Now, when we say ‘cooking with tea and toast’, we don’t mean lazily stirring a pan while sipping on a brew and nibbling on a slice of toast – although, that does sound like a lovely way to spend half an hour after getting in from work.
No, what we mean is using humble yet classic and oh-so comforting tea and toast as cooking ingredients themselves. And we don’t just mean to make a cup of tea, or beans on toast.
Instead, we’re encouraging you to get creative with these British diet staples and use them as key components of family favourite meals like chicken kiev, and in show-stopping cakes Mary Berry would be proud of.
So, make yourself a cuppa and grab yourself a slice of toast; here’s a few ideas to get you started:
Great for adding crunch to a summer salad, and gorgeous with a thick soup in the winter, croutons are seriously tasty, despite the fact they are basically just very overcooked toast.
The more stale your bread, the better for croutons, and don’t scrimp on your seasonings. Strong flavours like garlic, herbs and black pepper will make these toasty bits of bread super-tasty, and wonderfully far away from what you’d usually expect from your toast. Natasha’s Kitchen has a lovely recipe for garlic croutons that’s a good place to start from.
Classic chicken kiev
“What does toast have to do with chicken kiev?”, you may wonder. Well, a few slices of toast whizzed up in your Tefal high-speed blender will provide you with a whole lot of crispy breadcrumbs that can be used to coat chicken.
First, it’ll need marinating with a gorgeous garlicky sauce and coating in a little beaten egg to make all those toasted breadcrumbs stick, but Hungry Healthy Happy has a full set of instructions to walk you through this. Use wholemeal bread to make your breadcrumbs for extra fibre and general goodness.
Sage, onion and bread stuffing
Breadcrumbs also take a star turn in traditional stuffing recipes, giving a unique texture to sausage meat and diced onions that have been heavily seasoned with sage. Again, make the breadcrumbs from toast, and it really doesn’t matter how stale the bread you use is.
Whether you think it’s a Sunday roast staple for every week, or it only makes an appearance alongside your Christmas turkey, this recipe from The English Kitchen is a fantastic one to have in your repertoire. Stuff all the others.
Perfect pork schnitzel
Like chicken kiev, pork schnitzel is another slightly retro classic, and it’s actually made in a pretty similar way – Cuisine Fiend has a recipe explaining exactly how to make your own.
Chips are hands down the best thing to serve chicken kiev with – it’s so so good when all that garlic sauce seeps out of the chicken breast and makes the potato slightly soggy, but in the best possible way. However, we think schnitzel deserves a little more attention.
Diced potatoes fried with onion, garlic and bacon would be a seriously tasty accompaniment, especially topped with some melted cheese. Or for a lighter option, top your schnitzel with a fried egg – the runnier the yolk, the better – and serve with a salad.
Tea and honey cake
That’s enough savoury, let’s allow tea to have its moment and get on to sweet recipes. A cup of tea with toast and honey has to be one of the most soothing snacks of all, and this gorgeous tea and honey cake from Lady and Pups encapsulates all of that sweet comfort into an absolutely beautiful bake.
The addition of vanilla extract really brings out the sweetness in this cake, creating the perfect balance to that distinctive tea taste, which can be a little bitter sometimes. If you want to take this bake to a whole extra level, slice it thinly and spread each piece with honey. So so sweet, but so so good.
Matcha tea and almond biscuits
Matcha tea has been all the rage over the last couple of years, with its unique flavour and vibrant colour helping to bring green tea into the mainstream. While bright green biscuits may not be the most appetising looking, these matcha tea and almond biscuits from Lucy Loves are really very tasty.
Use a sensible round cookie cutter for a more traditional-looking finish, but we can’t help but feel that these are calling out for a dinosaur cutter, thanks to their excellent colour for a roarsome (see what we did there?) finish.
Earl grey tea-infused carrot cake
It’s back to the traditional, but with a slight twist, for this next recipe from A Half-Baked Idea. It’s a carrot cake, but not as you know it. There’s dried fruit in the mix, which has been soaked in earl grey tea, and instead of the classic cream cheese carrot cake frosting, there’s a buttercream icing delicately infused with those stunning earl grey flavours.
There’s a lot going on in this cake, but it’s most definitely worth the effort. And, of course, it absolutely must be served with a pot of tea.