Time for Tea Sandwiches

Since my study abroad in London many, many years ago I've loved afternoon tea. I've hosted a few teas over the years and have learned to make things easier on myself by buying pastries from a bakery. But I have a small repertoire of sandwiches that I make, not only for teas but for parties as well.


Two of these sandwiches come from the Ina Garten and can be found in her first book The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. And the third comes from Alice's Tea Cup, the cookbook for the whimsical New York eatery. All three have been modified slightly but for the most part stay true to the original recipes. You'll note that cucumber and egg salad sandwiches are not part of the menu.


One fantastic tip I learned from Ina Garten is how to make sandwiches the night before and still keep the bread soft and the sandwiches fresh. After assembling the sandwiches she places them on a sheet pan and covers them with a barely damp paper towel. After that she completely seals the sheet pan in plastic wrap. It works every time.


For a recent tea friends brought macarons, I purchased a few petite pastries, and made an icebox cake. Although I usually make scones, I didn't this time so there was no cooking or baking involved at all.


These sandwiches are great for parties too when you need something a bit more substantial than crudité, chips, and dip.


Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches

Modified slightly from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Makes about 7 sandwiches (28 quarters)

For the herb butter:
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
⅛ teaspoon minced garlic (or to taste)
1½ teaspoons minced scallions (white and green parts)
1½ teaspoons minced dill
1½ teaspoons minced flat leaf parsley
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sandwiches:
14 slices firm white bread (don't use anything too soft or squishy)
4 ounces smoked salmon

For the herb butter, combine all the butter ingredients. This can be done by hand or you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat until mixed but do not whip.

For the sandwiches, spread a thin layer of herb butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place a slice of smoked salmon on 7 slices of bread. Top with the remaining 7 slices of bread, butter side down.

Place the sandwiches on a sheet pan, covering with a barely damp paper towel. Seal the sheet pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the butter is very cold.

To serve, cut off crusts from each sandwich then cut into quarters - triangles, squares, or soldiers. Serve chilled.


Turkey Tea Sandwiches

Modified slightly from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Makes about 7 sandwiches (28 quarters)

For the scallion cream cheese:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup minced scallions (white and green parts)

For the sandwiches:
14 slices dense raisin-nut bread
14 slices fresh or smoked turkey
Fresh basil leaves

For the scallion cream cheese, combine the cream cheese and scallions. This can be done by hand or you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Do not whip.

For the sandwiches, spread a thin layer of scallion cream cheese on one side of each slice of bread. Please two slices of turkey on 7 slices of bread. Place several leaves of basil on the turkey. Top with remaining 7 slices of bread, cream cheese side down.

Place the sandwiches on a sheet pan, covering with a barely damp paper towel. Seal the sheet pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cream cheese is cold and firm.

To serve, cut off crusts from each sandwich then cut into quarters - triangles, squares, or soldiers. Serve chilled.


Black Forest Ham and Gruyère Tea Sandwiches

Modified slightly from the Alice's Tea Cup cookbook

Makes about 7 sandwiches (28 quarters)

For the mustard spread:
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

For the sandwiches:
14 slices whole grain bread
28 slices Black Forest Ham
14 slices Gruyère cheese
Fresh baby arugula

For the mustard spread, combine the mayonnaise and mustard until thoroughly blended.

For the sandwiches, spread a thin layer of the mustard spread on one side of each slice of bread. Place a layer of ham, then cheese, and then ham on 7 slices of bread. Place several leaves of arugula on the ham. Top with remaining 7 slices of bread, spread side down.

Place the sandwiches on a sheet pan, covering with a barely damp paper towel. Seal the sheet pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the sandwiches are cold and firm.

To serve, cut off crusts from each sandwich then cut into quarters - triangles, squares, or soldiers. Serve chilled.



Comments

One great idea is to host a tea party with a friend--one makes the desserts and one the sandwiches! It worked great for us!
Love your little tea sandwiches, they look delicious, nice to see something different.