Most of the time, we do our retro recipes as a household. Even when I do the cooking and Buzz does the tasting, he knows what’s being made.
This one, I kept a complete surprise until the last possible moment. Frosted party sandwiches are pretty spectacular, particularly when they’re unexpected.
- 1 loaf white bread
- 6 pineapple slices, well drained
- 1 can SWANSON BONED CHICKEN, diced
- ¼ cup diced celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped green olives
- 2 teaspoons pickle relish
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 packages Philadelphia cream cheese
- Cut 18 slices of bread into rounds the same size as the pineapple slices. Lay pineapple slices on 6 of the rounds. Spread 6 more with filling and stack, sandwich style. Top with remaining bread rounds.
- Mix the cream cheese with enough cream to spread easily. Swirl it on the sides and top of chicken-pineapple treats and garnish with olives, carrot curls, and a sprig of watercress.
- These can be made up hours ahead of time, covered with waxed paper and set aside to chill until you're ready to serve. Makes 6.
This “unusual recipe” was shared by Mrs. George Parker’s floating head.
The chicken salad part isn’t terribly unusual or interesting. (Which is good, I guess?)
Cutting bread into circles and stacking pineapple and chicken salad on top felt surprisingly normal, too.
The worst part of making this was trying to “frost” the sandwich. The top isn’t so bad, the pineapple isn’t so bad — but the chicken salad kept getting stuck to the cream cheese as it smeared by, pulling out of the sandwich and making the frosting lumpy. I had to put on a pretty thick layer to keep it cohesive and looking reasonably smooth.
I was so glad that I managed to keep this a surprise, though. Buzz’s face was totally worth it. He just stared for a solid minute.
Then he asked if he could eat the garnish first.
Meanwhile, the kids (who were exempted from this recipe test) were expressing a wide range of reactions. The older ones described how scary and disgusting it looked in great detail, the youngest was crying because he wanted a cupcake too and it was clearly a cupcake on Daddy’s plate and why weren’t we giving him a cupcake?
After the first bite, Buzz proclaimed, “This is pretty good.”
Then it was my turn to stare for a solid minute. “Seriously?”
“Yeah, it all works somehow!”
Verdict: Pretty good. Somehow.
The pineapple and chicken salad balance each other very nicely. If the cream cheese icing hadn’t been so thick, it would have been a very enjoyable sandwich-salad. The presentation is simultaneously impressive and terrifying.