Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tea Sandwiches

Does it get more classy than afternoon tea with a close friend and petit sandwiches? Oh what a lovely way to spend the afternoon and catch up with a friend.  I don't know about you, but when I'm catching up with a friend, a quick bite to eat turns into several hours of continuous snacking. Somehow we never run out of anything to say and a large meal just tends to get in the way of our conversation.  Either your meal begins to get cold as you are telling a story, or you risk a serious class faux pas by telling your story with a bite of food still in your mouth! That's why an afternoon tea is the perfect environment for catching up! These dainty tea sandwiches allow you to take your time with your meal, which lets you enjoy the conversation just as much as the food.  

Tea sandwiches are very simple, quick to prepare, and generally do not require much ingredients.  Cucumber cream cheese tea sandwiches, in my opinion, are always a staple at any tea time, but from there I like to experiment with other types of sandwiches that will be served. Today I made a prosciutto tomato and bocconcini tea sandwiches to go with the cucumber ones. I always like to have a good balance of both vegetarian sandwiches as well as meat ones.  I had some leftover mini caprese salad that needed to be used up, which I thought would taste delicious with some salty prosciutto.  To add a bit more distinction between the two sandwiches, I chose to pan fry the prosciutto ones as well.  
Note: Both the cucumber cream cheese tea sandwich and prosciutto tomato and bocconcini tea sandwiches should be served immediately.  If left out, the cucumber sandwich will get soggy and the prosciutto sandwich will get cold. 

Cucumber Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
brown bread (preferably rye and thinly sliced)
chives, chopped
cream cheese
salt and pepper

1.  Spread cream cheese on each slice of bread.  Amount of cream cheese depends on the thickness of the bread.  Set aside half of the bread slices.  Sprinkle chopped chives over the remaining half of the bread slices and cream cheese (you may also mix cream cheese and chives together before spreading).

2.  Using a mandolin, thinly slice cucumber into rounds.  If you do not have a mandolin, carefully slice cucumber with a very sharp knife.  Using a paper towel, gently dry off any excess moisture from the cucumber slices.

3.  Place cucumber evenly on top of cream cheese and chives.  Season with salt and pepper, and top with the reserved slices of bread with cream cheese. Carefully trim away crusts and cut into small rectangular or triangular sandwiches. 

Prosciutto Tomato & Bocconcini Tea Sandwiches
brown bread (preferably rye and thinly sliced)
grape tomatoes, sliced
bocconcini, sliced
basil, chopped
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
cream cheese
Russian mustard (honey mustard works just as well)
salt and pepper

1.  Mix together tomatoes, bocconcini, and basil with a mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, just enough to coat.  

2.  Set aside half of the slices of bread.  On the remaining slices, spread mustard.  Top evenly with prosciutto, tomatoes, bocconcini, and basil, making sure to drip off excess vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3.  On the plain bread slices that were set aside, spread a thin amount of cream cheese.  Top prosciutto topped bread with cream cheese topped bread.  

4.  Butter sandwiches on both sides and pan fry on medium, until bread is toasted and cheese has softened. 

5.  Carefully trim away crusts and cut into small rectangular or triangular sandwiches. 


Anonymous said...

I wanted to do something special for my 7 year old niece when she comes to visit this summer, and your tea sandwiches have inspired me to do an afternoon tea with her, complete with lots of tea sandwiches, and mini desserts...and sweetened iced tea!
Thank you!

Danielle said...

Oooh that sounds like such a nice idea! It would be awesome if you did a take on a mad hatter theme. You could make it really unique and quirky. Perhaps buy a cheap chandelier at an antique store to make the centerpiece

Kristin said...

I adore having have tea with the girls. We always go to a tea room but I might just have to attempt to host one. Thanks!!

finsmom said...

Perfect for a tea party! So cute and pretty!

Anonymous said...

cucumber is my favorite fresh snack for summer! great simple recipe, I like your blog! <3

Carol said...

Fun! I love the idea of afternoon tea and sandwiches!

Kotori said...

I've been having little tea parties with my kids - I need to try some of these. And, you are right... tea sandwiches do make a great afternoon with a friend.

Dallas Shaw said...

sounds easy enough?!


Danielle said...

Thanks for all the kind comments!