Archive for Fall Soups & Sandwiches

Tomato Beef Barley Soup

I have been making this comforting soup for a long time. I adore barley & I adore soup so… I make a large pot of soup and  freeze the leftovers.  The good news is I usually have all the ingredients on hand! It can be made the day before and stored, covered, in the fridge.  If you wish you can substitute farro for the barley.

Makes approximately 8 Servings

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped fine
(opt.) 1 clove garlic, minced
1 – 2 Tbsp. EVOO
1 (28) oz. tinned plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups water
4 cups beef stock or low salt beef broth**
1 tin (10 oz.) tomato soup
**Whole Foods sells 365 Organics in case you don’t use Campbell’s
4 carrots, chopped into ¼” dice
1 bay leaf
3 stalks celery, chopped into ¼” dice
1 ½ tsp. fresh thyme or ½ tsp. dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup pearl barley
4 Tbsp. chopped parsley

In a large pot, on medium heat brown the ground beef & onions in EVO. Drain off any accumulated fat. Add the carrots & celery; sauté for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except parsley. If using fresh thyme, add it to the soup 15 minutes or so before the soup is ready. Simmer, covered for approximately 2 hours, or until barley is really tender.

Serve in warm soup bowls with some crusty bread or homemade biscuits.

To make your own stock, click Making Stock.

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup

There is something so tummy warming about the combination of squash with curry! The roasted red pepper drizzle is a nice, colourful touch. There is a very small amount of milk or cream to give the soup a bit of body and a bit of richness and a bit more deliciousness.

DSC_0518 nx2Makes 6 Servings

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp. curry powder**  if you wish to make your own, see below
½ tsp. each salt & freshly ground black pepper
5 cups cubed (1” pieces) butternut squash, peeled, seeds & stringy bits removed
1 large potato, peeled & cut into ½” dice
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock** if you wish to make your own, see below
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/3 cup homogenized milk or creamo

Garnish: Red Pepper Puree (see below for recipe)

In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat; add the onion & saute´ until just softened; add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, salt & pepper; cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until all ingredients are softened.

Add the squash & potato; stir until well coated; add the stock, lemon juice & tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover & simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes or until veggies are very tender. Remove from the heat & allow to cool for about 20 minutes.

Using a blender or food processor, puree the cooled soup in batches. (I find the blender makes a finer puree).

In a clean pot, heat the soup mixture until hot over medium heat; add the milk or creamo & heat through but do not boil, as the milk or creamo will curdle. Ladle into warmed serving bowls and garnish with a drizzle of the red pepper puree.

Red Pepper Puree:

While the soup is simmering, roast 2 red bell peppers** click here for method. When cool, peel, remove seeds & membranes; puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve if you wish. Set aside until ready to serve the soup.

If you would like to make your own curry powder, click here.
If you would like to make your own stock, click here.

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Bourbon Spiked Pumpkin Soup

Fall is definitely here!  Think pumpkins, squash and best of all Halloween! What better way to begin a fall dinner than with a bowl of creamy pumpkin soup? I tend to use milk for a lightened up version, but you choose, depending on how rich and how thick you would like your soup! It makes a great first course with either poultry or pork.

_DSC1084.jpg nx2Makes 4 – 6 Servings

2 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, finely minced
1 cup tinned pumpkin puree,** (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp. cornstarch
3 cups chicken stock (either homemade** or tinned low salt chicken broth)
½ – 1 cup whipping cream, creamo, half & half or homogenized milk
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Small pinch of ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. bourbon (or to your taste)

Garnish: Sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds** & chopped parsley

Make the Soup:

In a large pot, melt the butter on medium heat; add the onion & sauté until softened but not brown. Reduce the heat; stir in the pumpkin puree & cornstarch. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock & bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer for 10 minutes; season to taste with salt & pepper. Stir in cinnamon. Add the cream, creamo or milk & heat through until hot. Don’t allow to boil, or the soup will curdle. When hot, stir in the bourbon.

Ladle the soup into warm bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, the pumpkin seeds & the parsley.

If you have time & a pumpkin hanging around & want to make your own puree, click Making Pumpkin Puree.  Note on the type of pumpkin…a sugar pumpkin is what’s recommended not a Jack o’Lantern as they are too watery.

If you would like to make your own stock, click Making Stock.

If you would like to see how to toast the pumpkin seeds, click Toasting Nuts.

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Mushroom Beef Barley Soup

Soups like this one, make for a really nice, warm meal, especially on a cold, rainy or snowy night!  I often make soups on the weekend for a no-fuss meal or two during the week.  Crusty bread or rolls are all you need!

DSC_0079 (3) nx2Makes 10 Servings

1 Tbsp. EVOO
¾ lean ground beef
2 ½ cups sliced brown mushrooms
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef stock**or low salt beef broth
5 cups water
19 oz. plum tomatoes, chopped
3 potatoes, diced (optional)
¾ – 1 cup pearl barley or farro (depends on how thick you like your soup)
1 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried marjoram, or 1 ½ tsp. fresh
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. each salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/3 to ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot, heat EVOO over high heat; cook beef for 5 minutes, stirring to break up meat; drain off any accumulated fat. Add mushrooms, carrots, onion & garlic; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the stock, water, tomatoes, potatoes (if using), barley, Worcestershire sauce, marjoram, bay leaf, salt & pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer until potatoes & barley are tender, about 30 – 45 minutes. Discard bay leaf and stir in parsley.

Ladle soup into warm bowls and serve.

If you would like to make your own stock, click Making Stock.

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Mexican Meatball Soup

In Mexico, this is known as Albondigas sopa. Albondigas are meatballs. The soup is very, very good! If you like it a little bit hotter, use a hotter salsa, or add a finely chopped jalapeno or serrano chili when sauteeing the onions. Make some guacamole & salsa to serve with corn chips and there you go!

Makes 6 – 8 Main Course Servings

For the Soup:

2 Tbsp. EVOO
2 ¾ cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 small bay leaves
7 ¼ oz. beef stock** or low/no salt beef broth (5 – 14 ½ oz. tins)
1 – 28 oz. tin Italian plum tomatoes, diced, juice reserved
½ cup chunky, medium-hot, tomato salsa
½ cup chopped cilantro (1/4 cup for meatballs)

For The Meatballs:

1 lb. lean ground beef
¼ lb. bulk pork sausage meat or pork sausages with skins removed
6 Tbsp. yellow cornmeal
¼ cup homogenized milk (whole milk)
1 large egg
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ cup long-grain white rice

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 ¾ cups onions, 2 garlic cloves & bay leaves; sauté 5 minutes without browning the onions. Turn heat down to medium if it is too hot. Add broth, tomatoes & their juices, salsa & ¼ cup cilantro; bring to a boil. Cover & simmer 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine ground beef, pork sausage, cornmeal, milk, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, remaining 1 cup of onions, 2 garlic cloves & ¼ cup cilantro in a medium bowl; mix well to combine. Shape the meat mixture in 1” or 1 ¼” meatballs.

Add the rice & meatballs to the soup & bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat; cover & simmer until rice & meatballs are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes; season to taste with salt & pepper. Ladle soup into bowls & serve immediately.

If you wish to make your own stock, please click Making Stock.

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Red Pepper Soup

I like using the last of the local red bell peppers to make this soup.  One of the  last whiffs of summer! During the rest of the year, hot house red bell peppers work well too. You could serve the soup as a main course or as a first course. I really like using Thai rice, it lends a nice flavour to the soup.

Makes 6 – 8 Servings

DSC_4823 nx23 Tbsp. canola oil
5 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 medium cooking onions, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 celery stalk, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
1 carrot, cut into 1/2″ dice
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock**
1 ½ tsp. fresh thyme or ½ tsp. dried
2 tsp. garlic, minced
½ cup Thai rice, either brown or white  (or regular converted rice)
1 – 2 tsp. salt or more to taste
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste

Garnish:

1/3 cup sour cream, more if desired
Chopped cilantro or cilantro sprigs

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped peppers, onion, celery & carrots; sauté until softened, about 8 – 10 minutes; adding the garlic for the last 2 minutes; add the stock & 1 tsp. salt & the thyme; bring to a boil; add the rice; set the lid on the pot, leaving it ajar & simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, or until rice is tender. **Let cool for at least half an hour & then blend in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot & heat until hot; add salt to taste. Ladle into soup bowls & garnish with some of the sour cream & a sprinkling of cilantro.

To See about blending hot liquids, click Phyllis’ Kitchen/Cooking Tips.

If you would like to make your own stock, click How To Make Stock.

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Fancy Tea Sandwiches, Ham, Corned Beef, Roast Beef

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DSC_3417 nx2Ham Salad Sandwich Filling

So simple but an all-time favourite!

Makes Enough Filling For 3 or 4 Sandwiches

6 to 8 slices of square sandwich bread, sliced regular
1 cup minced ham (in the food processor)
2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
Mayonnaise to moisten

Make the Filling:

Chop the ham in the processor until it is almost minced, measure out 1 cup, return to the processor; add the pickle relish, mustard & horseradish; add 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise at first, then pulse to combine; adding more mayonnaise as necessary. Remove to a bowl, cover & chill until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Make the Sandwiches:

Butter the bread, divide the mixture between four slices of bread; cover with remaining bread slices & place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with wax paper & a damp tea towel & chill for at least 1 hour. Remove from the fridge when ready to assemble you sandwich trays; trim the crusts & cut each sandwich into rectangles.

Corned Beef Sandwich Filling

This is another of those simple, but delicious fillings that once tried you can’t keep your hands off!

Makes Enough Filling For 4 or 5 Sandwiches

8 – 10 slices of square sandwich bread, sliced regular
½ lb. corned beef or Montreal smoked beef
3 Tbsp. each of mayonnaise & sour cream (lite or regular)
4 Tbsp. minced dill pickle
3 tsp. prepared horseradish, or to taste

Make the Filling:

Cube the corned beef & place into the bowl of a food processor; pulse until chopped; add the remaining ingredients; pulse until combined & meat is minced.

Make the Sandwiches:

Butter the bread, divide the mixture between four slices of bread; cover with remaining bread slices & place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with wax paper & a damp tea towel & chill for at least 1 hour. Remove from the fridge when ready to assemble you sandwich trays; trim the crusts & cut each sandwich into rectangles.

Roast Beef Sandwich Filling

A little roast beef can’t go amiss on a sandwich tray either. If you don’t feel like roasting the beef or don’t have some leftover roast beef in the fridge, then I can absolutely recommend the homemade roast beef from Oyama Sausage. It’s the real thing, not that fake, mystery stuff that some stores call “roast beef.” In my opinion, it doesn’t taste like the roast beef I know.

Makes Enough Filling For 4 or 5 Sandwiches

8 or 10 slices square bread, cut regular
½ lb. thinly sliced medium-rare roast beef
Horseradish mayonnaise or a mayonnaise mixed with a bit of prepared horseradish
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Arugula (opt.)
Unsalted butter, softened so that it is very easy to spread

Make the Sandwiches:

Butter the bread; spread a bit of the mayonnaise on half the slices; divide the beef between the four slices; top with arugula if using, then with the remaining bread. Place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet & chill for at least 1 hour before trimming & cutting the sandwiches into triangles.

Click here for Cheese & Egg, Seafood & Fish and Chicken fillings.

 

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Fancy Tea Sandwiches, Seafood And Fish

For a printer friendly version of these recipes, click here.

DSC_3417 nx2Open Faced Smoked Salmon Rounds

These ones look beautiful and add a nice “pop” to a sandwich tray.

Approximately 18 – 24 open faced sandwiches

1 loaf of square bread, sliced horizontally
8 oz. of cold smoked sockeye salmon (Nanuk brand is very good)
1 4 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1 – 2 tsp. fresh dill, chopped fine
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Unsalted butter, softened, so that it spreads very easily

**Fresh dill sprigs for garnish & small paper-thin slices red onion

Combine the cream cheese, dill, green onions & lemon juice; set aside.

Make the Sandwiches:

Butter the bread, using a 2” round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds from the slices of bread & place on a wax paper lined tray. Spread a teaspoon or so of the cream cheese mixture on each round; remove a piece of the smoked salmon from the package & form the slice into a rosette shape; place on top of the cream cheese, continue with making the sandwiches in the same manner. At this point you can chill the sandwiches until ready to assemble your tray; at that time garnish the sandwiches with a slice or two of the onion & finish with a spring of fresh dill.

Salmon Sandwich Filling

Mostly, I made up these using two rounds per sandwich. I cut a little round out of the top one, place it over the filling and garnish with a sprig of watercress or dill. They are so pretty & everyone seems to really like them! However, they can made into regular sandwiches, then cut into four triangles. The rounds take a bit more time but I think it’s worth it. TIP: The rounds can be buttered, cut out and placed in a container with wax paper dividing the layers & frozen. It only takes a few minutes for the bread to thaw and you are good to go!

Makes Approximately 4 Regular Sandwiches or 18 – 24 Double Decker Rounds

8 slices of square bread, sliced regular, or for the double decker rounds,
1 double loaf or 2 single loaves of square bread, sliced horizontally
1 tin sockeye salmon
Mayonnaise (lite or regular)
1 Tbsp. minced green onion
2Tbsp. minced finely chopped celery
½ tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 – 2 tsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Unsalted butter, softened so that it spreads very easily

Make the Filling:

Remove the skin & any dark flesh; with a fork, mash up the salmon with the bones; mix in the green onion, celery, lemon juice, pepper & dill; add enough mayonnaise to bring the ingredients together but not enough to make the mixture sloppy, otherwise it will ooze out of the sandwich when being eaten. Cover & chill until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

To Make Triangles:

Butter the bread slices, then divide the salmon mixture between them; cover with the second slice of bread, place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet; cover with more wax paper, then with a damp tea towel; chill for at least one hour before trimming the crusts & slicing into triangles.

To Make Double Decker Rounds:

Butter the horizontally sliced bread slices, then cut into 2” rounds with a biscuit cutter & place the rounds on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet. With a small, approximately ½” round cutter (I use the other end of a piping tip), cut little rounds out of half the 2” rounds. Spread a generous tablespoon of salmon filling on the rounds without the holes in the middle; top with the rounds with the cut-outs; cover with wax paper, then with a damp tea towel & chill for at least one hour. When ready to assemble your sandwich tray, place a sprig of dill or watercress in the middle of the hole…so cute!

Tuna Sandwich Filling

I always try and include a few things for vegetarians or people who eat fish but not meat and a good tuna sandwich is a delicious addition to the sandwich tray. A slightly different take on a tuna sandwich but very tasty!

Makes Enough Filling For 3 or 4 Sandwiches

8 slices square bread, cut regular
1 tin tuna, either packed in oil or water, drained (Italian tuna might be nice)
Mayonnaise to moisten
2 Tbsp. chopped olives
1 tsp. rinsed capers, chopped fine
2 – 3 Tbsp. finely chopped red bell peppers
½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest (a microplane works great)
Unsalted butter

Make the Filling:

Place the tuna in a glass pie plate or a bowl with a flat bottom; mash with a fork. Mix in the olives, capers, red peppers, lemon zest; moisten the mixture with the mayonnaise until creamy but not sloppy. Cover & chill until ready to assemble the sandwiches

Make the Sandwiches:

Butter the bread, divide the mixture between four slices of bread; cover with remaining bread slices & place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with wax paper & a damp tea towel & chill for at least 1 hour. Remove from the fridge when ready to assemble your sandwich trays; trim the crusts & cut each sandwich into rectangles.

Click here for Cheese & Egg, Ham, Corned Beef & Roast Beef & Chicken fillings.

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Fancy Tea Sandwiches, Three Chicken Salads

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Those of you who are not vegetarian, raise your hands if you do not like chicken salad sandwiches! In my life as a personal chef and caterer, I can’t tell you how many different kinds of chicken salad sandwiches I have made! I love them all but have narrowed it down to only three. It was like being a judge on American Idol! The easiest way to cook the chicken is to season bone-in chicken breasts, place on a rack & bake in a 400 F oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Cool the chicken, chill overnight and remove the skin before chopping up. Three medium sized chicken breast halves will give you about 2 cups of chopped chicken.

DSC_3417 nx2Chicken Salad Filling With Olives:

Makes Approximately 4 Sandwiches

8 slices of square sandwich bread, s1iced regular
1 ½ cups finely chopped cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup chopped chives or 2 Tbsp. minced green onions
¼ cup chopped pimento stuffed Manzanilla olives
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Approximately 1/3 cup Mayonnaise (lite or regular)
Unsalted butter, softened so that it’s easy to spread

Make the Filling:

Place the chicken in a large bowl; add the chives or green onions, olives, parsley, salt & pepper; adding enough mayonnaise to make a creamy but not sloppy mixture. Cover & chill until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Butter the bread, divide the mixture between four slices of bread; cover with remaining bread slices & place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with wax paper & a damp tea towel & chill for at least 1 hour. Remove from the fridge when ready to assemble you sandwich trays; trim the crusts & cut each sandwich into rectangles.

Lemon-Tarragon Chicken Salad Filling:

I think this filling is lovely in the spring when the tarragon comes up in the garden. A bit of arugula might also be a nice touch.

Makes Approximately 6 Sandwiches

12 slices square bread, sliced regular
2 ½ cups finely cooked, finely chopped chicken breast
½ cup finely chopped celery
Approximately ½ cup mayonnaise (lite or regular)
¼ cup finely chopped chives
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 ½ tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel (a microplane does a great job)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Unsalted butter, softened until it’s very easy to spread

Make the Filling:

Place the chicken in a large bowl; add the celery, chives, tarragon, lemon juice & rind; mix in the mayonnaise until you have a creamy mixture, adding more if necessary; season to taste with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Cover & chill until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Make the Sandwiches:

Butter the bread, divide the mixture between four slices of bread; cover with remaining bread slices & place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with wax paper & a damp tea towel & chill for at least 1 hour. Remove from the fridge when ready to assemble you sandwich trays; trim the crusts & cut each sandwich into rectangles.

Curried Chicken Salad Filling:

Curry adds a nice touch to this filling and adds a bit of a different dimension to a sandwich tray.

Makes Enough Filling For 6 Sandwiches

12 slices square bread, sliced regular
2 ½ cups finely chopped cooked chicken breast
3 – 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise (lite or regular)
3 – 4 Tbsp. yogurt
2 – 4 Tbsp. mango chutney, to taste
1 tsp. curry powder
½ an apple, cored & chopped into small dice
2 Tbsp. raisins or currants
Salt to taste
Unsalted butter, softened until it is very easy to spread

Make the Filling:

Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt & chutney in a small bowl.

Place the chicken in a large bowl, add the curry powder, apple & raisins, mix in the mayonnaise mixture until you have a creamy but not sloppy mixture; adding more mayonnaise, yogurt & chutney if necessary.
Cover & chill the filling until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Make the Sandwiches:

Butter the bread, divide the mixture between six slices of bread; cover with remaining bread slices & place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with wax paper & a damp tea towel & chill for at least 1 hour. Remove from the fridge when ready to assemble you sandwich trays; trim the crusts & cut each sandwich into rectangles.

Click here for Cheese & Egg, Ham, Corned Beef, Roast Beef & Seafood & Fish fillings.

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Fancy Tea Sandwiches, Cheese & Egg Fillings

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To get you in the mood, here is a selection of my personal favourite fillings. There are two sources in Vancouver where I have purchased the square loaves of bread; Moore’s Bakery in Kerrisdale and Cobb’s Bread. You will need to pre-order a few days ahead. They may ask if you want double of single loaves & it will depend on how many you are planning to make. A single loaf will make approximately 6 or 7 sandwiches.

Note: I do not put lettuce in the sandwiches as they do not keep as well and I find that they have a tendency to not stay together when cut up. A bit of arugula would be nice in some of the fillings.

DSC_3417 nx2Cheese Pinwheels (Everyone seems to love these!)

Makes 6 (Approximately) Rolls

You will need 1single size loaf of square sandwich bread, sliced horizontally
1 container of McLaren’s Imperial cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
A pinch each of onion powder & garlic powder
1/8 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 roasted red pepper, cut into long, thin strips, blotted with paper towels until quite dry
A handful of chives or a few thin strips of green onions
1 small jar of pimento stuffed Manzanilla olives, blotted with paper towels until dry
1 bunch finely chopped parsley (the processor works very well)

Make the Filling:

Using a food processor or an electric mixer, combine the cheeses, onion & garlic powders & Worcestershire sauce. Process until smooth; remove to a bowl & set aside.

Trim the crusts from the bread. Using a rolling pin, roll over each slice of bread flattening it. Butter the bread. Spread with approximately 2 Tbsp. or so of the cheese mixture. With the short end of a slice of the cheese covered bread closest to you, lay about 5 olives at the edge. Place 3 pepper strips equally on the bread, then a piece of chive or green onion on either side of the pepper strip.

Roll the sandwich up tightly, place on a piece of plastic wrap, roll up & twist the ends. Continue with the remaining bread slices. Once all sandwiches are made place in the fridge until cold. I find these work out very well if made the day before.

When ready to begin assembling your sandwich tray remove the sandwiches from the fridge, unwrap & spread a light coating of very soft butter all over the outside of the roll, then roll the sandwich in the finely chopped parsley. Trim the ragged ends of each end of the roll then cut the roll into 4 slices.

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches

I make these as triangles most of the time but they also look beautiful made open face on a round of bread and garnished with a sprig of watercress! So pretty! I found that plain cream cheese is kind of unexciting so I “corrected” the cream cheese. If local tomatoes are in season, I will thinly slice some, place them on paper towels so the juices can be absorbed and include them with the cucumbers. If you do this, you will not be able to make the sandwiches ahead as they will be soggy.

Make the Cream cheese Filling:

Makes Approximately 4 Sandwiches

8 slices of square sandwich bread
1 English cucumber
½ a 250 g. package cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. finely chopped chives or green onions
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Few drops of Tabasco
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Unsalted butter, softened so that it spreads very easily

English cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise & placed on paper towels to absorb moisture.
Washed & dried watercress
Combine the cream cheese, chives, dill, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Tabasco & salt & pepper, using an electric mixer, until smooth (a processor tends to make the mixture on the runny side).

Butter the bread, spread with some of the cream cheese mixture on both sides, top 4 slices with cucumber & watercress; top each with the 2nd slice of bread. Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up the cream cheese so it will be easier to trim the crusts & cut the sandwich.

To Make Open Face Rounds:

Makes 18 – 24 Open Faced Sandwiches

You will need 1 or 2 loaves of square bread, sliced horizontally. Butter the bread slices, use a 2” biscuit cutter, cut out the rounds. Spread each with some of the cream cheese mixture, then top with thinly sliced rounds of English cucumber & top with a sprig of watercress.

**To make them even prettier, you could put a nice plump, cooked shrimp on top, then garnish with the watercress sprig & a small piece of chive tucked in.Curried Egg Sandwich Filling

Absolutely one of my all-time favourite egg sandwich fillings! The addition of curry powder adds a little something extra. Fancy sandwiches, I think, really need fillings that are “pumped” up a bit, to make them special.

Makes 6 Regular Sandwiches

12 slices of square bread, regular cut
6 large hardboiled eggs
2 tsp. minced green onions
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Mayonnaise (lite or regular)
Salt to taste
Unsalted butter, softened so that it’s very easy to spread

Make the Filling:

Place the eggs in a pot of cold water to cover & cover with a lid; bring the eggs to a boil & just as soon as it does; remove from the heat; allow to stand 10 – 12 minutes; drain & immediately fill the pot with cold water; drain the cold water & refill the pot again with very cold water; let the eggs stand until cold, then peel the eggs.

Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the eggs into a large bowl; add the onions, curry powder, Dijon mustard. Add enough mayonnaise to the mixture to bring it together but not too soft; otherwise the egg filling will ooze out of the sandwich when eaten. Cover & chill the filling until ready to make the sandwiches.

Make the Sandwiches:

Butter the bread; divide the egg filling among 6 of the bread slices; cover with the remaining slices & place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet; cover with wax paper, then with a damp tea towel. Chill for at least one hour; remove from the fridge, trim the crusts & cut sandwiches into triangles.

Click here for  Ham, Corned Beef & Roast Beef, Seafood & Fish and Chicken fillings.

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