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Tea Sandwiches

An array of delicate sandwiches makes an impressive presentation. The three sandwiches here, each with a distinctive filling, are easy to pick up with fingers and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. Accompany them with a selection of muffins, scones and toast with butter and an assortment of jams. Shortbread and tea cookies are also good accompaniments.

Ingredients:

  • 60 thin slices sandwich bread 
  •   

For the smoked salmon and horseradish-cream cheese sandwiches: 

  • 1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature 
  • 2 Tbs. horseradish 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 3/4 lb. thinly sliced smoked salmon 
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 
  •   

For the cucumber-radish-chive sandwiches: 

  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar  
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil  
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced 
  • 10 to 12 radishes, thinly sliced 
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 2 Tbs. snipped fresh chives 
  •   

For the lemon-chicken salad sandwiches: 

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each 6 oz.  
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, plus more as needed 
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced 
  • 3 green onions, white portion only, thinly sliced 

Directions:

To make the smoked salmon sandwiches: In a bowl, stir together the cream cheese and horseradish until thoroughly blended. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the salmon slices with the lemon juice and season with a little pepper.

Trim the crusts from 20 of the bread slices. Spread each of the bread slices with the cream cheese mixture. Divide the salmon evenly among the cheese-topped slices. Put the remaining bread slices on top and press gently. Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter and serve immediately.

To make the cucumber-radish-chive sandwiches: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cucumber and radishes and toss to coat. In a small bowl, stir together the butter and chives until thoroughly blended. Season with salt and pepper.

Trim the crusts from 20 of the bread slices. Spread each of the bread slices with the butter mixture. Divide the cucumbers and radishes evenly among the buttered slices. Put the remaining bread slices on top and press gently. Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter and serve immediately.

To make the lemon-chicken salad sandwiches: Place the chicken breasts in a small fry pan and add cold water to cover. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and let cool. Using your fingers or 2 forks, pull the chicken into shreds.

In a bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup mayonnaise, the lemon juice, celery and green onions until blended and smooth. Fold in the chicken.

Trim the crusts from 20 of the bread slices. Spread each of the bread slices with mayonnaise. Divide the chicken mixture among 10 of the slices. Put the remaining bread slices on top and press gently. Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter and serve immediately. Makes 30 sandwiches.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).