Earl Grey Infused Chocolate Tartine

This recipe is my version of the Tartines et Chocolat served at Merci in Paris. I never would have ordered it since I'm not huge on chocolate, but my friend Nana highly recommended it so I did. Oh boy, I totally ate up every last bit of the spreadable chocolate. (See photo of it at Merci.)

With mine, I added in a twist to this ganache by adding in a citrus and black tea flavor with Earl Grey. 

It's scary how quickly this can be whipped up. You'll need:

2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
3 tablespoons Earl Grey loose leaf tea (I used Taylors of Harrogate's Earl Grey)
1 tablespoon butter
Baguette (I prefer demi or mini baguette for this tartine.)

In a saucepan, simmer heavy cream and take off heat as the cream starts to bubble along the edges of the pan. Steep Earl Grey tea in the heavy cream for 5 minutes. Strain. 

(I filled tea filter bags with Earl Grey to make it easier to strain.)

Put the saucepan with the tea infused heavy cream back on the stove and simmer once more until bubbles form along the sides of the saucepan. Take off heat and stir in the chocolate and butter. 

Mix until everything has melted together.

Pour the chocolate spread into a small bowl and serve with a horizontally cut toasted baguette. Generously spread or spoon the Earl Grey infused chocolate onto baguette and enjoy!

EARL GREY INFUSED CHOCOLATE TARTINE

INGREDIENTS
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
3 tablespoons Earl Grey loose leaf tea (I used Taylors of Harrogate's Earl Grey)
1 tablespoon butter
Baguette (I prefer demi or mini baguette for this tartine.)

DIRECTIONS
In a saucepan, simmer heavy cream and take off heat as the cream starts to bubble along the edges of the pan. Steep Earl Grey tea in the heavy cream for 5 minutes. Strain. 

Put the saucepan with the tea infused heavy cream back on the stove and simmer once more until bubbles form along the sides of the saucepan. Take off heat and stir in the chocolate and butter. 

Mix until everything has melted together.

Pour the chocolate spread into a small bowl and serve with a horizontally cut toasted baguette. Generously spread or spoon the Earl Grey infused chocolate onto baguette and enjoy!

 

Posted on November 18, 2014 .

Maman NYC

A great new spot for tea breaks has opened up in Soho. Maman is completely adorable with a limited, but excellent selection of savories and sweets, thanks to their Michelin-starred chef Armand Arnal.

The first time I went, it was for lunch and I got the Croque 'Maman,' a super velvety and rich-but-not-too-rich version of a Croque Madam and a fresh chickpea salad with beets.

 I also got a chocolate chip cookie, which was very nutty, and very chocolatey. I came back for it.

I ordered an Earl Grey tea latte to go with the chocolate chip cookie. The tea latte isn't on the menu, but I asked them if they can make it for me, and they did with half milk and half tea. It was very good.

I went with Kathy, and we sat up front at the bar stools, but there's a bigger seating area in the back. I prefer the front of the bakery since there was a lot more natural light....which we quickly lost about an hour after getting there at 4PM. Damn you, daylight savings!

 

Matcha (Green Tea) Chia Seed Pudding

This Matcha (Green Tea) Chia Seed Pudding is what I'll have for breakfast or a snack when I want something a little healthy. It does require a some planning ahead since it takes at least three hours to have the chia seeds gel together with the milk. I usually make it the night before and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

You only need five ingredients:

1 cup almond milk (I used the delicious AlmondMade. c/o)
3 tablespoons chia seeds 
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon matcha + more for dusting (Get culinary grade matcha for recipes.)
a pinch of salt (I used Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.)

Mix together almond milk, honey, matcha, and salt. I used an immersion blender to make it easier.

In a bowl, pour in chia seeds then the matcha almond milk mixture. Stir to coat chia seeds with the liquid. Refrigerate. 

10 minutes later, stir again to make sure chia seeds are not clumping together. Keep in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. 

Dust the top with a little matcha before serving.

MATCHA CHIA SEED PUDDING
Makes 1 serving

INGREDIENTS
1 cup almond milk (I used the delicious AlmondMade. c/o)
3 tablespoons chia seeds 
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon matcha + more for dusting (Get culinary grade matcha for recipes.)
a pinch of salt (I used Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.)

DIRECTIONS
Mix together almond milk, honey, matcha, and salt. I used an immersion blender to make it easier.

In a bowl, pour in chia seeds then the matcha almond milk mixture. Stir to coat chia seeds with the liquid. Refrigerate. 

10 minutes later, stir again to make sure chia seeds are not clumping together. Keep in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. 

Dust the top with a little matcha before serving.

 

Posted on November 11, 2014 .

Oolong Tea Tasting at T Shop

There's a new teahouse in New York City! Thanks to Georgia, I found out about T Shop in Nolita and we met up for a tea tasting.

Currently there are just eight selection of teas, all personally sourced by the owner, Theresa. We were asked which tea we were interested in tasting and we went with oolong. 

She brought over two kinds and after taking a whiff of both, we decided on the Roasted Oolong.

We sat at a table together, with Theresa on one side and us on the other. We did five steepings, all expertly prepared in a gaiwan by Theresa. In the top photo, you'll see three cups and one was hers as she drank and chatted with us.

The place is cozy with just three tables and a small bar with a handful of chairs.

The shop isn't directly off the street, so once you see the T Shop green sign above the Psychic sign at the door, walk down the hallway until you see a glass door with an illustrated black teapot.

A look at the oolong leaves after our fifth steeping. All the tight little balls have unfurled.

Our tea tasting with five steepings of oolong were $10 each. No tips were accepted and tax wasn't added so it was $10 each flat. 

The Roasted Oolong was excellent, so I'll be going back to try the other teas in the shop.

INFO: T Shop | 247 Elizabeth Street | New York, NY 10012 | 646-726-4086

 

Sushi Omakase Lunch at 15 East

15 East has one Michelin star and it's my go-to sushi restaurant -- it never disappoints. I always request the sushi bar, never the dining room. At the sushi bar, each piece is made as you eat, not all at once and plated like it is if you sit in the dining room. The rice is usually packed looser and therefore just falls apart in your mouth.

I usually go for dinner, so I requested the $65 sushi omakase that's on the dinner menu -- a 10 piece sushi chef's choice. On the lunch menu, there's a $35 sushi omakase with seven pieces and a half roll, but I can't see how that would be filling enough. I guess in that case, a bowl of soba noodles would be a nice way to round out the meal.

Once seated at the sushi bar, a nice hot hand towel is presented to get you ready to start eating with your fingers. No need for chopsticks (unless it's to pick up the pickled ginger), especially with the loose rice! The little white folded upright piece of wet napkin is used to wipe your fingers between each piece of sushi.

No need for soy sauce or wasabi (they don't even have them out at the bar) since everything is perfectly flavored and seasoned before it gets to you. Oh, another thing, every piece is eaten in one bite.

I always get a cup of water and a hot cup of green tea, which goes perfectly with the sushi.

Here we go...

1/ Striped Jack
With the first piece, my eyes usually roll to the back of my head and I make noises I didn't even know I could make. It melts in my mouth. SO SO SO GOOD.

2/ King Yellowtail
More with the eye rolling back and the gutteral noise.
 

3/ Lean Bluefin Tuna
The chef informed us that tuna from Boston was brought in the day earlier and showed us on a picture which part of the tuna this piece came from.

4/ Medium Fatty Tuna
Another part of the same tuna. Tasted completely different from the previous piece.

5/ Seared Fatty Tuna
Lovely smoky flavor on this one.

6/ Spotted Prawn
My friend Camille and I were discussing if we should eat the tail or not, but decided not to since it didn't break apart too easily.

7/ Scallop
Citrus garnishes gave this piece a nice tart finish.

8/ Salmon Roe
Bright orange mountain of salty goodness.

9/ Sea Urchin (Uni) from California
What's better than uni? NOTHING.
 

10/ Sea Eel
It was mentioned this was their signature piece. The eel is poached and...say it with me...melts in your mouth.

11/ Complimentary Ice Cream Dessert
Sometimes you get dessert with the omakase, sometimes you don't, with a 90% success rate at the sushi bar. A refreshing end to a perfect lunch.

When making reservations online, those seats are only for the dining room, which is why I have 15 East on my phone since I only like sitting at the sushi bar.

INFO: 15 East | 15 East 15th Street | New York, NY 10003 | 212.647.0015
COST: $65 Sushi Omakase, specially requested 
LUNCH HOURS: Monday - Saturday, 12PM - 1:30PM, which the last seating at 1PM.
 

Posted on November 6, 2014 .