoked smell that lingered in the house. It kind of reminded me of Oolong tea in scent, if that's your thing.

For legal /copyright reasons I wont give the recipe . But essentially I used rice, brown sugar, star anise, orange peel, and tea leaves to create a foil lined sealed smoker. The sauce was soy, rice vinegar, minced garlic, and sesame oil. I found success changing my rack to my bamboo steamer rack. This is really easy and wow your guests when entertaining. I look forward to changing tea blends, and meats with this technique. A cook book can be followed literally of be there to give you more inspiration or ideas. This does both succesfully.
I'm sending this to Meeta for her Monthly Mingle...Coffee and Tea. If anyone wants more detailed instruction email me.

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20 comments:

We Are Never Full said...

really interesting mix of flavors. yours is the second chicken recipe i've looked at in a row - perhaps taht is saying something to me? can't you credit the book for the recipe and it won't be a legal issue?

linda said...

The wings look delicious, interesting smoking ingredients...

~~louise~~ said...

To your infinite amount of talent, you now add book reviewer. Amazing! I rarely buy recently published cookbooks having so many vintage ones. This post has made me realize that perhaps, I should inspiration or ideas. Thank you so much for sharing and delight in your new book. ...Patience...

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very interesting! Those chicken wings must taste really good!

Cheers,

Rosa

Lori Lynn said...

Sounds like a terrific book. I have to look into Library Thing myself.

Now, as for those tea smoked wings, that looks heavenly. I'm not understanding how the smoking process works, I need to do some research.

Deborah said...

this sounds like a great cookbook, and an excellent appetizer!

Dee said...

I love tea-smoking, and I so agree about the smell after. I need to add some spice to my tea smoking mix - thanks for the tip.

Hey, Library Thing sounds like just the thing to fuel my addiction. Hope you're having a great weekend, Coco.

TeachGirl said...

Interesting, I never tried tea-smoking. This looks really good though and the sauce sounds really good.

toni said...

Tea smoking sounds like it could become the next rage.... Frankly, I think I'd prefer these over the usual crispy wings, as I'm not much of a fried food eater.

Ivy said...

Great review and the recipe sounds very interesting.

Nina Timm said...

These chicken wings look delicious!

Ps we planted our first garden yesterday and quess what it's called:
Glamah's Garden...it has a sign the works......your contribution arrived here first and that is why!!! I will post about it later this week!

The Caked Crusader said...

How fascinating - I've seen a few recipes for tea smoking items around recently, it must be in fashion!
The chicken looks beautiful and I love the idea of the scent around the house!

Peter M said...

OK, I have to try this method...I've seen many smoking food in the house and there's no excuse...looks like a tasty result.

Núria said...

My man would love those wings!!!! Are you sure you cannot post the recipe? As long as you say who it belongs...

Rosie said...

This does sound a great cookboook and those chicken wings look delish!


Rosie x

Meeta K said...

Coco - this is such a unique way of preparing chicken. I have to try this out. Thanks for sending this to the mingle and glad you could join us!

Jeanne said...

You've been a busy lady this week! I love smoked chicken and these look fantastic. Clever of you to use the bamboo steamer :)

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

We tried tea-smoking with salmon before but I don't know if it was successful or not, being new to the tea-smoking thing. These wings look fabulous: maybe we'll try the tea-smoking again with chicken. Thanks!

Lynnylu said...

I haven't used tea very often in cooking, but your tea smoked wings inspire me. Great looking food!

Pamela Sheldon said...

Hi Glamah, I am Pamela Sheldon Johns... thanks for reviewing my book and trying one of my favorite recipes.It is a fun method, isn't it. I think the key is to not be afraid to 'burn' the ingredients in the bottom of the pan. The rice is fuel and the other ingredients are the aromatics. The chicken wings work great, too, because they are not too thick and the cooking time isn't too long.
Buon appetito!
Pamela Sheldon Johns
www.FoodArtisans.com