Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yummm! Grown Up Tea Party

(I want to start this blog entry out by saying how pissed off I am that in my research for these recipes, I kept getting bombarded with "Tax Day Tea Party" images from earlier this year... deep sigh! lol)

I've loved tea parties ever since I was a little bitty and received my first pretty faux porcelain tea set. You couldn't tell me nothing! I always knew that when I "grew up" I would have a tea party one day. A "grown up" tea party for me and my girls, where we dress up in big hats and laugh and enjoy tea and finger sandwiches... hey, I said I was a dork! LOL

Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth
2 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, on the bone, washed well
3 tablespoons salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup plain yogurt
5 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 ripe mango, peeled and finely diced
1/4 cup currants
1 loaf thin white sandwich bread
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews, ground fine in a food processor
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed well and spun dry

Combine the two cups of stock with four cups of water and the 3 tablespoons salt in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring the salt to dissolve, and add the chicken breasts. Cover and bring to a simmer; cook for 10 minutes, then turn off heat and allow to sit in pot for an additional 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate and, after 10 minutes, remove meat from the bones and chop into small pieces.

While chicken is cooling, whisk together sour cream, yogurt, curry powder, sugar, honey, ginger, lime juice, cayenne and salt. Reserve 1/4 cup of this mixture. Fold in onion, mango, and currants into the larger amount of sauce. Fold in cooled chicken.
Spread chicken salad between two pieces of bread, cut the crusts off, then cut into 4 squares or rectangles. Spread a small amount of the reserved sauce onto two edges of the sandwiches. Dip one side into the cashews and the other side into the cilantro. Repeat with the remaining chicken salad. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Makes 36 to 40 tea sandwiches.

Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches

24 slices thin white bread
4 ounces Ginger-Cilantro Lime Butter, recipe follows
8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
Spread all of the bread slices generously with the ginger butter. Place slices of smoked salmon in an even layer on half of the bread slices. Top with remaining bread slices. Using a 2-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter, cut out the tea sandwiches. Remove the top slice of bread from each flower. Using a 3/4 to 7/8-inch round biscuit cutter, cut a circle from the center of each, discard the circle. Replace the slice, butter-side down, on the flower.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces (1/4 cup) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Place butter, cream cheese, ginger, lime juice, cilantro and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse just until ingredients are combined, about 30 seconds.

Transfer mixture to a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a 1 1/2-inch wide log. Refrigerate until ready to use. Yield: 1 (7-ounce 10 by 1 1/2-inch) log

Tomato-Herb Bread and Olive-Ricotta Spread Tea Sandwiches

Tomato-Herb Bread:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 cup coarsely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves
4 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup grated provolone
1/4 cup Parmesan
Olive-Ricotta Spread Tea Sandwiches:
Tomato-Herb Bread
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese, drained
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
6 ounces baby spinach, rinsed and spun dry, stems removed
1/4 pound thinly sliced capacolla
1/4 pound thinly sliced bresaola
1/4 pound thinly sliced salami
1/4 pound thinly sliced soppresata
For the Tomato Herb Bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 4 by 8-inch loaf pan and set aside. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Whisk in the tomatoes, onions, basil, parsley, oregano, and garlic. Add the cheese and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Cut the ends from the Tomato-Herb Bread and discard or reserve for another use. Cut the remaining loaf into 16 thin slices.

For the Ricotta Herb Spread: In the bowl of a food processor, blend the ricotta, cream cheese, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper on high speed until smooth. Add the olives and pulse to blend. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over 8 bread slices. Spread several spinach leaves across the filling in 1 layer. Add cold cuts. Top with remaining bread and press to seal. Cut each sandwich in half diagonally. Serve.

Turkey Tea Sandwiches
Barefoot Contessa

3/4 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)

1 loaf dense raisin-nut bread, unsliced
8 thin slices fresh or smoked turkey breast
Fresh basil leaves

For the scallion cream cheese, combine the cream cheese and scallions in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Do not whip.

For the sandwiches, have the store slice the bread lengthwise on a meat slicer into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (If that isn’t possible, you can slice it crosswise with a very sharp knife.)

Lay out 8 slices of bread and spread them all with a thin layer of scallion cream cheese. Place a single layer of turkey on half the slices, cutting the edges to fit the bread. Place the basil leaves randomly on top of the turkey. Top with the other 4 slices of bread, cream cheese side down. Lay the sandwiches on a baking sheet, and wrap the sheet with plastic. Refrigerate until the cream cheese is cold and firm. Place the sandwiches on a cutting board and, with a very sharp knife, cut off the crusts. Cut each large sandwich in half crosswise, and then cut each half diagonally, twice, to make a total of 8 small triangles. (If the bread was cut crosswise, follow the assembly instructions, then cut off the crusts and cut diagonally, twice, to make 4 small triangles.) Serve chilled.

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