How to make cucumber sandwiches?
I am a teacher and occasionally teach Oscar Wilde's play "The Importance of Being Earnest," which has a scene revolving importantly around cucumber sandwiches. (One character's insatiable eating of them is a plot point in the play.) Last time teaching, I decided actually to make some. But I frankly found them just so-so. I wonder how much better might they be?
Here's what I did last time: I purchased Pepperidge Farms thin-sliced white sandwich bread; I buttered the slices (with Land o' Lakes unsalted, maybe?); I put thin, peeled and lightly salted cucumber slices inside two bread slices; and I cut the bread into triangles for serving. Is that the real deal?
I don't know if it the real deal or not either, but here's what I do when catering a tea luncheon or wedding.
1 8 oz package cream cheese
3 tablespns mayo
1/2 onion grated
1 English cucumber unpared and sliced thin
Combine cream cheese and mayo. Add onion. Chill overnight before using. Spread on small party rye bread or rounds cut from plain sandwich bread. Top with one slice of cucumber. Garnish with parsley or chopped dill weed.
I get a lot of requests for this recipe (has a garlicy hit):
Cream cheese mixture:
- Cream cheese
- finely chopped garlic (maybe 1 clove for 8 oz)
- chopped dill
- squeeze of lemon juice
Nuke the cream cheese a few seconds so it's easier when you mix the ingredients. Let the mixture meld in the fridge overnight. Nuke the mixture a few seconds again so it's easier to spread. Then spread it on one side of sandwich (usually plain old sliced white) then add a thin layer of thinly sliced english (hot house cucumbers). I don't peel the cucumber completely, but alternate the peel in strips so it looks a little nicer. I also cut off the crusts then cut intro triangles.
In Ky this is what we do
•1 large cucumber
•8 ounces cream cheese
•2 tablespoons grated onion
•1 tablespoon mayonnaise
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•Dash green food coloring
Peel, seed and grate the cucumber. Drain by pressing grated cucumber between paper towels. Place in food processor along with cream cheese, onion, mayonnaise and salt. Add food coloring, one drop at a time, until mixture is light, bright green. Spread mixture between two pieces of white, crustless bread and cut into triangles
As an actor who has performed in "The Importance of Being Ernest", I have to commend you for attempting to make your edible props actually taste good.
I, too, have tried cucumber sandwiches at home using a method similar to yours, expecting to enjoy a crisply refreshing treat, and have ended up producing something dull at best. Thanks for this thread and the tips. I'll definitely give it another try.
I used to eat a lot of cucumber sandwiches as a kid. Plenty of butter, sliced cucumber, salt and freshly ground pepper. You can use cream cheese instead of butter if you like. Mayo has no place on a cucumber sandwich.
Oh, and I'm not familiar with Pepperidge Farms bread, but these work best with a not-too-sweet sandwich bread.
As a Brit I will chime in and say that cucumber sandwiches are white bread, salted butter, salt and pepper and thinly sliced English cukes. Nothing else, no cream cheese or mayo. But the bread must be thinly sliced and not sweet tasting as most American breads are to our palate!
They are boring though.
Two suggestions that I think helps...
First, lay the slices on a paper towel and gently place another on top to dry the slice. They stick to the butter better and don't fall apart if you make the sandwiches small.
Second, soften the butter and added minced fresh mint- the mint and cucumber play off one another nicely. Let it sit for a few hours before spreading it on to let the mint work itself in.