Bonnie and Clyde, rice and beans, fish and chips, peanut butter and jelly, lox and bagels. All food combinations destined for each other, meant to be together, star-crossed food loves in a crazy mixed up culinary world. And really, isn’t love all we need?
This month’s featured ingredient, chosen by Kendra at Joy in Our Home, was cream cheese. The moment it was disclosed, I knew exactly what I had to make. I had to make bagels, and I had to have lox, and I had to share with you how to set up a bagel brunch bar. These things had to happen so all could be right in the world.
I have fond memories of enjoying lox and bagels as a child. The first time I remember trying lox was when I was about 6 or 7 and my brownie troop was helping serve breakfast at a local Jewish community center for one of the holidays. I remember I found it very salty, but I was intrigued and I did like it better than the gefilte fish.
Depending on where you grew up, you may be asking yourself at this point, “What in the world is lox???” Lox, is smoked salmon belly, and can be found at specialty delis and grocery stores. Food Republic has a great little article about the differences. If you can’t find lox though, you can use nova (my sister prefers nova actually), or just regular smoked salmon. Today I used smoked wild salmon we purchased at a local warehouse store.
The combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel with just the right accompaniments is magical. There’s salty, creamy, crunchy, chewy, all in one bite! Pair it with a cup of orange juice or coffee and a newspaper (the old school paper kind), and it’s a beautiful start to a morning.
We like to set out all the accouterments for building the perfect lox and bagel sandwich on a tray and let everyone build their own at the table. There are many strong flavors included in a traditional sandwich, and I find that’s just the easiest way to keep everyone happy and get breakfast on the table quickly. It’s also fabulous when I have family or guests over because all I have to do is arrange trays, set condiments and serving utensils on the table and that’s it! When I have guests I always make sure to have topping options like butter, jam, hummus, and peanut butter on the table for those who don’t want lox and bagels that day and want something other than cream cheese.
The contents of a classic lox and bagel sandwich are: cream cheese, smoked salmon (we won’t get technical here), capers, and onions (red are traditional, but I had sweet on hand). If you don’t like raw onions, fresh radishes are a really nice alternative for adding a little sweetness and crunch. Usually, we just use plain cream cheese, but today I whipped some fresh chives into my cream cheese since my chive plant needed trimming. 😉 Enjoy darlings!
Be sure to scroll past the recipe to check out the other wonderful cream cheese inspired recipes created by my blog friends this month!
Find this recipe on the Talented Tuesday Linkup.