A Christmas Tea

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by shimmer, Dec 22, 2001.

  1. shimmer


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    Hello. If any of you know anything about me, you know I have a passion for tearooms. This Christmas, since only my husband and I are celebrating together, I decided to make a light brunch, but make a "Christmas tea."

    I'm not having any trouble with the sweet side of things, but want a few more 'dainty' and small appetizer type things that can be mixed on a platter. Finger food, in other words.

    So what would you add? For my particular situation, no meat products can be used, but fish is okay.

    Here is what I am doing so far:

    Tea: Gingerbread spice and Cinnamon Vanilla

    Sweet plate:
    Petits fours with little mini Christmas decorations on top
    Mini cheesecakes
    Mini fruit tarts (made by a friend who specializes in French pastries)
    Marzipan fruit (to look at, since yech....)
    Some kind of gingerbread or ginger cookie

    Savory plate:
    Stuffed cherry tomatoes
    Cheese and Herb pinwheels
    Lemon parmesan artichokes (although maybe this is too strong of a flavor for this particular occasion, what do you think?)
    Some kind of tea sandwich???

    And yes, this is way too much food for two people, but having leftovers is NEVER bad!!!

    All input would be very appreciated!! I just feel I need to fill in a few holes.

    THanks, you all are great.

  2. suzanne


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    Food Editor
    What a lovely idea! Very festive.

    Smoked salmon is always great -- and if it's only for 2 people, you can afford to get the best. Or some gravadlax; I had some last night made by a friend, and it was wonderful. Openface, as thin slices on buttered cocktail rye, with a little chervil or dill pluche as a garnish. Actually, any kind of smoked fish, by itself or mashed with butter or cream cheese makes a lovely filling for closed sandwiches. And a little goes a long way.

    Open-face: slices of hard-cooked egg topped with a smidge of caviar -- even salmon roe would work well.

    I've got a book called The National Trust Book of Tea-Time Recipes but it's all pretty much cakes, scones, biscuits, and the like. A few savouries including Cheese and Celery Whirls, and Welsh Cheese and Herb Scones.

    BTW, if your want to, when you're done, you could send me the marzipan. How can you say Yech??? It's usually the taste of the food coloring that makes it yech-y to me. But Almond Paste? Yum!!

    Have a wonderful holiday!
  3. kimmie


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    Here are my suggestions:

    - Chopped egg and chive bound with a little mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, topped with fresh mustard cress; and/or

    - Cucumber-egg sandwiches (very English);

    - Smoked salmon, red onion and a caper cream cheese on pumpernickel (or a rustic whole wheat or seven-grain bread);

    - Warm scones and clotted cream;

    - Brochette of fresh fruit;

    - Cinnamon madeleines would pair well with your Gingerbread spice and Cinnamon Vanilla tea! (recipe follows)

    Here's a little bonus for you:

    Makes 6 finger sandwiches

    4 slices of extra-thin white bread
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 large hard boiled eggs, peeled and finely grated
    2 tablespoons crème fraÎche
    1/2 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    1/2 English cucumber peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise

    Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter. Set aside. In a small bowl combine eggs, crème fraÎche, and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Spread egg mixture 1/4 inch thick on 2 slices bread. Top with sliced cucumber, and cover with the remaining slices of bread. Remove crusts, and cut each sandwich into three equal fingers.

    Makes about 20

    1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    1 1/2 cups (5 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 large egg yolk

    1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and cheese. Work in the butter with fingertips until evenly mixed. Work in egg yolk to form a firm dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and leave to rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes.

    2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 2 1/2-inch rounds, and place on baking pan. Gather dough scraps, and roll once again. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

    Makes 24

    3 large eggs
    3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
    1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    5 tablespoons milk
    9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus more for molds

    1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour shell-shaped madeleine molds. Tap out excess. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Add flour mixture and milk; mix until smooth. Add butter, and beat until creamy. Cover with plastic; chill for 20 minutes.

    2. Transfer mixture to a medium pastry bag fitted with a coupler. Pipe mixture into prepared molds. (Alternatively you can use 2-inch paper baking cases.) Transfer to oven, and bake until golden brown, about 9 minutes. Remove from molds immediately, and cool on a wire rack.

    If you're in the mood for a book, I would explore "Taking Tea at the Savoy"

    Format: Hardcover, 96pp.
    ISBN: 1862053162
    Publisher: Pavilion Books, Limited
    Pub. Date: November 1999

    I hope it's the kind of schtuff you were looking for!

    and Merry Christmas, Shimmer! :)
  4. svadhisthana


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    HUMMUS! and little toasted pita triangles to go with it. You can add shredded veggies to it or even better some roasted red bell pepper. yuuuuum.
    Savory scones.
    And, I second (or is it third) the cucumber sandwiches.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!:bounce:
  5. isa


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  6. shimmer


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    Those recipes (and websites with recipes) are exactly what I needed. Thankyou so much.

    I couldn't find watercress at the store... does it have an alias?

    After I have the tea, I'll let you know what was the most successful.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  7. kimmie


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    I would lean towards young baby spinach. Hope it helps.
  8. nippy sweetie

    nippy sweetie

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    watercress doesn't have a tremendous amount of flavor, to put it mildly, so i wouldn't worry about it. But to have proper afternoon tea, one must drink sherry.
  9. kimmie


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    May we have your full report on your Christmas tea? What was the most successful??