Recently, I've been thinking about the fancy little tea sandwiches my mother used to make for parties when I was a kid. I have NO idea what put it in my head... but I remember how she'd buy unsliced bread, carefully slice it lengthwise, and make fancy little pinwheel roll sandwich bites.
It made me think - you really don't see those around much anymore. Sure, they're a bit of work... but they're super cute! Also, now I guess they're retro-chic, right?
This past weekend we attended a big neighborhood BBQ, and I decided to use the occasion as an excuse to play around with fancy little tea sandwiches, in a few styles. Aside from a variety of cut styles, I wanted a variety of fillings: tarragon chicken salad, cucumber and cream cheese, and a dilled egg salad.
You know, it's kind of funny. We have a VERY varied diet here, between food blogging and cookbook writing. It's been ages - probably years - since either my husband or I had an egg salad sandwich. While making these sandwiches this weekend, we were surprised at the reminder that we really LOVE egg salad sandwiches.
I guess they're just something simple enough to forget about entirely? Weird how something so basic and uncomplicated can really hit the spot - I imagine there will be much more egg salad in our future!
Anyway, these sandwiches were a big hit at the BBQ, and they're a great option for bringing to holiday potlucks and such... just be sure to keep them cool, and throw out any that haven't been eaten after about 2 hours. Mayonnaise + summer, you know!
Let's start off with my favorite of the three sandwiches in this entry: Tarragon Chicken Salad!
This is an elegant take on chicken salad sandwiches, with a nice variety of tastes and textures. HUGE hit!
Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe
1 rotisserie chicken
1 granny smith apple, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper (1+ tsp each)
Remove the skin from the chicken and discard (Ideally in your stomach!). Pick all of the meat off the chicken, chop into small, uniform pieces and place in a large bowl.
Toss the apple pieces with lemon juice to coat well. Add apple, celery and onion to the chicken, stir well. Add in mayo and tarragon, stir until everything is well incorporated and evenly coated.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
To assemble mini triangle sandwiches:
Remove crusts from bread slices, and lightly butter each slice of bread. Fill each sandwich with a good amount of chicken salad (too too much as to be gushing out everywhere!), and cut in half diagonally to form 2 triangles. Cut each triangle in half again.
Wrap tightly and refrigerate til serving!
Next, we made come Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches:
No real recipe here:
Lightly butter each slice of bread, then spread with softened cream cheese. Layer thin slices of English cucumber (It's less watery than normal cucumbers!) between the bread, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until serving!
These are great as-is, but are also great with paper-thin slices of fresh radishes and/or watercress as well!
Finally, we have the Dilled Egg Salad Pinwheels:
15 hard boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, and chopped
6 stalks celery
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup+ mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2-3 loaves of white sandwich bread, sliced lengthwise, with crusts removed
In a large bowl, gently combine eggs, celery, and onion. Add mayo and mustard, stir gently until everything is well combined. Stir in fresh dill, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Use a rolling pin to gently flatten out each strip of bread SLIGHTLY (don't completely flatten it!). Lightly butter one side of each bread strip, then spread each with a bit of egg salad. (I like to do this assembly line style, goes much faster!)
Starting at one end of a bread strip, roll bread up tightly, but without actually compressing it.
Use a sharp knife to cut each roll into rounds - usually 3 or 4, depending on the width of the bread. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until serving!
Ok, I have an awful confession to make now. I created an abomination of a sandwich recipe AS A JOKE, and now I'm getting requests to include it in this blog entry. Let me explain myself, first.
When I put myself down for bringing fancy tea sandwiches to a BBQ with a particularly snarky group of friends, I took some gentle ribbing for bringing something so frou-frou. This prompted me to think "Haha! I'll show you!", and decided to come up with something that looks fancy, but was ... not.
I submit to you, the inspiration for my flavor choices: Some extremely talented kids from our neighborhood, singing a very catchy and well done rap. I don't even like rap, but I appreciate this:
Needless to say, that particular junk food combination is a THING in the area... so I decided to make "Hot Cheetos and Takis Salad Sandwiches".
Interestingly (appallingly?) they were a bit of a hit, both at the BBQ, and online. Personally, I tried a teeny piece of the filling and that was more than enough, LOL.
I've had a request to post it to my blog so it can be shared, so I did it up as a jpg. Click here to view that image!