The time has come, friends. The 141st Kentucky Derby is in a short week-and-a-half and its celebrations are officially underway! It’s definitely time to start thinking about what you’ll be feasting on at your Derby party, but no need to worry. I totally have you covered.
Derby is all about tradition, so I feel that it’s only right to start with some Derby/Louisville/Kentucky food staples for the blog’s first time covering good eats for this spectacular time of year.
Our first stop on this journey is Benedictine Spread. This cucumber-y and slightly oniony cream cheese spread was born at Benedict’s in Louisville near the beginning of the 20th century. It’s deliciously rich while still having a light and springy feel thanks to the cucumber. Benedictine can either be spread on crackers or bread slices, or can be thinned with a bit of sour cream in order to make a yummy dip for veggies. I prefer Benedictine on bread. White bread to be exact. That combo makes for the most heavenly tea sandwiches ever. Ever ever ever.
Instead of cutting my bread slices into triangles or circles, I decided to get festive and bought a horse head cookie cutter to punch out bread slices that looked like ponies. Then I felt like the ponies needed eyes, so I added a peppercorn to each.
These sandwiches come together in 30 minutes and will be a crowd pleaser for sure. Plus also, Benedictine can be prepared in advance, leaving you time to tend to other Derby party prep matters.
Stay tuned for more tasty Derby treats and a fun post on hostess gifts coming your way soon!
More Kentucky Derby Recipes:
- Hot Brown Bites
- Kentucky Derby Cookies
- Mint Julep Granita
- Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Chocolate Coconut Bourbon Truffles
- Bourbon Ball Cupcakes
Also, find Kentucky Derby Party hostess gift ideas here.
- 1 medium cucumber
- 2 tablespoons minced onion (I used a sweet onion, but white or green onions can be used instead, depending on preference)
- 8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Dash of hot pepper sauce (I started with 1 and added more to taste)
- 1 drop of green food coloring (optional…I didn’t use it)
- 20 slices white bread if using cookie cutter to cut into shapes; if making into triangle tea sandwiches, 10 slices of bread will work instead)
- Wash, dry, and peel cucumber. Slice cucumber in half lengthwise and remove seeds using a small spoon.
- Place cucumber and onion in a small food processor and pulse until cucumber is minced (this takes about five to six pulses).
- Put minced cucumber and onion in a piece of cheesecloth or in the center of a stack of several heavy-duty paper towels. Over a medium bowl, twist and squeeze cloth or paper towels to release liquid from cucumber and onions, catching the liquid in the bowl. Set the bowl of excess liquid aside.
- Add the cucumbers and onions back to the bowl of the food processor. Add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, salt, and a dash of hot pepper sauce to the food processor. Process mixture until combined, tasting and adding additional salt and hot pepper sauce as desired. If you find the mixture to be too thick, add some of the reserved liquid to the spread. Mix in the drop of green food coloring, if desired. Set aside.
- Cut bread into shapes using cookie cutter. If making into triangle tea sandwiches instead, cut crust off of bread slices, and then cut each piece of bread in half diagonally.
- Build sandwiches using two cut bread pieces and 1 tablespoon of Benedictine per sandwich.