Tasty Tea Sandwiches

Chef Kendrick Dopp cordially invites you to tea with these lovely tea sandwiches! You can’t go wrong with the tuna salad tea sandwich! But if tuna’s not your favorite, the cucumber spread tea sandwich is wonderfully tasty!

What exactly is a tea sandwich? The tea sandwich is a quintessential finger food for luncheons and parties. A tea sandwich (also referred to as finger sandwich) is a small prepared sandwich that is meant to be eaten at afternoon teatime to stave off hunger until the main meal. They can take a number of different forms, but basically tea sandwiches should small, easy to handle, and capable of being eaten in two or three bites.

A charming British dish, the bread on a tea sandwich is traditionally white, thinly sliced, and buttered. The bread crust is cut away cleanly from the sandwich after the sandwich has been prepared but before serving. Modern bread types used include wheat, pumpernickel, sour dough or rye bread.  Toppings  are light, and are usually “dainty” or “delicate” in proportion to the amount of bread. Spreads might include butter, cream cheese or mayonnaise mixtures, and the sandwiches often feature fresh vegetables such as radishes, olives, cucumber, asparagus, or watercress.

Here’s a couple great and easy tea sandwich recipes. The first is a tuna salad tea sandwich, and the second is a wonderful cucumber spread. For everyday dining, you can enjoy this tuna salad on your favorite bread or crackers of your choosing: sandwich bread, seeded rye with melted cheese for a tuna melt!  Or serve it on a baguette, or ciabatta. Dip it with blue corn chips, pita or anything you like.  Add lettuce, tomato, sprouts, or pickles. You can even serve it with olives. It’s perfect for picnic on a hot summer day or standing in your kitchen.  Get creative with the ingredients and enjoy!

Tuna Salad Tea Sandwich Recipe

Note: This recipe can utilize either water packed or oil packed canned tuna. If you don’t like the taste of oil packed can, you can strain it through a mesh strainer, and even run water over/through it and strain it. Remember though that the oil is good for you, as it’s filled with good fatty acids and omega 3’s.  Water-packed tuna probably tastes better with mayonnaise, but you can develop an acquired taste for oil-packed given its health benefits.  In fact, using lots of lemon, and even throwing in some tart capers or lots of sweet pickles, will brighten up the oil and help to overrides its flavor. Also keep in mind that these amounts are suggestions.  By all means, taste and adjust and use more or less of anything to make it more or less stronger as far as taste is concerned. Remember, this is YOUR tuna salad!

Ingredients:
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans tuna packed
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Celery, 1/2 to 1 rib finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickles, minced, or sweet pickled relish
    • optional: substitute capers instead of sweet pickles
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, or white pepper for different flavor
Directions
  1. Softly mix above ingredients in a bowl
  2. Once you have adjusted the seasoning of you tuna salad, spread it generously on your bread for your tea sandwiches.
  3. Take the sandwich bread of choice, and use a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass turned upside down to cut out a round shape
  4. Spread with mayonnaise and then thickly spread a layer of tuna salad on top
Serving Ideas & Suggestions:
  • Serve this open face and top with raw minced red peppers for color and texture change.
  • You can also top it with a matching round bread top and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley.
  • You could even add a layer of watercress for texture and color.
  • Decorate your party platter with cherry tomatoes, parsley and raw diced red peppers.

Cucumber Spread Tea Sandwiches

These are not your grandmother’s tea sandwiches!  They make the perfect dish for a summer party snack or even a party or baby shower for a friend. We’ve incorporated today’s twists and flavors for a perfect “small bite” offering that is not only healthy for every day snacking, but fancy enough for your next bridal shower or luncheon gathering.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil, parsley flakes and dill weed
  • 1 loaf (1 pound) white or rye bread
  • 2 medium cucumbers, scored and thinly sliced
  • Garnish: Diced raw red peppers and additional dill weed

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, shallots, chives, vinegar, and seasonings
  2. Cover and process until blended
  3. Cover and refrigerate for several hours (up to 24 hours)
  4. Using a 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter, cut out circles from bread slices
  5. Thickly spread mayonnaise mixture over bread; top with cucumber slices
  6. Garnish with raw diced red peppers for crunch and texture change plus a bright red color
  7. Top red peppers with additional sprinkles of dill weed

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