I have yet to tackle bagels. I have an irrational fear when it comes to making them. One day I'll muster up the guts to expand my personal comfort zone and make me some bagels. But until then, I did the almost (see NB below) next best thing. I bought a few at a local expat hangout, the Morning Star Cafe.
NB: The MSC bagels pale in comparison to Brandy's and Crowley's bagels!
But on this perfect Saturday morning, with the windows wide open and a cool breeze coming in, I realized I was missing two things to accompany my bagel and cup(s) of coffee: my favorite veggie cream cheese and a hard copy of the New York Times. And only one of which I could actually do something about.
I coarsely diced a bit of veggies I had in the house. I had half a green pepper, one very small and cute onion, a small carrot and a few cauliflower florets. Oh, and half a jalapeno from my garden. [I should learn how to do the tilda above the "n" in jalapeno on my keyboard].
Then I put it in the small whizzer attachment of my food processor.
Once chopped very finely, I placed the mixture on some cheese cloth and squeezed all the liquid out. No one wants runny cream cheese now do they? I was surprised at how much liquid came out. And all over my window ledge where I get the best natural light for photos, no less!
Next I grabbed a cute little 3 oz tub of cream cheese I bought yesterday at the Iranian store in town. Actually, I bought 8 little tubs of them since I parked illegally and didn't want to have to do that again any time soon.
Mix the cream cheese and the finely chopped veggies and then top it off with some s&p and some dried chili flakes.
Toast your bagel. And be sure to be generous with the cream cheese. Because, after all, it's about half veggies now. And hit it with some hot sauce to boot.
Now, grab your coffee and your bagel and go sit outside on your top chan and enjoy. Even if you don't have a real copy of the New York Times. Or a top chan.