From the best of both worlds: When Traditional Hungarian Cuisine merges with Multicultural Canadian Home Cooking. Recipes from the best of Hungarian and Canadian home cooking - with recipes adapted to North American food sources - we have gone metric in Canada, but we won’t let go of our measuring cup
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TEA TIME SANDWICHES
My darling used to hate finger foods. The reason he hated them is because people finger them… This is the guy who refuses to share the popcorn bowl. Oh yes, I serve popcorn in individual bowls. This goes back to his working days, the meetings, the conferences, the organized work luncheons. People touching things…. breathing over the food… double dipping… talking away… spittle floating in the air as the line up moves around the buffet table. But secretly he always wanted those finger foods. So I thought let’s have a plate of meticulously prepared tea time sandwiches; cucumber cream cheese, egg salad, and salmon.
First let’s talk about the bread. The most economical is the thickly sliced long loaf of square sandwich bread. The only problem is it tastes like cardboard. But if you don’t mind that, this is the type of bread most suited for cutting those little triangles. On the other hand, a much better tasting, thickly sliced bread will have more waste and the most economical way to cut them is into little squares, because the original bread is not really a square, more like a rectangular not quite square shape. The next thing is fully freeze the bread before trimming. This will take a few hours. When you freeze the bread, take care not to compress the slices, because you have to separate them in a frozen state to cut. Whole wheat bread, aside from not liking the commercial whole wheat flavour I found is harder to work with, but be my guest. The final thing is when you make the sandwiches, don’t press the slices together. I know the recipes tell you to press them together, but surprise, surprise, what you get when you press the bread slices together is a pressed looking sandwich and that is not an ecstatically sound sandwich form. We want neat looking, sharply cut, even angles, nothing lumpy or pressed out.
Lastly, talk about the ingredients. You can use butter or margarine; I prefer the tub type soft margarine, because it does not add flavour to the sandwich. You want your tea time sandwiches as individual as the different fillings you put into them. Spread the margarine ever so lightly, but all the way to the edge of the slice. I make a final sweep with my knife not to leave a glob anywhere. Never ever use miracle whip salad dressing in your fillings. Your sandwiches will taste better if you use real mayonnaise. As you see from the suggested amount, use the mayo sparingly. People put way too much dressing into their sandwich fillings. You need only a small amount of dressing to keep the fillings together.
Now about those cucumber sandwiches, the Queen may like them, but I find them without cream cheese utterly tasteless and boring. If you only make a few, use the spreadable cream cheese spread. But for larger amounts use regular cream cheese and just soften it up with a little whipping cream or milk.
This is what you will need:
thickly sliced square sandwich bread, I used white Dempsters
soft tub non-hydrogenated margarine [I use Olivina]
and fillings of choice
The following recipes are sufficient for 1 whole sandwich or 4 finger size sandwich squares:
Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwich:
2 slices of thick white bread
12 thin slices of peeled English cucumber
3 Tbsp block cream cheese
1 Tbsp whipping cream or milk
• Freeze the bread.
• Trim the sides with a sharp chef’s knife. [Save the trimmings for breadcrumbs.]
• Put the trimmed slices back into the freezer while you prepare the filling.
• Lightly salt the cucumber slices and let them sit for 15 minutes.
• Dab the cucumber slices dry between two sheets of paper towel.
• Combine the cream cheese with the cream or the milk.
• Lightly spread both bread slices with margarine from edge to edge.
• Spread one of the buttered slices with the cream cheese mixture.
• Lay the cucumber slices on the top and cover with the other buttered slice. Do not press the slices together.
• Cut into 4 squares with a clean and wet chef’s knife. Wash the knife before each and every cut.
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