Contains: Dairy, gluten. Is: Vegetarian, quick and easy.
Mother had several specialties when we were growing up, but one of the most simple (and yet still quite a hit) was her English tea sandwiches. I loved this one, as well as the smoked salmon, cream cheese and caper one.
I really did like these, she served them when late afternoon appetizers were to be made, or if she had a bridge party (along with other tea sandwiches) but I always had a hankering for these ones, if there were any left over.
So, for today, I’m re-creating the cucumber tea sandwich.
I’ve made a couple of changes: 1) I’m using a bakery bread which is not squared off around the edges unlike the British tea sandies – back in the day, supermarkets carried better quality bread that made for accurately-shaped tea sandwiches than one can find in supermarkets today. (No, one of the few things Mom did not make herself was bread.) Personally, I’m not interested in purchasing bread with a huge rap list of ingredients longer than my arm. 2) I don’t use the green food coloring! In fact, when I moved out to my first home away from home, Mom gave me a pack of Durkees food colorings, red, green, blue, yellow. I’ve never used them in food. In fact I still have that same set – I’ve used them for photography projects, and for coloring test tube water when hitting Halloween parties as a mad scientist or the like. Useful. Just not as food, and now that they’re well over 30 years old, I wouldn’t dream of consuming them anyway!
Note: Cuke peels and bread crusts went to chickens. I drank the cucumber juice.
Prep Time: 15 minutes.
Cook Time: Nope.
Rest Time: Nope.
Serves: Double the recipe and you’ll have enough for a good tea party.
Leftovers: Wrap well, refrigerate, eat in a day or two.
English Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
- 4 ounces / 113 grams English cucumber: You don’t have to de-seed the English cukes, but do de-seed the other types if using. Weigh the cuke after de-seeding, if you to this. In either case, peel your cukes!
- 4 ounces / 113 grams cream cheese (half a package). Use the regular type. I recommend Philadelphia brand but have also discovered that Organic Valley is good.
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill, or 2 sprigs chopped fresh (or frozen but thawed) dill.
- Thin sliced bread, several slices (depends on size). Sourdough, pumpernickel, rye, or a country-style white. Home made is a great type, should you have the inclination.
- Garnish. Watercress makes a great one, but is optional
Grate the cucumber, discarding much of the seeds if it is a regular and not an English one. (I like the seeds; I reserve for a salad….) Squeeze out excess water through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Or use your hands.
Add the cream cheese and dill, mix with a spoon.
Take the bread, cut off the crust like they do in Britain.
On half the pieces, spread out the cucumber mixture, about a quarter inch (6 or so mm) thick.
Top with sprigs of watercress, optional
Top each with an empty slice of bread. Cut into squares or whatever shape(s) that the loaf lends itself to, 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) long.
Serve!!! (Note, I did have about half my cucumber/cream cheese mixture left over… something for later in the day! This was just made for myself aka for the blog – normally I’d want to serve this to others.)
I’d store any leftover spread separate from the bread, to make the bread last longer. Save for up to two days.
- Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Laurena @ Life Diet Health, are co-hosting over at Fiesta Friday.
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