A Traditional Irish Tea: An Array of Tea Sandwiches, Potato Leek Soup, and Irish Soda Bread
For a traditional Irish Tea befitting St. Patrick’s Day, I decorate my kitchen table with my green and white fine china. I also found several cake stands in various shades of green. Though the plates and cake stands don’t match exactly, they provide a beautiful backdrop for an Irish Tea as they are all in the same color scheme. Sometimes, the best tablescapes use a variety of china. For this tea, I made several tea sandwiches, including the beautiful Multi-layer Ham Stack, one of my all-time favorites. The sliced ham is mixed with mayo and Dijon mustard while the cream cheese is mixed with the mellow flavor of freshly chopped chives. The two mixtures are then layered alternately between soft white and wheat bread, and then sliced, creating a beautiful four-layer design. The dainty cucumber sandwiches have a bit of zing from the white wine vinegar and a delicate herb flavor from the tarragon. Finally, the Cinnamon Swirl Bread tea sandwiches with cream cheese, honey, and dates provide just the right sweetness. In the menu, I’ve also included a variation on the traditional Irish Soda Bread as well as a Potato-Leek Soup with Parmesan croutons. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
An Array of Tea Sandwiches:
Multi-layer Ham Stacks
Serves: 12 small sandwiches
- ¼ lb. sliced Black Forest Ham, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon mayo
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh chives
- 4 slices soft white bread
- 4 slices soft wheat bread
- In a small bowl, combine ham, mayo, mustard, and small pinch salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, stir the cream cheese, chives, and a pinch of salt and pepper, until smooth.
- Place two slices of wheat bread on a cutting board. Spread half of the ham mixture onto the two slices of wheat bread. Top each with a slice of white bread. Cover both slices of the white bread with all of the cream cheese mixture. Top each with a slice of wheat bread. Top both with the remainder of the ham mixture. Top both sandwiches with the final two slices of white bread.
- Using a serrated knife, remove the crusts from the bread. Cut each sandwich in half, then cut each half into thirds.
Cucumber-Vinegar Tea Sandwiches
Serves: 16 small sandwiches
- 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon freshly minced tarragon
- 8 slices soft white bread
- Place cucumber slices in a thin layer in a colander and sprinkle with vinegar and salt. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spread the butter lightly on one side of each of the slices of bread. Layer the cucumber slices on half of the slices of bread. Sprinkle with tarragon, if using.
- Top sandwiches with the top slice of bread. Using a serrated knife, cut the crusts off the sandwiches and cut each sandwich into quarters.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread with Cream Cheese, Honey, and Dates
Serves: 12 small sandwiches
- ½ cup dates, chopped small
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped small
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 slices cinnamon swirl bread
- In a small bowl, combine the dates, toasted walnuts, and cream cheese. Lay out 4 slices of cinnamon bread on a cutting board. Divide cream cheese mixture evenly over the 4 slices. Drizzle honey over the cream cheese mixture and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top.
- Top each sandwich with the top layer of cinnamon swirl bread. Using a serrated knife, remove crusts from all of the sandwiches. Cut each sandwich in thirds.