by Gayle Schmidt, Director of Special Events
In preparation for our upcoming Holiday Tea Musicales, our staff had the delicious responsibility of tasting an array of sandwiches and tea treats to ensure scrumptious spreads this December. Read on for a sneak preview.
This week we were taste testing recipes — not for Thanksgiving — but for our Holiday Tea Musicales!
Heading into the cool winter season, we tend to crave foods and spices that help us feel warm and cozy. Our caterer, The Market on Spring, keeps that in mind when crafting seasonally appropriate menus for our holiday teas, making sure there is the right balance of savory and sweetness in the offerings and the flavors are well paired.
First, we sampled the sandwiches. The filet of beef with Cambozola cheese was bold, filling, and deliciously dressed with a house-made onion jam reduction. Onions are sweated with balsamic vinegar; when the onions are cooked, they’re removed and the balsamic is further reduced into a sticky sweet glaze to be drizzled on the sandwich. What a punch of flavor it provides! The cured salmon with chive cream cheese sandwich is a classic on any high tea tier. How lucky we are that our new caterer cures their salmon in-house to their own specifications. It has such a bright flavor and balances well with the briny capers. New this season is the turkey sandwich with cranberry aioli — a surprising sweetness that goes well with the poultry de saison. After tasting it, you will want to ask for the recipe to recreate it at home with your Thanksgiving leftovers!
Other sandwiches and treats we tried were just as flavorful. Cranberry-orange scones from Balthazar Bakery were served with a very tart crème fraîche that perfectly countered the sweetness of the jam and scone.
Another new addition to the menu is the pumpkin spice tartlet. We could say that we are riding the wave of this trendy seasoning — but let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with a mini-pumpkin pie! The other sweet was up for debate — and the cooks are going back to the kitchen to make sure we get the perfect one on the menu. You’ll just have to come to a tea to find out the winner of the final kitchen battle!
Here’s what’s on the Holiday Tea Musicale menu this winter:
• Filet of beef with onion jam and Cambozola cheese on white bread
• Turkey and arugula with cranberry aioli
• Coronation chicken with golden sultanas on brioche
• Salmon with chive cream cheese and capers on rye bread
• Minted cucumber on dark bread
• Cranberry-orange scones from Balthazar’s Bakery
• Pumpkin spice tartlet with cream cheese frosting
• Chocolate dipped apricot
• AND another treat, still on the drawing board!
What treats and sandwiches are you most excited to try?