Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Three Tea Sandwiches

When I was probably about twelve, we went to visit my paternal grandmother. She was the sort of person who kept the sofa covered in plastic so it wouldn't get ruined and did her hair in pin curls every night to sleep on (and tried to convince you that you should also do your hair that way).

On this particular trip she decided that I was old enough that I needed to learn how to make some entertaining sandwiches that I could pull out for the ladies when they came to visit. As I was twelve, my idea of entertaining was to order a pizza and make some microwave popcorn. But that wasn't proper in grandma's world so she taught me to make her version of tea sandwiches. There were two types. The first was bread, a layer of egg salad, bread, a layer of cheese whiz and bread. The second was the same except that the egg salad was replaced by tuna salad. I don't consider myself a food snob, but cheese whiz  is gross and even my twelve year old palate knew it.

Grandma packed up all the sandwiches for us (and there like two enormous Tupperware full of them) as snacks for the road. At the first stop we ditched them.

For years afterwards I thought I didn't like tea sandwiches. And then my mom took me to a high tea service. It was amazing. Dainty sandwiches with fresh flavors and scones with clotted cream and as much tea as you could drink. It was classy and delicious and I was sold.

This week for snack I made two tea sandwich and one tea roll-up all three of which were delicious and attractive.
I made this cake stand from a plate and bowl at the dollar store plus then sat it on a dinner plate for the bottom row

Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwich


2oz smoked salmon (thin sliced)
6 Tbsp butter at room temperature
2 tsp chopped fresh dill
2 tsp chopped fresh chives
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
8-10 pieces of bread (I used a rye pumpernickel swirl which was really good)

Cut the crusts off your bread.

Mix together the butter, herbs and lemon juice. Spread on two pieces of bread. Top one piece with thinly sliced smoked salmon. Top with the second piece of bread. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for half an hour. Cut into thing strips (about 4-5 strips per sandwich). Serve chilled.

Cucumber Radish Tea Sandwiches


1 4-inch piece of cucumber thinly sliced
2 radishes thinly sliced
4oz cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
8-10 pieces of bread (I used a good white bread)

Cut the crusts off your bread.
Mix the cream cheese with the parsley. Thinly spread on two pieces of bread. On one piece, layer cucumbers and radishes. Top with the second pieces of bread. Slice into thin strips.

For both of the above sandwiches, cover with a dampened paper towel until serving to keep the bread moist.
pinwheel of delicious!

Red Pepper Rolls

1/2 cup roasted red pepper
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 oz shredded Parmesan
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup melted butter
10 pieces of bread (I used a whole grain)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the crusts off of your bread. Using a rolling pin, flatten each pieces of bread.

Dry the roasted red peppers on some paper towels. Chop pretty fine. In a bowl, mix the cheese, parsley, mayo, peppers, and herbs.

Spread both sides of each pieces of bread with the melted butter. Spread a heaping tablespoon of mixture on each slice of bread, leaving a centimeter at one end. Starting on the opposite end from the empty centimeter, roll each slice of bread up and secure with a toothpick. Chill for at least two hours. Slice each roll in half and secure halves with toothpicks. Bake for 10 minutes or until browned on the outside.

Personally, I really liked the salmon and the red pepper rolls and was indifferent to the cucumber radish. I think these would have been better if I had used real cream cheese instead of the non-fat kind. some times it makes a difference, some times it doesn't. I think this is one of the times that it does. That said, these made a really pretty presentation and I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve them to a crowd of football fans or at a baby/bridal shower. Plus they were all really easy and quick to make. Perfection in my world.

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