You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Crusts off! How to assemble sandwiches for an afternoon tea.


If you'd like to include savory sandwiches in your plans for an afternoon tea, some attention to detail is important.

Figure on the equivalent of at least one full sandwich per guest. Tea sandwiches are crustless, often cut in half or into batons ("finger sandwiches") or triangles. Fill the whole sandwiches before removing the crusts and dividing into smaller pieces - it will be easier to assemble, and you'll end up with neat edges. You can reserve the crusts for making croutons, bread crumbs, stratas or bread pudding.

Spread the fillings with restraint. The sandwiches will look nicer and be easier to eat. You can make extra-elegant noshes by using loaves labeled as thin-sliced, such as Pepperidge Farm's "Very Thin" white and whole-wheat loaves. Or find unsliced loaves you can slice thinly yourself.

For added visual appeal, consider mixing white and whole-wheat bread in individual sandwiches. Pumpernickel is also good for added color and flavor. You can have a little fun and think beyond standard sliced bread, too - mini croissants or small phyllo shells can be charming vessels, and I've even had mini bagels served at a tea in the Orangery at Kensington Palace in London.

Leave final assembly until just before serving, if you can. Fortnum & Mason's "The Cook Book" by Tom Parker Bowles (Fourth Estate, 2016) says that if the sandwiches have to sit around for more than a few minutes, a damp paper towel on top can help preserve the softness of the bread.

Filling ideas:

Cucumber. Perhaps the quintessential tea sandwich. "Cucumber sandwiches, often with extraneous elements added these days, are still de rigueur at any proper English tea," writes Colman Andrews in "The British Table" (Abrams, 2016). He suggests simply combining cucumber with salted butter on white bread. But cream cheese is also commonly used, which you can mix with a bit of fresh dill or mint.

Chicken salad. Consider a Coronation Chicken rendition, created for the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Egg salad. Choose your favorite recipe; those made with mustard make for a punchy addition to the tea spread. Serving the egg with watercress is standard practice in Britain; flat-leaf parsley or arugula are acceptable stand-ins.

Cheese and chutney. Make the centerpiece an aged cheddar, grated or thinly sliced. Pair it with a chutney - Major Grey's, made with mangoes, is an English staple and fairly easy to find. Or pick your favorite (I'm partial to Virginia Chutney, which makes zesty plum and peach chutneys, in addition to Major Grey's). The nuttiness of whole-wheat bread complements this combination.

Smoked salmon. Pull a little inspiration from the classic bagel sandwich, with a thin layer of cream cheese, perhaps with a bit of dill, scallions or capers. "The Cook Book" suggests a dressing made with mayo, capers, baby gherkins, dill and chives.

Ham. Keep it simple with high-quality, thinly sliced meat and a little Dijon mustard or honey mustard.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

FREE ICE CREAM TODAY: If you don’t take advantage, you’re crazy
FREE ICE CREAM TODAY: If you don’t take advantage, you’re crazy

There are probably thousands of brands of ice cream out there — too many to count — but Carvel was the first. And it’s the most notable. Everyone knows Carvel.  On Thursday, April 27, “America’s Freshest Ice Cream” is celebrating its annual Free Cone Day.  Walk into a participating shop (see our local...
Let’s eat: Chocolate, Salt and Pepper Sables
Let’s eat: Chocolate, Salt and Pepper Sables

These peppery French butter cookies are a grown-up’s version of a milk chocolate bunny. Sandy in texture, with the flavor of chocolate shortbread, they melt in your mouth, with a salty finish that’s a terrific contrast to the sable’s sweetness. You definitely won’t want to share. I suggest doubling or even tripling the recipe...
The little vegan honey company that could now gives back - to bees
The little vegan honey company that could now gives back - to bees

Katie Sanchez never meant to invent a vegan-friendly sweetener that's remarkably akin to honey, or begin a campaign to save honeybees. She just wanted to make apple jelly. It was the fall of 1999. The exhausted young mother of a special-needs baby, Sanchez was excited when her husband showed up at home one day with a bushel of apples and a trusted...
Ask the Test Kitchen: Do you peel bananas before freezing?
Ask the Test Kitchen: Do you peel bananas before freezing?

A: If there is one cool thing about bananas, it’s that they freeze wonderfully. And they keep just fine in the freezer for about three months. Freezing is a way to preserve bananas that have reached their ripeness peak or are close to overripe. Rather than tossing them because you can’t eat them out of hand, freeze them to use in making...
How to make a sushi bowl
How to make a sushi bowl

Deconstruction once ruled academia. The literary theory insisted that the text (pre-texting) be taken apart, like some Lego castle, and left in pieces on the classroom floor. The game kept professor and student busy for years. Now new fads roam campus, and deconstruction has moved on to the menu. The enchilada, for instance, no longer dresses for dinner...
More Stories