The tea sandwich project.

Tea at The Phoenician includes the BEST little sandwiches in the history of little sandwiches.  Their name and description on the menu: Crisp Asparagus & Garlic Herb Mousse – Poached Asparagus Tips, Boursin Mousse, Aged Parma Ham on White Loaf.

Little wedges of heaven, I tell you.

As I needed to throw together an appetizer for a party, I decided {without researching a recipe} to try my hand at creating heaven from memory alone.

I don’t really know what ‘boursin mousse’* is, so I improvised with cream cheese and some dried herbs.  I also didn’t get ‘parma ham’ in the deli, settling for something less fancy and more…packaged.

So – I obviously didn’t hit this one out of the park.  BUT. My little sandwiches still tasted good, so I’m not calling it a total fail either.

The ingredients I used:

  • a loaf of white bread (Whole Foods brand)
  • a package of sliced ham
  • cream cheese (probably 6 oz or so)
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • a bundle of asparagus

The process I followed:

  1. Start a pot of water to boil.
  2. Cut the asparagus into thirds.  Discard of the bottom thirds, save the top two-thirds of each spear.
  3. Place the top two-thirds of the asparagus into the boiling water.  Boil for two minutes.
  4. Drain asparagus and rinse with cold water.  Set on paper towels or clean dish towels to dry and cool.
  5. Cut the crust off the bread.
  6. Whip the cream cheese with a bit of dried basil and dried oregano.
  7. Spread the cream cheese mixture on each slice of de-crusted bread and cut each slice in half.
  8. Cut each slice of ham in half and fold up into a neat little ham package.
  9. Place one piece of ham on half the slices of bread.
  10. Place three spears of asparagus on each piece of ham.
  11. Smoosh (technical term) a piece of bread on each little bread-ham-asparagus set.
  12. Keep refrigerated until serving.

image

Top Left: Step 2

Top Right: Step 5

Bottom Left: Step 7 and Step 8

Bottom Right: Step 9 and Step 10

 I’ll try my hand at these again.  With boursin mousse (see below) and a higher quality ham.  Or maybe prosciutto.  That would be tasty.

*Boursin is a type of cheese, I later learned.  And boursin mousse seems to be boursin cheese, cream cheese, garlic, chives, and black pepper, whipped together.  FYI.

Do you ‘wing it’ on food preparation?  Or are you a precise recipe follower kind of cook?  Any epic fails (or wins!) to share?

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14 thoughts on “The tea sandwich project.

  1. So cute! You can be proud of yourself for pulling this off without a recipe!

    My method is to find a couple recipes for different opinions and then “wing it” on combining parts of each to get my desired result. The worst “recipes” I’ve tried use really bland ingredients, like pasta with jar-sauce and veggies. BORING. So I’m happy your adorable little sandwiches got a step up from adding herbs to the cream cheese and trying a new sandwich combination most would never think of.

  2. Good job! I admire your creativity, I couldn’t recreate anything just from memory! I’m a recipe-follower through and through. Even if I have cooked something about 100 times, I still need the recipe open, just in case I forget an important detail. I want to be more like you, fearless in the kitchen!

  3. This looks pretty good for “winging it”! I am a strict recipe follower, but it’s because I never know what I’m doing so I just don’t feel confident enough to wing it. My husband is a big fan of grabbing random ingredients out of the fridge and seeing what he can make of it. That always makes me so nervous! Sometimes his creations turn out epically delicious…and other times just “okay.” But I guess that’s the adventure of going off-recipe! :-D

  4. Oh la la. Asparagus on your tea sandwiches? How fancy. I absolutely can not wing it, I try, but I just can’t. I think it is truly a gift to be able to do that!! These look delicious!

  5. When cooking for guests or company, I’m usually all about following a tried-and-true recipe to the T. BUT over the past year, I kind of started to get bored of my usual recipes, so I did start to change things up a bit… or to try brand new recipes. For the most part, I’ve been happy with the results. But I won’t lie, there were one or two times that completely flopped. Ha, ha. ;) (Your little sandwiches sound delicious and look absolutely perfect)!

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