Bloody Mary Tea Sandwiches
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© Brian Bowen Smith
When it’s tea time, don’t offer me tea. But I will spark to a plate of cute tea sandwiches. Who doesn’t love a good tea sandwich? I was in London the first time I encountered formal tea sandwiches. They were presented on a multi-tiered tower on small china plates. The serving was exquisite, and the sandwiches were beyond: smoked salmon, herbed butter, cucumber, egg salad, and watercress. It was more than thirty years ago and not only do I remember marveling over the cute, bite-sized delicacies, I can still taste them. Soft. Fresh. Mmm. With Cajun-flavored cream cheese, fresh tomatoes and arugula in tender white bread, this recipe is a fun twist on the tomato and cheese sandwich – and the pickled okra is a secret favorite of mine that provides a smile-inducing zest. Super easy, this is a nice surprise with a cocktail.
1. Stir together the cream cheese, olives, celery, Cajun seasoning, anchovy paste, and lemon zest in a medium bowl until well blended.
2. Place the white bread slices on a work surface, and spread about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on each slice.
3. Place the wheat bread slices on the work surface; top each with 4 of the tomato slices in a single layer, and add a few arugula leaves.
4. Place 1 white bread slice, cream cheese side down, on each prepared wheat bread slice.
5. Using a serrated knife or a bread knife, remove the crusts from the sandwiches with a gentle sawing motion, and cut each into 40 triangular tea sandwiches.
5. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill until ready to serve. Garnish each tea sandwich with a slice of pickled okra or a pickled jalapeño, if desired.
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
1/2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
10 white sandwich bread slices
10 whole-wheat sandwich bread slices
40 (1/8-inch-thick) plum tomato slices (4 to 5 medium-size plum tomatoes)
2 cups loosely packed baby arugula
Pickled okra or pickled jalapeño slices (optional)
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