Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Traditional British Food, Part 17: High Tea

I'm really not a big fan of sandwiches, but sometimes nothing else will do--especially if it's too hot to make anything else. So, last week, I cobbled together a few things and called it high tea (and ate a piece of Victoria Sandwich afterward). The hard-boiled eggs were going to be topped with caviar, but the caviar was growing mold. Probably best to leave it out, then. Not really the worst of my recent kitchen disasters, though. I have now ruined four batches of ice cream in a row and have decided to be a coward and not attempt any more. At least for several months.

Back to the sandwiches. On the left we have Feta and Roasted Pepper and, on the right, Shrimp Salad. Both of these recipes have been adapted from BBC Good Food (love that website).

Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches

10 slices white bread*
2 roasted red peppers, finely chopped

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces feta, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a small mixing bowl, combine the spread ingredients. You can make this in advance and keep in the fridge. We actually consumed most of ours on Ritz crackers. The spread will keep at least a week. We finished it, so I don't know how long it will actually last.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread a good layer of spread on 5 of the slices of bread then top with the chopped roasted red peppers. Add the top slice of bread and cut into triangles (we just cut them in two, but for a party, four triangles would probably be preferable).

Shrimp Salad Sandwiches

10 slices wheat bread*
5 crunchy lettuce leaves
1 pound cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp, chopped

For the lazy aioli:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Zest of 1 lemon
Dash of garlic powder

Combine the aioli ingredients in a small bowl. This can be done in advance and kept in the fridge.

To make the sandwiches, place a lettuce leaf on 5 of the slices of bread and top with the shrimp that has been combined with the aioli. Top with the other slice of bread and cut into desired size/shape. Paul and I were a little frightened of this sandwich, but it turned out to be very tasty.

*I just keep the spread and aioli in the fridge and make enough sandwiches only for a particular night. Also, make sure this is real, yummy bread.

Coming Soon:

My write-up on Simnel Cake and impressions on Anthony Andrews as Ivanhoe.