Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cucumber Sandwiches

Whenever I make Cucumber Sandwiches for Afternoon Tea, I am always reminded of the fact that there are so many variations to this simple sandwich. Here are two different types that I have made recently.

The finger sandwiches are made with thin slices of cucumber which have soaked in a vinegar/water/ice bath for about 30 minutes. Remove them from the liquid and drain on paper towels. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Then sprinkle the cucumber slices with pepper and dill weed. To prepare the sandwich, spread cream cheese on one side of a slice of white bread, place about 4 slices of cucumber on the cream cheese, and spread a second slice of bread with mayonnaise. Place this piece of bread, mayonnaise side down, on the cucumber slices. Remove crusts from all four edges, and cut the sandwich in half. To garnish the plate, I've used a fresh sprig of Italian parsley. These are very refreshing. And the dill, pepper, and vinegar flavors delightfully contrast the crisp crunch of the cucumber as you take that first bite into this sandwich.
The second variety again uses a cream cheese base for the spread to which you have added some freshly grated cucumber and onion. Before adding the cucumber and onion, be certain to drain as much of the liquid as possible as you don't want the cream cheese to be overly moistened. Sprinkle in a touch of pepper as seasoning. Spread a slice of bread with this mixture, remove crusts, and cut into whatever shape you prefer. Here we made triangular sandwiches. For the finishing touch to this sandwich, spread a little of the cream cheese mixture on the edge of the bread and dip into finely snipped fresh parsley.
To hold your tea sandwiches until your special event, place on a cookie sheet, cover lightly with a piece of wax paper, and then seal tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate until serving time. Because of the moisture of the cucumber, you don't want to hold cucumber sandwiches for an extended time, so plan to make it only an hour or so before your party.

1 comment:

Steph said...

Yummy! My favorite cucumber variation is thin slices, salted, with *rosemary* butter. Very simple, but sooo wonderful!