Classic Christmas Party Sandwiches

BY CATHERINE MOREAU
From the Christmas Throwdown
finger sandwiches

With Christmas fast approaching, party season has officially begun. For many, dinners and gatherings with family, friends and work colleagues are nonstop until the New Year. Whether you’re hosting or attending a party, you’re sure to be surrounded by an abundance of delicious Christmas treats.

When I was growing up, I knew that the one thing I would be sure to find at the table on Christmas Eve were those addictive little finger sandwiches. In my family, they were a staple during the holiday season and Matante Kikine’s were by far the best. Simple, scrumptious, light and highly addictive, nobody could resist those little suckers. Before you knew it, you had already inhaled eight in the space of five minutes.

Therefore, in memory of my aunt and her signature party dish, I decided to prepare some for the Christmas Throwdown that recently took place. The beauty of these sandwiches is that you can prepare various kinds that guests can pick and choose from. On this occasion, I opted for egg, chicken and pâté de foie. Other classics include minced ham and cream cheese and smoked salmon rolls. To bring them to the next level, white and brown bread can be used to create a two-toned effect. If you’re feeling especially daring, you can cut them into different shapes according to their filling (mini triangles, rectangles and squares). And remember: the crusts must always be cut off! Your refined and sophisticated guests need not be bothered with something as plebeian as sandwich crusts.

To me, these pillowy delights are a reminder that Christmas recipes don’t always have to be complicated to be delicious and a hit with guests. The best recipes are often the simplest and these sandwiches attest to that. The Christmas season can often be hectic and, at times, somewhat overwhelming. This recipe is quick, easy, and best of all, the fillings can be prepared ahead of time. After all, you want to make sure that you can enjoy the festivities to their fullest!

Yield: Makes roughly 40 finger sandwiches

Basic ingredients
2 loaves of generic ultra-soft bread (1 white and 1 brown)
Softened butter

Chicken sandwiches
2 skinless chicken breasts
Tarragon (fresh or dried)
Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water. Add a few sprigs of tarragon to the water as well as salt and pepper.
  2. Bring water to a boil and add whole chicken breasts. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Drain water and chop chicken into little pieces.
  4. Add mayonnaise (2 spoonfuls usually does the trick), a few finely sliced tarragon sprigs and season with salt and pepper.

*

Egg sandwiches

6 large eggs
1 shallot
Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Hard boil the eggs and chop them roughly.
  2. Add the finely diced shallot, mayonnaise, and salt & pepper.

*

Pâté de foie (liver pâté)
1 liver pâté
Dijon mustard

Method

  1. Remove the gelatin layer at the top of the pâté.
  2. Using the back of a spoon, smooth out the pâté so that it will be easier to spread on the bread.
  3. Add a thin layer of Dijon mustard onto the bread.

Assembly
Start an assembly line and add a thin layer of butter on each slice followed by the filling of your choice. Remove the crusts, cut in fancy little shapes, and voilà, that’s all there is to it!

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