Sunday, December 30, 2012

Super simple herb cream cheese

New York everything bagel, well toasted
with herb cream cheese

My first job (at 16) was in a bagel shop/cafe.  The lady who owned the bakery was a native New Yorker and we baked the most amazing authentic New York bagels.  This ignited in me a love of these chewy, versatile, circular goodies-- though I am normally disappointed by the fare baked up in my local bagel shops. awesome sister in law recently returned from a trip to New York, and brought me home a half dozen bagels!  When she ran them over to me, I immediately opened the bag and took a bite of the nearest everything.  It didn't disappoint!  (Thanks Miss!)

I like my everything with plain cream cheese, but I figured for a special bagel that traveled so far I could come up with something a little more flavorful.  So with some pantry ingredients I had on hand I whipped up this super simple herb cream cheese spread.

Super simple herb cream cheese spread

8 oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
dash of salt
fresh herbs on hand, chopped or dried herbs
Scant tbls club soda

Note on the herbs: I happened to have fresh parsley, basil and thyme.  I used a couple leaves of basil, a sprig of parsley and a sprig of thyme.  If you don't have any fresh herbs, just throw in some dried herbs of your preference.  I happen to love fresh thyme, but a little goes a long way as it can overshadow other flavors.

Note on the club soda: This was the technique of the bagel shop I worked for- club soda in the cream cheese!  Why?  Have you ever tasted cream cheese that had a whipped, airy quality to it?  Chances are there was a little club soda mixed in it!  Start with a scant tbls, then add more to get the desired texture.  Be careful not to add too much or the cream cheese will be too soft and runny.  Of course if you don't have club soda on hand, just omit it- the cream cheese will be thicker and not as spreadable, but it won't affect the taste.

Blend all ingredients in food processor with metal blade attachment until herbs are chopped nicely.  Taste, then add more salt, garlic powder, and onion powder if desired.

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