East Indian tea sandwiches
The Cilantro-Peanut Spread is a zesty complement to the cooling flavors of the cucumber and potato in the filling for these out-of-the-ordinary sandwiches. For more intensity, add an extra Thai chili pepper; for a less assertive flavor, substitute a jalapeno or serrano.
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 Thai chili pepper, coarsely chopped (seeds included)
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
Dash of salt, or to taste
1 red boiling potato
Dash of salt
4 slices of white potato bread, crusts removed
To complete the recipe
Four ¼-inch-thick tomato slices
Dash of freshly ground pepper
Dash of salt
½ cucumber, peeled and diagonally cut into eight ½-inch-thick slices
Two 1/8 inch-thick red onion slices
To make the sandwich spread, process all of the ingredients in a food processor until the peanuts are finely chopped but not puréed. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To make the filling, cover the potato with water in a small saucepan; add a dash of salt. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the potato is fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then drain again. (Or cook the potato in the microwave.) Allow the potato to cool, then cut into about eight ¼-inch-thick slices.
To prepare the bread, lightly toast the bread slices. Spread ¼ of the peanut spread on each bread slice.
To assemble each sandwich, top the spread on 1 bread slice with half of the potato and tomato slices; sprinkle with pepper and salt. Then add a layer each of cucumber and onion slices. Close the sandwich with another bread slice, spread side down, and slice it diagonally twice to form 4 triangles.
This spread will keep for up to 2 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. Assemble the sandwiches up to 1 hour before serving; if held longer, the toasted bread will soften.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.