(Czech finger food)
Czech Obložené Chlebíčky are little, two- or three-bite, open-face sandwiches, served
at parties or served as tapas with wine. Thin slices of baguette are covered with various spreads
(i.e. cream cheese, lobster paste or Italian-style potato salad
(Vlašský salát)), and topped with various piquant toppings (i.e. capers, slice of pickle,
deviled eggs, brie, mozzarella, tomatoes, pepperoni, salmon, etc.).
While there are open-face sandwiches made throughout the world, these are a bit special because
of the combination of ingredients, their wide variety of tastes, and their esthetic arrangement and presentation.
Obložené Chlebíčky were invented near the beginning of the 20th century by Jan Paukert, and introduced
at the Paukert Deli that opened in Prague in 1916. Outside of the Czech Republic,
we have only seen something similar in a deli in Salzburg.
The Paukert Deli today
The original Chlebíček consisted of Prague Ham, eighth of a hard-boiled egg, a slice of good Emmental
cheese, Hungarian salami, slice of tomato on a bed of piquant potato salad
made with home-made mayonnaise, the recipe for which went with Jan Paukert into his grave.
In pre-WWII Prague, the Paukert Deli became a favorite hangout of famouis actors and actresses
from the nearby National Theather, such as Zdeněk Štěpánek, Hugo Haas, Emma Destinová,
Vlasta Burian and Lída Baarová.
There is an almost infinite number of possible combinations of toppings. Here are a few most common
recipes that we have seen sold in Prague's delis.
- 1-2 fresh baguettes
- For base layer: lobster paste, cream cheese, Italian-style potato salad (Vlašský salát),
- For toppings: sweet-and-sour pickles, vine-ripened tomato, cooked ham, pepperoni, hardboiled
egg (quartered), wedges of brie or camembert, slices of blue cheese or Roquefort, yellow or red pepper
sliced into thin strips.
- For garnish: fresh parsley, basil, capers, chives, peas, red paprika, thinly sliced lemon, thinly sliced red onion.
- Slice the baguette diagonally into oval slices that are 1/3-1/2 inch, and at least 1.5x1.5 inches across.
- Spread the base layer (butter, cream cheese, potato salad, lobster paste, etc.) thick onto the baguette slices.
- Arrange individual toppings tastefully on top.
- Serve on a large serving platter.
1 6.5-oz can of Maine lobster meat
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tbsp celery stalks, finely julienned
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Dash of sugar
Dash of salt
1/4 tsp vinegar
Drain the lobster meat, clean and finely julienne
In a bowl, mix with julienned celery stalks, mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar.
Add salt to taste.
1/2 lb cream cheese
4 tbsp butter
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp anchovy paste
1/3 cup whipping cream
Dash of salt
In a bowl, mix cream cheese with softened butter, anchovy a dash of salt.
In another bowl, whip the cream and gently fold into the cheese mixture.
1/4 lb boiled shrimp, peeled, cleaned and de-veined
2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
2 tbsp cucumber, peeled and chopped
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp whipping cream
1/4 lb canned peas, drained
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the shrimp into small pieces.
In a bowl, combine the chopped cucumber, chopped egg and peas. In another bowl, whip the cream and mix with the mayonnaise.
Season with salt and pepper and lightly mix everything together.
Mayonnaise Dressing For Russian Eggs
15 g gelatin
1 cup consommé
1/2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
2 tbsp white wine
Whites and crushed shells of 2 eggs
5 1/4 oz (150 g) mayonnaise
3 tbsp milk
Dash of salt
In an enameled sauce pan, combine the consommé, gelatin, vinegar, white wine, egg whites and crushed egg shells.
Stir with a whisk until the gelatin softens; then bring almost to boiling point whisking all the time.
Remove the whisk and leave for a few minutes. Let the liquid rise to the top of the pan, and remove from the heat.
Strain the crust and liquid very gently into a bowl through a clean dish towel; do not break the crust as
it acts as an extra filter. If it is cloudy, strain again to obtain a sparklingly clear aspic jelly.
In a bowl, combine 150 g (5 1/4 lf oz, approx. 2/3 cup) mayonnaise with 160 g (2/3 cup) of the aspic jelly,
milk, vinegar and salt.
Use to decorate eggs, potato salads or fish
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Last updated: November 1, 2010