Monday, July 9, 2012

Beastly Elegant Tea Sammiches

For a full recap of Megsie's Shower-of-love-and-wedding-schmoopiness, check out my post on her blog here. Below, is a recipe for one of the featured snacks that day - Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches.

I’m not sure why, but nothing quite says “fancy” like miniature, crustless sandwiches. Regular sandwich? For the working man. Crustless? For the kids. Small? Just sloppy. But combine a delicate size and the ladylike ease of edibility without the crust? That is teatime GOLD! And while crustless tea sandwiches started much earlier, they were indeed a staple at parties in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

No matter the function, there is a simple equation for the perfect tea sandwich:
[Thin bread] + [Fat] + [Filling] + [Sauce] = [Gold]Teatime
·    The bread can be any kind – white, sourdough, whole wheat 19 grain hippy (if you’re into that sort of thing) – but the key is for it to be thinly sliced.
·    The fat can be butter, cream cheese, actual cheese, or, in this example, mayonnaise
·    The filling can be protein or vegetable – I used paper-thin slices of roast beef, but you can use cucumbers, tomatoes, egg salad, or even smoked salmon.
·    The sauce is just an extra punch of flavor, and as long as this element is incorporated, it can be combined. For example, you can season you cream cheese with pepper and chives. You can mix horseradish with mayonnaise. Or it can be its own sauce: mustard, garlic spread, relish.
I have provided a recipe below, but as long as you use the formula above, I have faith that you, too, can make a sandwich. Seriously – who needs 7 steps??
Mmm, sammich...

  Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches
(makes enough for a large tea party)
¾ lb sliced roast beef (paper thin)
¼ cup mayonnaise
Scant ¼ cup horseradish sauce (either pre-made, or add prepared horseradish to mayonnaise)
8 slices of thin potato bread

1.  Lay out the pieces of bread in two rows.
2.  On each slice in one row, spread a generous amount of mayonnaise (or your preference)
3.  On the remaining four slices, spread the horseradish sauce – amount depending on your spice preference.
4.  Add the meat evenly to one row of bread. You may have a little extra – don’t make them too thick!
5.  Sammich two pieces of bread (one from each row). Repeat with remaining bread to create 4 sandwiches, total.
6.  Remove the crusts from all sides. Slice each sandwiches into quarters (I found diagonal to be easier).
7.  Serve on a platter lined with doilies.