Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Secret Revealed

For years our friend Larry has been serving us these sweet onion tea sandwiches that we always assumed could not possibly be as simple as they turn out to be.

Yesterday I was tasked with making "snacks" for about 20 people so I decided to put these sneaky little delectables on the menu.

I felt truly devious, because I knew exactly what the guests were in for. Originally we were planning on 18 persons for the event. Nearly 30 showed up. Predictably, the sandwiches were devoured in short order. And now I am going to reveal to the rest of the world what Larry has been keeping such a well-guarded (maybe not) secret.

Start with a loaf of thinly sliced brioche. You could also use a hallah bread for this. The point is to make the sandwiches out of a rich, eggy bread, however you chose to do so. But I suppose even a garden variety white bread would do in a pinch.

I got my brioche at Whole Foods by ordering it the day before. There was a brief moment of panic. I went in to retrieve the brioche at the appointed hour yesterday and an unwitting clerk had placed it on the shelf for sale to the general public. I began to imagine the disaster that would ensue without our brioche. Fortunately it was still on the shelf.

We were saved.

Now take one Vidalia onion, peel it and slice it thinly as well.

Make as many sandwiches as the number of brioche slices with allow, laying a thin smear of mayonnaise on two pieces of bread, placing some onion slices on one piece, then covering with the second slice of bread. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut as many rounds from your assembled sandwiches as you can, avoiding the crust as much as possible.

To finish the sandwiches, finely chop a fistful of flat-leaf parsley. Spread some mayonnaise around the outside edges of the sandwich rounds and roll them in the parsley.

When the onion sandwiches are complete, stack them proudly on a pedestal platter and serve for hors d'oeuvres. They would be delicious with a voluptuous Vouvray wine.

But whatever you do, don't give away the secret.

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