Wow, the year of experimenting with tea sandwiches is already halfway over! This week, I'm celebrating the fact some of our vegetables are starting to roll in from the straw bale garden out back.
Yes, it's cucumber time! And though I've made Cucumber Cream Sandwiches before, I decided to tweak the recipe a bit and see if I couldn't take it up a notch. Sliced Cucumber Sandwiches are the teatime classic, of course, but on the occasions when I've needed to assemble a large amount of cucumber sandwiches at the last moment, that just wasn't practical. Cucumber Cream can be made the night before and solves that problem quite nicely.
First, I sliced one large cucumber but left a bit of the peel on (for color) before I whirled it through the food processor. I processed it until it was quite soupy, and then I let the mixture drain in a strainer until it appeared to have the consistency of a cucumber slushy. Then I mixed the processed cucumber with the cream cheese and other ingredients below, and the result was a deliciously light, whipped cucumber cream I like better than my original version!
To make these sandwiches more "special," I like to cut them out with my teapot cookie cutters. You definitely want to cut *frozen* bread, though, or else you are likely to lose that little knob on top of the teapot during cutting. The frozen bread helps the design remain intact. This is what the spread looks like on one slice, and to me it's not "pretty" enough to serve open-faced.
The "sandwiched" sandwich looks nicer, I think.
And now, here's the recipe!
Cucumber Cream with Dill
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese
1 large cucumber, chopped into large pieces and with a bit of the peel remaining (remove seeds if desired)
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
Let cream cheese soften to room temperature. Process cucumber and let drain. Add cream cheese, strained cucumber, pepper, dill and garlic in food processor. Process for several minutes until mixture achieves a light, airy consistency. This spread also makes a great dip for bread cubes or chips!