Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches with Chili and Cilantro, for Now

I am in a bit of a sinkhole at the moment.  

I’m researching the role of pasta in post-unification Italy for my final paper this semester.  I am also recovering from making the world’s worst pudding on Friday night.  And if I am truly being honest, I did not fair much better attempting a chocolate poppy seed krantz cake on Saturday.  Though, I did learn if your dough only slightly rises you can turn krantz cake into "rugelach." 

What I really want to do is sit down with the Sunday Times, have a mangled krantz-rugelach with a cup of coffee, and stop time.  But a paper on pasta in Futurist-Fascist Italy isn’t going to write itself.

Which is why I am bringing you cucumbers in November. 

This is one of my all-time favorite sandwiches.  They are perfect for summer, which is when I first made them. (Dave and I smuggled them onto the Downeaster to Portland a few months ago.)  They are also quick, and so they fit in any old time.

The ingredients hardly require a garden in our age of the supermarket.  It is also worth mentioning if you make any of Jeni’s ice creams—and are bagel-deprived—you’ll need a use for the leftover cream cheese.  (Here's my most recent incarnation using her lovely base.)

So allow me to introduce the cream cheese cucumber sandwich, of which I am ideological fan.  In reality those two need some spunk to get me excited about consuming them in tandem.  The chili garlic sauce, cilantro, and capers come in to make the magic happen.  You’ll also want a really good sourdough or nutty multigrain bread because the outsides are as important as the insides when crafting a sandwich.

Which we have the luxury of securing.  Because—thankfully—this is not fascist Italy.  This is post-ice cream New England, with sandwiches.

Now back to the twentieth century.

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches with Chili and Cilantro


4 ounces cream cheese
2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
10 to 12 cilantro sprigs, stems and leaves finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
black pepper and salt to taste
~1½ tbsp chili garlic sauce, divided
1 cucumber, sliced
slices of bread (I prefer sourdough)


Combine the cream cheese, capers, cilantro, and scallion; taste and adjust seasoning.  Spread a little of the mixture on each piece of sourdough (about a tbsp).  Place a few slices of cucumber on one slice of bread and spread about a tsp of chili sauce on the other.  Combine sides.  Slice.  Eat.

Makes 3 to 4 sandwiches

-Instructions are based on one sandwich.  The number of sandwiches will depend on how thick you spread it.

-A word about the krantz cakes.  I've been using active dry yeast (instead of instant) in recipes and this has historically worked out well, despite defiantly not dissolving the active yeast.  But my yeast is getting old.  


  1. I thought I was the only one who ate cream cheese, hot sauce, cucumber sandwiches. I'm really glad to know that I'm not. I'll have to try it with the cilantro and scallion, they look like great additions.

  2. Ooh, yes! Cucumber and herbs with cream cheese is just one of those perfect combinations but I've never tried adding hot sauce. Super interesting.

  3. Good luck with your paper, Emily. I like this take on the cream cheese and cucumber sandwich, and I've definitely got leftover cream cheese from my recent ice cream making (so far, the solution has just been to make more ice cream).

  4. I love toasted grainy bread slathered thick with cream cheese. This takes it to the next level! Great idea to mix in all those salty-spicy flavors.