Friday, March 8, 2013

An Irish Afternoon Tea Moment

March turns our thoughts to all things green, and ... Irish! While St. Patrick's Day is typically surrounded by beer, corned beef and cabbage, I think it's time to start a new tradition and have an Irish Afternoon Tea - good for March 17th, or any day you need some good ol' luck o' the Irish!

Use this as an excuse to get the women in your family together, or maybe it's been too long since you and the gal pals have caught up. Or if there are  some gents in your life who prefer Irish teas to tipple, round them up and sit them down. Whomever you invite, this menu is sure to please!

An Irish Afternoon Tea
Menu
Irish Herb Scones
Corned Beef Tea Sandwiches
Irish Cheddar and Chutney Sandwiches
Refreshing Cucumber Sandwiches
Shamrock Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Mints
Suggested Tea
Irish Breakfast Blend by California Tea and Coffee Brewery (hand blended by the masterful Diane)
Irish Herb Scones
1/2 pound potatoes
4 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon savory
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon powdered sage
Oil for frying

Boil the potatoes, then pass through a food mill. Mix the flour, salt, oil and herbs with the potatoes. On a floured board, roll this dough to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut the dough into triangles 3 or 4 inches wide. Fry in very hot oil on both sides until light golden.
As found on http://oldfashionedliving.com/irishtea.html

Corned Beef Tea Sandwich
1/2 pound thinly sliced corned beef
3 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp. mayonnaise
8 sourdough or rye bread slices

Preparation
1. Combine mustard and mayonnaise
2. Spread mixture on one side of each bread slice
3. Arrange desired amount of corned beef slices on 4 slices of bread
4. Assemble sandwiches
5. Cut crusts from bread, using serrated bread knife, discarding crusts.
6. Cut sandwiches diagonally into quarters. Store cucumber sandwiches in an airtight container for up to 1 hour before serving.

Irish Cheddar and Chutney Sandwich
1 small package Irish Cheddar, sliced thinly
1 small jar of prepared chutney (sweet or spicy depending on your preference)
8 wheat bread slices

Preparation
1. Spread chutney on one side of each bread slice
2. Arrange cheese slices on 4 slices of bread
3. Assemble sandwiches
4. Cut crusts from bread, using serrated bread knife, discarding crusts.
5. Cut sandwiches diagonally into quarters. Store cucumber sandwiches in an airtight container for up to 1 hour before serving.


Refreshing Cucumber Sandwich
1 – (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 medium cucumber, peeled, and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
8 white sandwich bread slices
Preparation
1. Spread cream cheese on each slice of bread
2. Layer cucumber slices evenly on 4 slices of bread
3. Sprinkle dill lightly on remaining 4 slices of bread
4. Assemble sandwiches
5. Cut crusts from bread, using serrated bread knife, discarding crusts.
6. Cut sandwiches diagonally into quarters. Store cucumber sandwiches in an airtight container for up to 1 hour before serving.
Shamrock Sugar Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
Salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Green sugar/sprinkles

Preparation
Preheat oven to 325 F. In medium bowl combine flour and dash of salt. In large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed. Scrape sides of bowl and add flour mixture. Blend on low speed until combined.
Gather dough into ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out dough onto floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Use shamrock or leaf shaped cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate with sugar/sprinkles.
Bake for 13-15 minutes.
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