The best bagel I have ever had is the classic lox and cream cheese bagel (which I didn’t even know was called that until this year). Lox is actually just another name for smoked salmon fillet. It is part of traditional Jewish cuisine and is very popular in New York. Our bagel shop on campus has a variation of it called “the Nova Bagel,” that includes tomato, lettuce, and onion which is my absolute favorite.
At home, my mom and I made a variation of this delicious bagel in appetizer form. It can actually serve as a simple snack or appetizer or if you eat a lot of them like I usually do, it can even be considered lunch! They’re very easy to assemble so you can entertain your guests with an entire plate of them.
These delicious crackers are a healthier version of the lox and cream cheese bagel since there are less carbs. It’s also more fun to eat since the crackers are small and allows for easier portion control. The honey mustard sauce is the best part, making the snack irresistible!
SMOKED SALMON & CREAM CHEESE CRACKERS
5 crackers (I used Carr’s)
Plain cream cheese
5 smoked salmon fillet pieces
Honey mustard-Dill sauce (you can either buy this in store or make from scratch)
5 pieces of fresh dill
Using a knife, smear desired amount of cream cheese onto one side of a cracker.
Place a small slice of smoked salmon on top.
Add several drops of the honey mustard-dill sauce on the salmon.
Top with a small piece of dill.
This week my school had a “Cooking For Change” event, where students can make an international dish and bring samples to share. Anyone can come eat samples of the dishes and vote on their favorites with coins, that are donated to Syrian refugees. My friend Rachel and I made Cuban guava pastries (pastelitos de guayaba). I’ve never had guava before so it was exciting to make something so new and exotic. In case you also have never tried guava, it is a tropical fruit that tastes like a mix of melon and strawberry!
Rachel had made these before so she taught me how and it turned out to be very simple. Since the stores around us don’t sell guava paste, we had to make a quick trip to Giant for our supplies: guava paste, cream cheese, and puff pastry. We used a toaster oven to bake them (in several batches), which was very convenient.
These bite-sized pastries are easy to eat and don’t create a mess. They are SO delicious, especially when they are eaten warm and fresh out of the oven. The combination of cream cheese and guava jelly melded into each other, surrounded by flaky, buttery puff pastry is…unparalleled. Another version of this dessert is using brie and jelly instead of cream cheese and guava paste, which also tastes amazing.
CUBAN GUAVA PASTRIES
2 puff pastry sheets
1 can guava paste (or jelly)
4 oz cream cheese
Using a rolling pin, roll out puff pastry sheets so they are thinner. (We used a glass bottle instead of a rolling pin.)
Cut similar-sized squares of cream cheese and place on top of guava paste.
Beat an egg. Brush egg in the shape of a grid onto puff pastry sheet. This is used to glue the 2 puff pastry sheets together.
Cover with the other puff pastry sheet.
Using a knife, cut individual squares and press 2 sheets together. Use a fork to make crimps on each side.
Brush tops with egg wash. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. If using a toaster oven, you may need several batches.