Update: The winner of the Sam’s Club giveaway is Barbara N. Nice start to a Monday, eh, Barb? Check your email for details.
I have to tell you that I have a list of kryptonite foods -foods against which I have absolutely zero self control- and today’s post contains seven of them in one form or another. In other words, this is pretty darned close to perfection in my book.
My current (current because it changes from time to time) kryptonite foods list is:
- Cream Cheese
- Smoked fish (in general)
- Smoked Salmon (specifically)
- Bagels (in general)
- Everything Bagels (specifically)
- Pumpernickel Everything Bagels (Black Russian bagels) Fuggedaboudit. That’s as good as it gets.
- Garlic-stuffed kalamata olives
Living as far out as I do, it’s not often I can lay my hands on some of those ingredients, so when I do, I go a bit nutso. For example, that lady who was frantically stuffing all the Black Russian bagels in the bin into her bakery bag at Wegman’s? That was me. And the gal at Sam’s Club who was desperately clutching the packages of smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, fresh dill, lemons and a boneless leg of lam? Yours truly. I can’t help myself. The lamb just sounded goooooooooood.
Bless Sam’s Club for carrying everything but the bagels. (And they DO have bagels… just not the Black Russian variety.)
Do you like flavoured cream cheese? I am insanely devoted to it. I love the creamy, rich cheese when it’s completely infused with herbs and citrus, garden vegetables and garlic, chives, or -for something completely different- a little maple syrup and cinnamon. Here’s where I twitch with desire a bit… My all-time favourite version of this concoction is a light lemony cream cheese studded with chopped fresh dill, parsley and green onion. HOLLA!
I’m sorry. Sometimes I lose my head over cream cheese. It’s a sickness. I’m working on it.
Here’s the beautiful thing of it; although I could probably easily eat an entire batch of it myself in one sitting, (Hangs head in shame.) I cover it tightly and pop it into the refrigerator where it will last (improving daily) for about one week. I can’t promise that I am above walking past the fridge, throwing the door open and scooping my finger through the bowl from time to time. Remember, cream cheese=kryptonite.
I have good news, though! This is the time of year that many folks are resolved to eat better than they did in the previous year. If you’re in that camp, you can easily substitute Neufchâtel Cheese (commonly sold by major brands as Low-Fat Cream Cheese or 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese) for the regular full-fat cream cheese without sacrificing any of the quality, flavour, or smooth creamy texture you want. Big old win!
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that the Lemon Dill Spreadable Cream Cheese goes beautifully on my beloved toasted Black Russian bagels topped with flaked smoked salmon, capers, and a pinch of fresh dill, natch.
But that’s not all it’s great on; it is the be-all-and-end-all on a roasted turkey or chicken breast sandwich with baby spinach and black olives, or as a dip for vegetable sticks, or spread on toast all by its lovely self. Get creative! Spread it on a bun for a grilled turkey burger or on a flat bread for a lamb wrap. The fresh, light, creamy, dilly cheese goes just about anywhere!
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- zest of one lemon
- juice of ½ to 1 whole lemon, to taste
- ⅓ cup minced fresh dill weed, lightly packed
- ¼ cup minced fresh flat leaf or curly parsley, loosely packed
- 2 tablespoons minced green onions, green part only
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pumpernickel everything bagel (Black Russian bagel) or your preferred savoury bagel
- 1 teaspoon softened butter
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Lemon Dill Spreadable Cream Cheese
- ¼ cup flaked or 2 thin slices smoked salmon
- 5 to 10 pickled capers, drained
- fresh dill, to taste
- Add the cream cheese, lemon zest, juice of ½ a lemon (to start with), dill weed, parsley and green onions to a mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.) Mix with a hand mixer on high (or on high on the stand mixer) until the cream cheese is fluffy, about 1½ minutes. Taste the cream cheese and add more lemon juice, if desired, along with salt and black pepper to taste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on high an additional 30 seconds, or until everything is fully incorporated. Scrape the contents into a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for at least an hour before using and up to a week.
- Slice open the bagel and spread ½ a teaspoon of softened butter on each cut surface. Broil under a hot broiler just until the butter is bubbly and the bagel is toasted on top. Remove the bagel from the oven and let cool until it is comfortable to handle.
- Spread about 2 tablespoons of the Lemon Dill Spreadable Cream Cheese on the bottom half of the bagel. Layer on the flaked or sliced smoked salmon, as many capers as you'd like and fresh fronds of dill, if desired. Top with the top half of the bagel and enjoy!
Now a giveaway!
Sam’s Club contacted me before the holidays offering a giveaway to one of my readers. With all that went on around here, the post didn’t happen. Sam’s Club has graciously offered to let me do the giveaway in spite of the fact that I didn’t get the post up in time. I am grateful, because I’m a big fan of Sam’s Club. With such a big family to manage, Sam’s Club is the go-to place for paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, etc..) and mega packs of juice boxes. I love the selection of fresh meats (and the price is always competitive), produce and dairy products. Thank you Sam’s Club! So what are we giving away today? A Modern Cocktail Holiday Mixer Party Pack! Sam’s Club says, “This fun, non-alcoholic drink mixer pack will turn the average consumer into a modern day mixologist. The Modern Cocktail Holiday Mixer Variety Pack contains our top selling holiday mixers to include 4 Margarita Mixers, 4 Martini Mixers, 4 Berrytini Mixers and 3 Champagne Toppers. The pack also contains salt and sugar crystals to finish off any premium cocktail.” All you have to do is add liquor!
To enter, just leave a comment below telling me how your holidays were. Did you get to see family? Did you stay home hunkered in? Talk to me!
The winner will be chosen at random and notified by next Monday, January 14th, 2013.
Disclosure: This contest is open only to US Residents due to shipping restraints. Sam’s Club provided a membership and covered my food costs for the recipe, and is providing the prize to the winner, but all opinions are my own.