|Tea-Infused Millet Cheese Tarts|
I’m a HUGE tea drinker. Have been for decades. It’s my preferred breakfast beverage and during the winter I drink it all day long. I like green, black, white, herbal, all flavors. I haven’t, however, used tea in cooking applications except one time many years ago when I made brownies that used blackberry tea. They were amazing. So I was very excited when I found out that the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux is cooking with tea. Our task is to create a healthy recipe that is inspired by tea.
I decided to use one of my favorite teas, Good Earth Citrus Kiss. I made millet the usual way, except that I used a strong citrus-flavored tea in place of water or broth. It came out delicious. These cheese cups are easy to do and are great for summer party appetizers. Don’t have millet on hand? Just substitute brown rice or quinoa.
Here’s the recipe:
Tea-Infused Millet Cheese Cups
1 cup dry millet (uncooked)
2 cups strong tea made from 3 citrus or lemon flavored tea bags
1 lean Italian turkey sausage link (about 3.4 ounces), uncooked and casing removed
1/2 medium fennel bulb, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
Non-stick cooking spray
8 ounces 50% or 75% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
mini muffin pan
Toast dry millet in a non-stick 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until millet just begins to turn brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of strong tea to toasted millet, reduce heat to medium and cover. Gradually reduce heat to simmer and let cook covered for about 20 minutes. One cup of dry millet yields about 4 cups of cooked millet. Only 1 cup of cooked millet is needed for this recipe. The rest can be used for another recipe or use.
Brown Italian sausage in large, 10-inch non-stick frying skillet over medium-high heat until completely browned on all sides, breaking it apart as it cooks. Reduce heat to medium. Add fennel and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in cooked millet. Cook over medium heat for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Set aside.
Make Cheese Tarts: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick spray. The cheese cups will likely need to be baked in batches. The parchment paper can be reused until all the cheese cups have been baked. With large holes on a box grater, shred cheese. Place cheese in 1 tablespoon piles on parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving about inch between piles to allow for spreading. Flatten piles slightly with back of spoon. Bake 8 to 10 minutes on middle rack of oven until bubbly and slightly brown around edges. Don't over bake to prevent toughness. Remove baking sheet from oven and let set for 1 minute. Then carefully lift each cheese circle and press in bottom of mini muffin pan. Let cool about 5 minutes before removing from muffin pan. Note: cheese cups can be made up to several days in advance, if desired. Keep at room temperature in airtight plastic container lined with paper towels to absorb moisture.
Using a tablespoon, scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling into each cheese tart. Garnish with feathery fennel fronds, if desired. Serve.
Makes 16 appetizers or 8 servings (2 appetizers each).
Nutrition Information per Serving using 75% reduced fat Cheddar cheese): (Note: one serving is two cheese cups.)
111 calories, 3.8 g total fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 16.3 mg cholesterol, 0.8 g dietary fiber, 11.8 g protein, and 281 mg sodium.
Nutrition Information per Serving using 50% reduced fat Cheddar cheese): (Note: one serving is two cheese cups.)
121 calories, 5.8 g total fat, 3.3 g saturated fat, 21.3 mg cholesterol, 0.8 g dietary fiber, 10.8 g protein, and 251 mg sodium.
Cost per Serving (2 Cheese Cups per Serving): $0.88
Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.
|Millet browning in pan before tea is added|