Con-tea-mplating the End of Summer

Con-tea-mplating the End of Summer

To recap: 

  • Quantities for your marinade are approximate and infinitely adjustable– use more or less ginger root or garlic because you like
  • Enough to marinate and drizzle 2 dinner-sized portions of fish or chicken
  • 2 cups of strongly brewed black tea (Keemun or Yunnan varieties work well here)
  • 2 inches of peeled and finely sliced fresh ginger root
  • 2 big cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 T. honey (clover or other mixture )

Photo”Grilled Chicken…” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Permit to the photographer Brian Child and has been submitted unaltered (origin )

When ready to cook, set the gas grill on medium, leaving part of the grill unheated (if using charcoal briquets, surround the outer edge of the grill with the coals, leaving the center empty. Heat until coals are hot). Eliminate chicken or the fish in the marinade. Discard this curry. Grill the fish (I count 10 minutes for each inch of the filleted fish, measured at the thickest point). Chicken thighs are complete in 165° F. when analyzed at the thickest point.  You can move the fish or fish off of heat to slow down the cooking and leave it there. Baste it with some of the marinade five minutes until you remove the protein. Remove from the grill, sprinkle with some freshly snipped chives or scallion greens, thinly sliced. Serve with the rest of the loaf, steamed rice, along with a seasonal vegetable (green patty pan squash or shredded jicama are some of my favorites). If stone fruit or good new figs are still available at your regional farmer’s market means grill those with a brush of marinade as well. 

As summer ends — signaled at least by the calendar or even the thermometer — the times of regular grilling are numbered. But tea, outside of its iced type, can surely play a part in al fresco cooking in the form of a marinade/glaze for beautiful fresh fish (salmon or alternative moist-fleshed varieties) or poultry (dark meat here is best). Brew up some black tea (marginally more of the foliage per dose of water than you would ordinarily to get a beverage). While the tea is hot, add a small amount of honey to sweeten somewhat, and some fresh peeled ginger root, a garlic clove or 2.  Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Sieve out any solids and let cool. Then place poultry or fish into a bowl. Pour 1/2 of the mix over it. Refrigerate for two or one hour, or up to overnight. The remaining half of the marinade should be boiled to thin coating consistency. Don’t burn off. Cover and cover. (you might need to dilute with a little bit of hot water to make it brushable just before using.) 

As noted above, half will be used as a marinade (poured over the protein in a bowl and coated ) and the other half as a glaze which needs to be cooked to reduce to thin-coating consistency. Cover and refrigerate the glaze.
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