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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cucumber Sandwiches

You can't have High Tea without cucumber sandwiches.  I know they are not everyone's favorite but this particular sandwich was a pretty addition to my High Tea.
You will need some fresh white bread, mayo, cucumber , vegetable peeler and cookie cutter.
Using the veggie peeler make a very thin slice of the cucumber.
Continue to make the strips turning the cucumber when you don't have green on both sides.
Put a thin layer of mayo on one piece of bread.
Layer the thin slices of cucumber on the bread, overlapping them.
Cover the entire piece of bread with slices.
Then take the cookie cutter, and you can use any shape you like, and cut the sandwich.
And you have a cut little sandwich.
You can add a little cracked pepper if you like. They are ready for your High Tea.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tea Party Chicken Salad

Continuing the Olympic theme. Today is some more high tea fare.

I get request all the time to make my chicken salad.  I will apologize up front that this is one of those eyeball recipes.  I can give you guesses.  A lot depends on how much chicken that you use too.  I usually make large amounts when I do make it.
Start out by boiling your chicken and eggs.  I add some salt, pepper and parsley to the water when cooking my chicken.  I always boil my chicken but you could bake it as well or use a grocery store cooked chicken.  I don't like fooling with a whole chicken I use chicken breast.
This is the rest of the stuff I use in making the salad.
I cut up the chicken into bite size pieces.
Add a little salt and pepper to the chicken.  I have found it is better to season the chicken instead of trying to season the whole bowl after it is finished.
I put the boiled eggs into the food processor to chop them up fine.  I don't really like boiled eggs that well but if they are chopped fine I don't mind them.  If you like bigger pieces you can leave them bigger.
I chop up some red grapes.  I cut these pretty small.  They also had seeds in them so I took the seeds out as well.
Add a couple of heaping tablespoons of sweet pickle relish.  Make sure to drain the liquid off them.
Dump them all in.
Add a squirt of mustard.  Just a little bit.

The secret ingredient that I add to my chicken salad and I have heard most people say they did not put it in theirs was sour cream.  I try to put about the same amount of mayo and sour cream.  The sour cream makes it a little bit creamier.
Several big heaping spoonfuls.  Start with a little because it is always easier to add to than take away.  Stir it up and see if it is moist enough for you.  

Mix it all up well to see if it needs anything.  Now would probably be a good time to do a small taste test to see if everything is balanced.
I almost forgot to add the pecans.  Sometimes I toast them but I didn't this time.
My ulu really came in handy chopping the nuts. 
Throw the nuts in and give it another good stir.
Looks good.  You can add some more parsley to the top and maybe a little paprika too.
I like serving them on croissants.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Devonshire Cream

Nothing says English food like strawberries and cream.  Devonshire Cream to be more exactly.  This was so easy to make and so good I might just keep it mixed in my fridge long after the Olympics is over.  It is delicious on scones and strawberries.  Give it a try and I don't think you will be disappointed.
It doesn't get any easier.  Cream cheese, a little sugar, a dash of salt and some heavy cream.

Start out with 3 oz of cream cheese that is softened.  Add to that 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Add 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Mix that up well.
Add 1 c heavy whipping cream to the cream cheese.
Beat on high with a hand mixer until it gets stiff and fluffy at the same time. I know that sounds strange but you will know what I am talking about.
That's all there is to Devonshire Cream.  Put in a container and keep in the fridge.
Then put it on your scones and strawberries.  You might need to mix up a batch next year for Wimbledon.  Then you can have your strawberries and cream.

Devonshire Cream Recipe

3 oz cream cheese softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 c heavy whipping cream

Mix cream cheese, sugar and salt.  Then add the whipping cream and beat until it becomes stiff.  Put in a container and cover.  Keep in fridge.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

White Chocolate Cherry Scones

Olympic week continues.  I hope you will like all of these British favorites and maybe have a tea party of your own. But don't think you need to have a tea party to enjoy scones.  They are great any time.
This is all you will need to make these really good scones.
Start with 2 cups all purpose flour.
Add 1/3 c sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Then add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Before you cut your cold butter go ahead and get the rest of the ingredients ready.  In a bowl add 1 egg, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Mix these up well and set aside.
Make sure they are well blended.
Then have your 1/2 cup dried cherries chopped.  I found that the ulu is really good for chopping dried fruit.
You also need 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate chips.
Now it is time to get the butter out of the fridge and cut it into pieces.  You will need 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter.  This is one stick.
Add the butter to the flour mixture and work it into the flour using a pastry cutter or two forks.  You just want to make sure all the butter is cut into the flour mixture well.
Now add the egg/sour cream mixture to the flour.  Work it in well with the pastry cutter. Then add the chopped cherries and white chocolate.  Mix well.
After everything is well mixed you will want to gather it up in a ball and turn out onto a floured counter. Press out to about 1/2 inch thick.  You can use any kind of cutter you like to cut out the scones.
I used a round cutter to cut the scones.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  I made an egg wash to brush on top of the scones.  One egg and one tablespoon of milk beaten together well. After the egg wash I added some decorative sugar to the top. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes.  I set the timer for 10 minutes and then added time.  You don't want the bottoms to burn.
The final product, lovely browned scones.  Serve them with some Devonshire cream.
White Chocolate Cherry Scones Recipe

2 c all purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 c dried cherries chopped
1/2 c white chocolate chips chopped
1/2 c sour cream
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400.
In a medium bowl mix flour, 1/3 c sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Slice butter into flour mixture use pastry cutter to incorporated the butter.  Add chopped cherries and chocolate.

In a small bowl whisk sour cream and egg until smooth; stir in vanilla.  Add to flour mixture and mix.
Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a circle about 3/4 inch thick.  You can use a cookie cutter or cut into wedges.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake until golden about 15-17 minutes.
If desired drizzle with melted white chocolate.