Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1993 14:17:43 GMT
"Because teas are normally scheduled between 2 and 5 in the afternoon, there is a lot of flexibility in what you serve. More than dessert, finger sandwiches and scones are part of the table. If you want, the spread can constitute a light meal. Chilled sparkling wine, sparkling water and varied tea choices are appropriate beverages. Iced tea is an option in hot weather.
"The tea table is typically set up as a buffet and the offerings are finger-type foods. With bite-size sandwiches, sweets and fruit, small plates can be provided but they are not required - dainty napkins can suffice. Certainly forks are unnecessary."
Recipes from chef Richard Hughes, Pelican Club, New Orleans
Smoked Salmon Canapes With Mascarpone
(The sweetnes of mascarpone cheese makes these canapes special. A lightly smoked salmon works best in this mild combination.) 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened 1/3 cup snipped chives 1/2 pound thinly sliced smoked salmon 1 cup mascarpone cheese 3 tablespoons chopped dill 36 (1 inch) rounds whole-wheat or pumpernickel bread Dill sprigs Combine butter and chives. Roll bite-size pieces of smoked salmon into 1-inch-high cone shapes. Stir mascarpone cheese with chopped dill until fluffy. Fit pastry bag with fine tube. Fill pastry bag with dill cheese.. To assemble, spread chive butter on bread rounds. Place rolled salmon cones upright on bread rounds. Pipe dill cheese into center of each cone. Garnish with small dill sprigs. Can be made few hours in advance and refrigerated. Before serving, let stand briefly to remove chill.Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Tarragon Butter
(For looks, dip one end of a sandwich into mayonnaise, then into minced fresh parsley) 1 large English cucumber, peeled, sliced paper thin 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons white vinegar 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 1/4 cup minced fresh tarragon 1/4 cup minced fresh chervil 30 thin slices whole-wheat bread, enough to make 72 (2x4inch) rectangles Watercress leaves, optional Put cucumber slices in large bowl. Toss with salt. Sprinkle with vinegar. Toss to mix well. Let stand 1 hour. Drain well in colander. Combine butter, tarragon and chervil. To assemble, spread butter over 1 side of each bread slice. Cover 15 slices with cucumbers, dividing evenly. Close sandwiches. Trim crusts. Cut into 36 rectangles. Arrange on platter, garnished with watercress leaves.Lemon Curd TartletsP>
(These tartlets are very lemony, rich and wonderful. One tartlet per guest is sufficient, but if you're smart, you'll make extras.) 7 large egg yolks 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest 16 to 20 (2 inch) pre-baked tartlet shells edible flowers, optional Whip egg yolks at high speed in mixer until doubled in volume, about 10 minutes. They will be pale-yellow in color. Meanwhile, place water in bottom of double boiler and heat until barely simmering. In another saucepan, bring sugar, lemon juice and butter to boil. When egg yolks are whipped, decrease mixer speed to medium. Gradually add hot suger-butter mixture, beating constantly. Place mixing bowl just above water level over simmering water. (Do NOT let bowl touch water) Whisk mixture constantly and cook until mixture is thick custard, consistency of sour cream, about 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to 3-cup mixing bowl. Stir in lemon zest. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled. (Can be made few days in advance. Before using, stir well to smooth out consistency.) Up to 2 hours before serving, fill pre-baked shells with lemon curd. Refrigerate until serving time.
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