Kitchen Krafts: Open-Faced Sandwiches and Dessert


Open-Faced Sandwiches and Dessert

The sandwiches, served with glasses of milk and the dessert, will offer your family food from all four main food groups. Both recipes came to my family from Scandinavia. The sandwiches have five layers: bread, spread, protein, vegetable or fruit, and garnish. Each layer should be planned so that its taste blends well with all the others, so that all the colors look good together, and so that the textures complement each other. (To have complementary textures, layer something soft next to something firm or crunchy.) When you’ve made a variety of sandwiches, arrange them attractively on a large platter.

Open-Faced Sandwiches

Bread Layer

Use party-size slices, or cut regular-size bread into quarters. Dark rye bread is traditional, but whole wheat and other breads are good too. If you use white bread, try toasting it first.

Spread Layer

Butter or margarine is the traditional spread. Sometimes other flavors can be mixed into the butter by letting it get soft, then mixing in a very little bit of dry mustard, ground horseradish, onion salt, parsley, or other flavoring. Mustard, mayonnaise, or some other spread is also good. Whatever you use, cover the bread clear to the edges with the spread.

Protein Layer

Any meat you choose for this layer should be sliced very thin. Roast beef, boiled ham, and cooked turkey or the white meat of chicken are all good. Delicatessen meats such as pastrami and salami, slices of cheese or hard-cooked eggs, little shrimps, smoked salmon, and even sardines are other good choices.

Vegetable or Fruit Layer

Sometimes this layer will go better under rather than over the protein layer. In this layer, you can put thin slices of tomato, raw onion, cucumber or radish. Lettuce goes with most things, and apple slices blend well with a ham or cheese protein layer.

Cranberry-orange relish makes a good topping for ham or poultry. Be creative.

Garnish Layer

This layer is to add that little extra zing and to please the eye. Chopped green herbs, such as parsley or dill, are good. So are sauteed sliced mushrooms. A dab of mustard or mayonnaise might be good, especially if you didn’t use it in another layer. Tiny snips of chives or sprigs of watercress add flavor as well as color. Half a walnut or other nut adds crunch to a sandwich.

Strawberries in the Snow

2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed

3/4 cup sugar

2 egg whites

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

  1. 1.

    Mix 1/4 cup sugar with strawberries in large bowl and set aside.

  2. 2.

    Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks; slowly beat in 1/4 cup sugar, then put into refrigerator.

  3. 3.

    Beat last 1/4 cup sugar into whipped cream, then fold egg whites and whipped cream into strawberries. Keep chilled until sandwiches have been eaten.

[illustration] Illustrated by Perry Van Schelt