This weekend, some friends and I are planning a potluck tea/picnic with friends while we all attend a local steampunk convention. Like most convention venues, dining options are limited, so we decided to bring our own.
I’ll post pictures and more recipes next week, but this time out, I wanted to post my top three favorite tea sandwich recipes.
First my all-time favorite:
Cucumber Sandwiches with Mint Butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
3-4 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
12 thin slices white bread, crusts removed
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
In a small bowl, combine the butter and mint. Mix well.
Spread the mint butter on all of the bread slices. Cover half of the buttered bread slices with cucumber. (I usually figure 6 cucumber slices to a sandwich.) Top with the remaining bread (butter side in, of course). Cut off crusts, then cut into quarters, triangles, or fingers. Arrange nicely on a plate and serve.
I love the flavor of mint and cucumbers together. And of course, the mint has to be fresh (which, this time of year, sadly means those nasty plastic packages from the supermarket). Use a mandolin (carefully!) to get the cucumber slices nice and thin and even.
This is probably my second-most-favorite tea sandwich:
Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches
1/2 – 2/3 cup mayonnaise
Onion powder, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Curry powder, to taste
12 slices thinly sliced sandwich bread
Hard boil eggs; cool and peel. Chop finely. Mix in mayonnaise and spices. Spread on thinly sliced sandwich bread and cut off crusts. Cut into interesting shapes. Makes 6 sandwiches (before cutting).
I don’t know what it is about curry and eggs together, but now that I’ve tried it, it’s hard to imagine egg salad without it. As far as “to taste” goes, I usually start with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder. The generic yellow curry powder that you buy at the grocery store seems to work best, though you should feel free to experiment with other types, too.
And finally, what would a tea party be without watercress sandwiches?
1 bunch watercress
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
8 slices bread
Layer watercress on half of the bread slices. Chop the parsley as finely as you can. Blend with butter, cream cheese and chives. (Alternatively, blend using a food processor.) Spread on the other half of the bread slices, and make into sandwiches. Remove crusts and cut into interesting shapes.
A couple of tips:
- When slicing off crusts and cutting tea sandwiches into interesting shapes, use a serrated bread knife, and keep a damp cloth nearby to wipe off your blade between cuts. That way, the finished sandwiches look tidier and more appetizing.
- Pick the squarest loaves of bread you can find, and do your best to get them home without squashing them. If your bread slices seem too thick, flatten them a little with a rolling pin before making sandwiches.
- Don’t overfill the sandwiches, especially if you need to transport them somewhere first.
- Garnishes do wonders for the presentation of your finished plate.
What other tea sandwiches do people enjoy?