Oh winter. The last few weeks of the wet and the rain in Oregon really start to get to a person. It's dark, its gloomy. ITS WET! Really wet, like slip around outside when its wet, wet.
We spend much more time in the house than we care to but there is so little to do in so much rain and mud. There is no garden to work on - its too cold. The animals are hunkered down just like us. The only thing to do is to make a mess in the kitchen - I mean be creative in the kitchen. ( As I look behind me to see if the Farmer' saw me type those words... ah hem.)
Cooking With, Not Drinking Tea
I have sort of a reputation for being a mad scientist in the kitchen. I think its usually the after math of my creativeness that gives me that reputation. The latest inspired mess - I mean creation - came from a tea called Lapsang Souchong. Lapsang is a special black tea from China that is smoke-dried over a pine-wood fire. It's known as the smoked tea.
Let me tell you what, that is the best name for this tea! While drinking smoked liquid just didn't sound pleasing to MY palate, I had some other ideas! Some people buy Liquid Smoke but what does this farm girl do? I just eat my tea.
It All Started With Potatoes
This interesting and new Lapsang tea just smelled like great BBQ'd food. Sometimes though, teas don't taste anything like they smell. Most of the time they do, but not always. So this girl was set to find out if it did, indeed, taste like some great BBQ. Off to the spice grinder went the tea leaves with a few spices that I usually put in my BBQ sauce. It made a very fine powder. Maybe a bit too fine, but this was an experiment right?
The simplest way to test this new found tea spice out was on some potato wedges. Five hungry family members weren't going to wait long for a long crazy experiment. This was the quickest way to test out my idea.
Off went the potatoes to be scrubbed, and sliced, sprinkled with this new spice blend, and drizzled with olive oil for the oven. WOW! We're those the best potato wedges ever! Lapsang really packs a smokey punch and a little goes a long ways. Now the wheels were really turning!
Hello To The Best Meatballs Ever!
Thank you potato wedges for being the Guinea pig. The real test was on. Mixing and mashing, I introduced this new found spice blend to our traditional meatball recipe. Also mixing it in our traditional bbq recipe. Here we have the simplest and tastiest meatballs I've ever had. Move over Ikea. Move over Costco. These things are taking over. Super simple to make and super simple to freeze for parties. You are going to want to give these a try! Let us know what you think in the comments, do these take the cake?
Smokey Lapsang Meatballs
- 1 lb of ground pork or beef
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 c. of dried bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. of lapsang spice blend (recipe below)
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 med. onion, minced
- 1/2 c. ketchup
- 1 tbl unsulfured molasses
- 1 tbl raw honey
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp lapsang spice blend
- 1 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
- pinch of cayenne powder (optional)
- Mix together ground meat, sea salt, bread crumbs, garlic powder, Lapsang Spice blend, and onion until well incorporated.
- Form 1” inch round meat balls and place on roasting pan with rack.
- Bake at 400 ° degrees for 20- 30 minutes until inside is no longer pink and outside is browned.
- In a small sauce pan, blend together ketchup, honey, molasses, lapsang spice blend, sea salt, apple cider vinegar and cayenne if using. Heat over medium low heat until warm. Keep warm until ready to serve with meatballs.
Lapsang Spice Blend Recipe In a coffee or spice grinder, grind 2 tablespoons of lapsang tea very coarse, make sure it isn’t a powder but small enough to sprinkle. Add 1 tsp of sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp of onion powder and 1 tsp of garlic powder. Grind one or two times quickly to mix.
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