These are everything you would expect from cucumber sandwiches and more. By draining and chopping the cucumbers and incorporating them into the cream cheese mix you won't have to worry about biting into a cucumber that just won't quit!
Perfect for picnics, cocktails, receptions, tea parties, children's parties and a must for the Kentucky Derby. If you choose to serve them with wine, try a French Sancerre (white) or a dry rosé from Provence. Mint juleps is another alternative but you don't need to go overboard.
In order for these to be truly "Benedictine" they must be colored with green food coloring. You can if you must, but I try to avoid food coloring like the plague unless I am making cupcakes for my grandchildren. Instead, try adding something green and leafy like watercress.
I came across the recipe reading old issues of Southern Living and thought my readers would be interested in a variation of an old Southern classic as well as some Kentucky food history about the woman after whom this spread is named
Benedictine spread was developed in Louisville, Kentucky by Jennie Benedict (Miss Jennie), a Louisville caterer, sometime around the turn of the century. Miss Jennie was a significant force in the Louisville food and business community.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1860, Miss Jennie trained with the famous Fannie Farmer at the Boston Cooking School and returned to Louisville to open her catering business in 1893. She began her business in a small kitchen built in the backyard of her home. She eventually did so well with her catering business that she was able to move to a larger kitchen in downtown Louisville in 1900. She later opened her own restaurant, Benedict's, which was very popular with Louisville clientele.
Jennie Benedict was a fine businesswoman, becoming the first woman on the Louisville Board of Trade. She also helped start the Louisville Businesswoman’s Club in 1897 and was active in Louisville humanitarian efforts. Jennie Benedict is credited with serving the fist school lunches in Louisville - chicken salad sandwiches that were sold from a handcart. Jennie Benedict was quite well known in her time and had opportunities to relocate to larger cities; she chose to stay in Louisville instead for her entire career.
Jennie Benedict retired to her home "Dream Acre", on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River, in 1925 and wrote her autobiography, "The Road to Dream Acre". Jennie Benedict died in 1928 and was buried in Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery.
Jennie Benedict’s work defined early 20th century middle class cooking in Kentucky and her legacy continues to be found on restaurant menus and served on home tables across the state. Miss Benedict wrote her “Blue Ribbon Cook Book” in 1902. Many of the recipes contained in this cookbook are considered classics, such as Waldorf Salad and Parker House Rolls; many are considered Kentucky Classics. Interestingly, Miss Jennie did not include her recipe for Benedictine in her 1902 Blue Ribbon Cook Book, nor in any of the following three editions published in her lifetime. The recipe for Benedictine is first included in the 5th edition of Blue Ribbon Cook Book, introduced by Susan Reigler, published by University Press of Kentucky in 2008.
The things one learns when publishing a food blog!
Kentucky Benedictine Tea Sandwiches
Makes 28 tea sandwiches
- 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped cucumber (I would add 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup minced green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- a few drops of Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 48 white bread slices
- watercress leaves (optional)
- a few drops of green coloring (if you must)
- Stir together first 7 ingredients. Spread mixture on 1 side of 24 bread slices; Add a few leaves of watercress for color if you like. Top with remaining 24 bread slices. Trim crusts from sandwiches; cut each sandwich into 4 triangles with a serrated knife.
To make a dip add some sour cream