I am in a bit of a sinkhole at the moment.
I am researching the role of pasta in post-unification Italy for my final paper this semester. I am also recovering from making the world’s worst pudding on Friday night. And if I am truly being honest, I did not fair much better attempting a chocolate poppy seed krantz cake on Saturday. Though, I did learn if your dough only slightly rises you can turn krantz cake into "rugelach."
What I really want to do is sit down with the Sunday Times, have a mangled krantz-rugelach with a cup of coffee, and stop time. But a paper on pasta in Futurist-Fascist Italy is not going to write itself.
Which is why I am bringing you cucumbers in November.
This is one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. They are perfect for summer, which is when I first made them. (Dave and I smuggled them onto the Downeaster to Portland a few months ago.) They are also quick, and so they fit in any old time.
The ingredients hardly require a garden in our age of the supermarket. It is also worth mentioning if you make any of Jeni’s ice creams—and are bagel-deprived—you’ll need a use for the leftover cream cheese. (Here is one of my favorite recipes using her lovely base.)
So allow me to introduce the cream cheese cucumber sandwich, of which I am ideological fan. In reality those two need some spunk to get me excited about consuming them in tandem. The chili garlic sauce, cilantro, and capers come in to make the magic happen. You will also want a really good sourdough or nutty multigrain bread because the outsides are as important as the insides when crafting a sandwich.
Which we have the luxury of securing. Because—thankfully—this is not fascist Italy. This is post-ice cream New England, with sandwiches.
Now back to the twentieth century.
Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches with Chili and Cilantro
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
- 10 to 12 cilantro sprigs, stems and leaves finely chopped
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- black pepper and salt to taste
- about 1½ tbsp chili garlic sauce, divided
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- slices of bread (I recommend sourdough)
Combine the cream cheese, capers, cilantro, and scallion; taste and adjust seasoning. Spread a little of the mixture on each piece of sourdough (about a tablespoon).
Place a few slices of cucumber on one slice of bread and spread about a tsp of chili sauce on the other. Combine sides.
Slice and eat.
Makes 3 to 4 sandwiches
- Instructions are based on one sandwich. The number of sandwiches will depend on how thick you spread it.