Spring always seems to remind me of Afternoon Tea service. Maybe it’s the kick off to the wedding season and young, blushing brides glowing at their showers or the bloom of the flowers in the Public Garden, but something about the spring season and civility of tea seem to go hand in hand. If you’re throwing a shower or luncheon, delicate tea sandwiches are ideal for entertaining. Once a menu is decided, you can prep everything ahead of time. And the beauty of these little treasures is that even though they should always be constructed the same day as service, you can make them early in the day. Leaving you time with your guests or tending to other entertaining needs during your party is invaluable. Here are some quick tips if you’re thinking of taking the plunge.
- Know your bread. See if you can get a large evenly shaped loaf of bread cut horizontally. It’s much more efficient to work with large rectangles rather than the little square slices. Creating 15-20 little sandwiches at a time instead of 3-4 just made sense. Work with bread that is evenly shaped so you can get the most out of it.
- Have a freezer close by. Once the sandwiches are built, put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes to let the bread harden. I promise it will make it a lot easier to cut the crust and cut the sandwiches into your preferred shape without tearing the bread.
- Trio of Garnish. Use ingredients from the sandwich to create a three piece garnish. For example, if you have a smoked salmon tea sandwich with herbed cream cheese, use some of the cream cheese on top of the sandwich; add some candied red onions and a sprig of chervil.
Curried Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
6 hard-boiled large eggs, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- Mix together cream cheese, lime juice, curry powder, mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne. Reserve about half and mix the remaining with the rest of the ingredients. Reserve some whole chive for garnish.
- Lay out your bread and spread some of the reserved cream cheese mixture on the bottom bread. Then spread a layer of egg salad. Finally, spread cream cheese mixture on top bread place atop egg salad.
- Put your composed sandwich on a flat surface and place in freezer for 5-10 minutes.
- After you remove it from the freezer, use a serrated knife and remove the crusts and cut into desired shapes.
- Suggested garnish: Place the remaining cream cheese in a zip lock bag and pipe a small amount in the center of your sandwich. Cut the remaining chives into half inch pieces and place two small pieces on the cream cheese mixture, creating an ‘X’
- Gently cover with plastic wrap and refrigerated until about 30-40 minutes before service.
Sound a little daunting? We’re always here and happy to help. Email us at Susan@susanlaneevents.com for questions or more recipes.