Cucumber Sandwiches–Southern Style

Tomato sandwiches rule the end of summer. For your garden party, tea party or wedding, you can’t go wrong with a cucumber sandwich. Now you could go with the sort of cucumber sandwiches that one might find in England. I prefer a more southern cucumber sandwich though.

Make a spread from 2 tablespoons of softened butter and 2 tablespoons of blue cheese. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and a dash of red pepper/Tabasco or if you please Frank’s Red Hot to taste.

Slice cucumber thin and chill in ice water with a splash of vinegar and pinch of salt.

Cut some pretty rounds out of bread. (ok, you can go with whatever shape you like, but a biscuit cutter or glass works fast and easy. I’m not fussy.)

Spread with the sandwich spread, add a thin slice of cucumber. Sprinkle some paprika if you wish. Then present as if you were the Queen of the May.

Lincoln Log Cabin Sandwiches

What do you do to celebrate Lincoln’s Birthday or President’s Day? Hit the sales? Ignore it? I have always wanted to do something a bit more special.

In fact, this is what I have wanted to do: celebrate with Lincoln Log Cabin Sandwiches.

The picture in the book (Better Cooking Library-Sandwich and Party Snack Cookbook, 1964) always appealed to me:

Cute? Right!
Alternating chicken salad and a deviled ham salad sandwich “logs” didn’t sound half bad either. On Sunday, I had a kitchen helper who volunteered to help out despite looking askance at the recipe.

About the recipe–it tasted fine (at least to the adults in the house who like both chicken salad and deviled ham.) However, you can use any sandwich filling recipe you would like.

Lincoln “Log Cabin” Sandwiches

16 slices of bread, dark or light

1 4 1/2 oz can deviled ham
2 3 oz package cream cheese
2 tablespoons chopped olives

Blend ham, cream cheese and olives together. Spread on four slices of bread and top with 4 more slices of bread.

1 6-oz can boned chicken
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped celery

Mix the chicken, mayonnaise and celery. I would add a bit of pepper to it. Repeat the spread on 4 slices of bread and topping with 4 more slices of bread.

Cut each sandwich into 4 strips or “logs.” Build log cabin with sandwich strips. Make a roof with a folded piece of cardboard or bread. Top with tiny American flag. We were fresh out of those and well, Lincoln wouldn’t have had a modern flag–if any–on his cabin. Serve on individual plates, surrounded by “grass” made of parsley or chicory. Makes 4 log cabins.

Here is what ours looked like–keep in mind the bread was a bit soft and my kitchen helper doesn’t have amazing knife or crafting skills.

Cheesy Fishburger

I have a 1976 Farm Journal cookbook by Nell B. Nichols Called “Homemade Snacks-How to eat better when you eat on the run”

I flipped through it idly today dreaming of yummy homemade snacks that were healthy. Potted Cheese-mmm a 2-week recipe–you add the next week’s ingredients to the remnants of the first week’s potted cheese. Have they seen Denise and me with ready made cheese spreads? Right. Not healthy. Moderation is key here.

It being 1976, I suppose the definition of healthy was a bit different from today–but this one took the cake for me. (and probably IS one of my favorite “snacks” but since I don’t cook fish at home–I must sneak through a local drive-thru to get it.) Just in case you want a “healthy” snack made at home–here you go:

By the way–the particular nutrient in this sandwich according to the book–calcium, not fat. hmmm.

Cheesy Fishburger

1 portion frozen breaded fish
vegetable oil
1 slice process American Cheese
1 hamburger bun, split

Golden Tartar Sauce

Cook fish in hot oil until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn and top with cheese slice cut to fit fish. Continue cooking until golden brown on other side about 2 minutes. Place in split hamburger bun and top generously with Golden Tartar Sauce. Makes 1 serving.

Speaking of tartar sauce, I do always make my own at home–not buy prepared but I can’t imagine ever using this much pickle relish-maybe a 1/4 cup. Add as you see fit. I also recommend draining a bit so it isn’t too watery.

Golden Tartar Sauce

“Use at least one tablespoon of sauce per sandwich”
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1 1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp grated onion

Combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. Sauce will keep a week or two. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Muffaletta

Last night in numbering the reasons for actually having a team to cheer for in the Super Bowl, I pulled out the winning reason: New Orleans has much better food. Apologies to my father who grew up in Indiana and to my love’s mother also an Indiana native…Indianapolis may have some good food but truly no one thinks “Let’s go to Indiana to eat!”

New Orleans on the other hand – I day dream about meals there. Debris sandwiches, Po Boys, beignets, red beans and rice, aspic from Commander’s Palace…I could go on. But one must eat a muffaletta in New Orleans even vegetarians and low calorie, low fat people. It makes for a lovely lunch. None made outside the parish can compare but you still can try. It makes for good football food too.

My Non Native But Makes My Family Happy Muffaletta

1 round loaf Italian bread (no, you won’t get this exactly right unless you are in New Orleans)
3/4 cup olive salad (might be found in your grocer-especially in Chicago area or gourmet grocer (poke around the tapenade area for something chunkier than a tapenade. If worse comes to worse use green olives in oil, some giardiniara, and garlic mixed together and call it good-or I suppose you could look for a recipe)
1/2 lb Genoa Salami
1/4 lb Capicola or Ham
1/4 lb Mortadella
1/2 lb Sliced Mozzarella
1/2 lb Provolone

Slice bread in half lengthwise. Brush bread with olive oil from olive salad. Layer the meats alternating with the cheeses. Add top side of bread. Press down. Cut into quarters or smaller wedges.