I have to admit something here, something a little dark... I hate hot tea people. Maybe "hate" is too strong of a word, if you and I were sitting on my back porch and you asked for a cup of herbal tea I wouldn't throw you out into the streets of the Chicago suburbs, in fact if you had some tea with you I would even make it for you. I am sure the evening would turn out just fine, even if I were a bit distrustful.
However from a restaurant and even more so a catering perspective tea drinkers, especially herbal tea people are a lot of work. Here is an example, when I was going through my divorce I would do some work with Chicago caterers most weekends for a little extra cash. One weekend I was waiting tables at a wedding in the Field Museum... it was a dinner for 1500 people; yes 150 tables of 10 spread over the entire first floor complete a big T-Rex Skeleton in the middle. There were a total of 85 people there as wait staff that night, I had just delivered a table full of food and was walking back to pick up another tray and a guy grabbed my elbow to stop me.
"Oh, Excuse me," he started, "could I get some herbal tea? Maybe Chamomile or a Peppermint would be fine. Oh, and bring me some raw sugar or honey for it and I can't use this half and half just bring me some milk, skim is best, 2% if you have to."
Did he have any idea that there were about 1499 other people in the room waiting on dinner? The guy still hadn't let go of my $30.00 tux jacket.
"Oh and this bread... well just find me some hard rolls or French bread, and some olive oil to dip it in, OK?"
I smiled at him and said I would take care of him immediately, then did the math, "85 waiters, more than half of us men about half of those with blond/light brown hair, every one of us in second hand tuxedos, I don't exactly stand out in fact I look exactly like 20 other people here tonight," I said "I will bring that right out for you sir" I thought, "yeah, 15 minutes after Hell freezes over."
In my career in restaurants and catering my dealings with tea people has always been something like this one, maybe not as extreme but similar. That being said when I decided to make Green Tea Poached Salmon I had some identity issues, "am I going to become a 'tea guy' now?" and "will I suddenly be too good for refined sugar? Maybe coffee poached salmon would be more appropriate... OK, maybe not"
2 TBS Coarsely Chopped Fresh Ginger
3 Cloves Coarsely Chopped Garlic
small handful of Fresh Cilantro chopped
6 oz white wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 Green Tea Bags
Roasted Sesame Seeds
Salmon 1 fillet per person
Put the the first bunch of ingredients except the Tea Bags into a saucepan with about 6 cups of water and simmer lightly for about half an hour maybe 45 minutes. I wanted extra poaching liquid for the Couscous that I made and something else, upcoming post (maybe... if this one turns out) if you are just doing salmon cut it all in half. After the poaching liquid had simmered for the half our I turned it off and added the teabags to steep for about 10 minutes. Then I pulled the teabags out with a slotted spoon and brought it to a light simmer then added the salmon and poached for about 5 minutes.
This is served over couscous made with some reserved poaching liquid and Chilean Mushrooms. I splashed a little soy sauce on top and garnished with toasted sesame seeds.
Oh and here is what the Easter Bunny brought!