This is a variation of a traditional Southern recipe. Referred to as Benedictine Spread in Louisville, Kentucky, the dainty tea sandwich spread was created by Miss Jennie C. Benedictine in the late 1890's. It is terrific for all sorts of sandwiches and wraps and also makes a gread dip and filling.
Makes approximately 1 cup
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
- 1 medium small sweet onion, peeled and grated
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- ¼ tsp green hot sauce, to taste
- salt, to taste
Place the cream cheese in a bowl and mash with a fork or beater if it is not very soft.
Wrap the cucumber in cheesecloth or press into a fine mesh sieve (also called a chinoise). Press out as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid and add the cucumber to the cream cheese.
Similarly, press the liquid out of the grated onion, but add the onion juice to the cream cheese and discard the remaining onion (or save in a zip-lock bag in the freezer for your next batch of stock).
Add the mayonnaise and hot sauce to the cream cheese and blend well. Season to taste with salt.
The classic presentation is to spread the cucumber cream cheese on thinly sliced white bread, trim the crusts, and cut into finger sandwich triangles, squares, or diamonds.
This makes a great sandwich or wrap spread with one or more of these additions:
- chicken breast or smoked turkey
- blackened catfish or smoked salmon
- crisped bacon
- sliced tomato, bell pepper, or roasted red bell pepper
- leafy green lettuce or alfalfa sprouts
- fresh basil, mint, or dill
- sunflower seeds
- sliced black olives
Use it as a dip, spread for crackers, or stuff into one of these:
- cherry tomatoes
- celery sticks
- deviled eggs
- scooped-out thick cucumber rounds topped with fresh dill or vegetarian caviar
- Belgian endive leaves topped with smoked salmon