Use day-old, thinly-sliced, square white loaves. Cut off the crusts and butter the bread sparingly, using soft butter so the slices don’t break. Add a modest amount of filling, and no more; two tablespoons per slice of any of the fillings below is sufficient. Spread the filling, add any garnish, and place another slice on top. Using a long, sharp knife, make an X-cut to get four smaller triangular sandwiches. Add a couple of long toothpicks to help stabilize while you are cutting.
Place the cut sandwiches on a serving platter, and cover with a damp napkin. Refrigerate for at least four hours.
FILLINGS: Mix up a small batch of three of four of your favorite sandwich fillings. You can use a curried egg salad (the usual mayo and eggs but add 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder,) tuna salad with lots of celery, deviled ham with some extra mayo, scrimp salad, etc. Try to pick out flavors that will taste well together. Some popular combos are:
Anchovy butter and Greek olives: combine 1 ounce of anchovy fillets, 2 tablespoons of butter, and a pinch of black pepper in a small food-processor. Spread very thinly on the bread, and add a layer of finely-sliced pitted Greek olives on top.
Boiled chicken and ham: Thinly sliced, with mustard. Avocado slices: with Dijon mustard dressing and chives. Tomato slices with basil.
And, of course.cucumber. When making such sandwiches keep in mind that the bread should be sliced thinly and served without crusts. The sandwich should be large enough for only two bites and, even though many people serve sandwiches cut in the shape of stars, crescents and other odd shapes, it is far more
elegant for sandwiches to be cut in thin rectangular, triangular, round or square shapes. As to the choice of bread, white bread, challah, light rye bread, Danish pumpernickel and dark Russian bread make the best tea sandwiches. As to fillings for sandwiches, the choices are virtually infinite. Consider some of the following:
White meat of chicken or turkey with mayonnaise or butter White meat of chicken with chutney butter Chopped chicken with chopped almonds