Bagels and schmear.

(Bagel with a pickled onion and herb schmear)

All it took was a 10,000 mile trip to New York and a feet stampingly cold day. A fleeting moment during our two week stay made mostly memorable by that wonderful balance between plate gazing at fancy restaurants and sky gazing up at iconic buildings that once belonged only in the realm of books and movies.

It took just one afternoon as we sat in the park with friends and ate plump chewy bagels smeared with cream cheese and topped with smoked salmon. I recalled dogs on leashes drifting past in coats thicker and fancier than mine. I even remembered declaring before the first bite, that I’d never really been a fan of bagels (beagles on the other hand..!). Amazing how time and place can change your mind.

Ever since that day, I’ve longed to relive our New York experience. The current cooling weather has me yearning for another return trip. This time I want to taste ALL the amazing apples at the markets, and we have yet to try a hot dog from Grays Papaya or a pizza from Roberta’s. I also need more Reubens and pickles in my life, and bagels with schmear eaten while perched on park benches.

In the mean time, I have this recipe to use whenever I’m feeling nostalgic, enjoyed with repeat applications of schmear of course. The schmear is basically good quality cream cheese mixed with whatever flavours you fancy and mine is a mixture of many things I’m currently obsessed with.

Pickled onion and herb schmear :

1 block (250g) cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 tablespoon pickled onion juice
2-3 pickled onions, chopped
1 handful of mixed herbs or peppery leaves (eg cress, radish leaves, parsley, chives) chopped
pinch of chili powder
pinch of sea salt

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process briefly until smooth. Apply thickly on sliced bagels, toast or plain crackers.

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  1. Rosa said,

    April 4, 2013 @ 12:36 am

    Beautiful bagels! The schmear sounds delicious. A great combination.



  2. Ai-Ling@blueapocalypse said,

    April 4, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

    The bagels look awesome and I love the photography in this post. I’ve never done a schmear before but from the sounds of it I need to get into this.

  3. Gemma @andgeesaid said,

    April 4, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

    YUM! the schmear sounds fabulous! xxx

  4. Caitlin said,

    April 4, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

    I remember those bagels 🙂 Maybe someday we’ll make it to your neck of the woods – one can only hope, right?

  5. Angie@Angie's Recipes said,

    April 5, 2013 @ 3:23 am

    Gorgeous bagels! I wish I could have one of your sandwiches for the dinner!

  6. Denise said,

    April 7, 2013 @ 2:35 am

    Oh, they looks wonderful. We are heading to NY in a couple weeks, and a friend just told us about Murray’s Bagels. He said NY bagels were the best he had ever had, and they ate them every morning they were there for a week.

    I have always wanted to make them at home but thought they would be too labor intense. You have inspired me!

  7. Gourmet Getaways said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 6:51 am

    It is breakfast time and you have me craving bagels with a schmear,,, sounds so delicious, I will have to try and make this too 🙂

  8. e / dig in hobart said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 11:26 am

    all i can say is … i love beagles too! woof! i’m not sure if bagels, on the other hand, can be found in hobart.

  9. Allison Day said,

    April 15, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

    Oh, this makes me want to go to NY so badly. I’ve never been, but I do love a good bagel, and I hear west coast bagels have NOTHING on NY bagels!

    Beautiful photography! ^_^

  10. The Food Sage said,

    April 17, 2013 @ 9:18 am

    I’ve never been a fan of bagels either … but now you’ve got me wondering ‘could i turn my hand to baking them?’ I love your schmear expression … sums it up pretty perfectly.

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