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Monday, May 14, 2012

I Love Mother's Tea Because That Means I Get To Eat Tea Sandwiches



Do you think that Oprah loves these tiny, crustless tea sandwiches too or do you think she likes her tea sandwiches battered and fried? Now that I think about it, a chicken fried tea sandwich might be a pretty fabulous thing, no?

Anyway, I spent hours looking at tea party treats for our school's annual Mother's Tea and just couldn't decide on what sandwich to make. I LOVE a good egg salad but I was pretty sure that someone else made some because someone always makes egg salad. I wanted to keep things pretty mild, nothing too crazy so I finally settled on these Oprah sammys and then, because it didn't feel like enough, I made some cheese straws too. My southern friends make me feel like I have not lived until I have eaten some tangy, mildly spicy cheese straws and wouldn't dream of hosting a tea party without them so I didn't want to feel like a shoddy hostess (even though I wasn't actually the hostess anyway). I used the recipe from smitten kitchen because I find her recipes to be fantastic all the time so, sorry Martha, but I passed yours over this time and I am really happy with the results.

I rechopped the parsley after I took these pictures and chopped it much more finely so the finished sandwiches had a much lighter dusting of parsley in case you are looking at these and wondering why they seem to be under attack by rabid parsley bits.                                    
           

Cheese and Arugula Tea Sandwiches
from Oprah of all people

8 oz (250g) of cream cheese, room temp
5 oz (140g)  herb goat cheese, room temp
1 packed cup of baby arugula, finely chopped
1 seedless cucumber, sliced super thin on a mandoline
16 slices of very thinly sliced, fresh white sandwich bread
finely chopped parsely

put the slices of cucumber on paper towel while you get everything ready so it will absorb some of the moisture.
Mix together the cream cheese and the goat cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add in the chopped arugula and mix just until incorporated.

Lay out 8 slices of bread. Spread each slice with some of the cheese mixture and then lay down a few slices of cucumber. Cover each with a slice a bread. Carefully cut off the crusts and then cut each sandwich into quarters. Spread a bit of the cream cheese on one side of each quarter and dip that it the chopped parsley.










   
Cheese Straws
from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups of grated sharp cheddar
4 tbls (half a stick) of butter, room temp and cut into chunks
3/4 cup all purpose flour, more for rolling out
1/2 tsp of my fancy pants Breton sea salt but you can use kosher salt
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tbls evaporated milk

Preheat the oven to 350F

In your food processor, mix the cheese, butter, flour, salt and chili flake in quick pulses until it looks like coarse meal. Add the evaporated milk and process until the dough comes together in a ball. She says 10 seconds but it took at least 20 seconds for me so keep going until that happens.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into about an 8"x10" 1/8" thick rectangle. I used a pizza wheel to cut the dough into strips that were about 1/4" wide. Transfer those strips to a parchment lined baking tray, leaving some space between them and bake them in the centre of the oven for about 12 to 15 minutes - mine looked perfect after 13 minutes.

Remove them from the oven and cool the tray on a rack. They keep in the fridge for 2 days but good luck with that. It was all I could do to not eat them all myself before I packed them up to take to the tea. Some of them broke but that doesn't matter because they are tasty and nobody minded a few smaller straws.