My neighbor and I went to Sam's Bagels in Reisterstown the other week. I got a breakfast sandwich and she got a tuna fish, both on their daily fresh bagels. Super yummy but it got me thinking about toppings that go with bagels and cream cheese that are protein-based but not lox or whitefish. I'm just not a fan of either, but I understand how it would go lovely with the cream cheese. The typical turkey, chicken and ham just didn't appeal to me with a cream cheese base.
I suddenly thought about a favorite treat we enjoyed at work and home that looked strange to me but was so tasty! In the early 1990s, someone introduced me to this concoction. She put a brick of cream cheese on a plate, poured a jar of cocktail sauce with tiny shrimp over the entire brick. We then cut off chunks of cheese and spread it on crackers. It was delicious! I had my doubts when I first tried it, but it soon became a special treat. I'm going to show you two ways to serve this. I'm thinking the shrimp topping the cream cheese spread would be lovely for a brunch, but dicing the shrimp and putting it into the spread would be a perfect smear (or schmear, to be technical)! Top it with thinly sliced scallions to add some color with a mild onion flavor.
Lori Edmonds is a Reisterstown resident and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
•1/2-lb. cooked shrimp, whole if you place on top or diced if you mix it together
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 bagels, your preference
2 tbs. cocktail sauce
½ tsp. lemon zest
1 tbs. sliced scallions
Pinch of salt and pepper
Cream the cheese with cocktail sauce, zest, salt and pepper. Add shrimp if preference. Refrigerate to firm up. Toast bagel halves, smear and garnish with scallions.