Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cucumber Sandwiches

It's summer and that means my menu preferences are dishes that don't require turning on my stove or oven. Yesterday we drove to the other side of the island to explore the beaches and enjoy some "staycation" fun before school starts. As I packed our picnic lunch I realized my fridge was overflowing with cucumbers. Since I couldn't see us munching on cucumber spears/slices while sitting on a sandy beach (sand and finger foods don't mix) I bravely decided to pack our lunch with a completely different and random choice of sandwich, cucumber sandwiches.

Have you ever eaten cucumber sandwiches? I've never attempted these before and while searching for a recipe I found that most cucumber sandwiches are simply white bread and thinly sliced cucumbers.  Hmmm...the English seem to enjoy them but cucumbers and sponge bread just didn't sound like a hearty enough lunch for beach play. That's when I found this version with pickled cucumbers and an herb infused cream cheese spread. I served our sandwiches on freshly baked whole-wheat bread and my kids devoured their lunch. I'm not sure if it was because they were starving after the sun exposure but even my youngest and pickiest eater requested seconds.

Just a note: In my opinion eating these with wheat bread does detract from the subtle cucumber/cheese filling flavor but it makes a much heartier and lasting meal. Also, slicing your cucumber with a mandoline would be ideal since it would give you extra thin slices.

Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches
1 medium cucumber
1 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dill - optional
a loaf of white or sourdough bread

Wash the cucumber, then peel and thinly slice. Mix the water and vinegar in a bowl and let the cucumber slices soak for half an hour. Remove and drain thoroughly.

One half hour before serving mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise and the spices. Put a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture on two slices of bread and place the cucumbers between the two. Cut the crust off the sandwhich and cut diagonally twice; you will have four triangles.

Who Dished it first? Fun Tea Party Ideas

Here's a photo from the Fun Tea Party Ideas website of a crustless triangular cucumber and cream cheese sandwich on white bread, just perfect for a tea party snack!

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