Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Year, New Foods

There is never a down day on the farm for Hubby. Livestock can't be ignored. Even on Sundays, chores need to / have to be done. On a good day with no problems, this often takes all morning. Following this, there are usually other tasks to be completed in preparation for the work of the coming week. These days, if he is home by 2:00 or 3:00pm on a Sunday, I consider myself lucky. But, it never fails, when he arrives he is starved. It's an odd time of the day...too late for lunch, too early for dinner. Often, snacks fill up the void and then compete with any dinner I may prepare.

Today, I decided to offer something different from his usual cheese and crackers, popcorn, chips or veggies and dip, or can of soup snacks. I had seen a New York Breakfast Sandwich on a popular website, and picked up the ingredients the other day during a visit to the grocery store. It seemed a perfect Sunday brunch item, even if the clock was approaching dinner time. I thought the bright flavors would satisfy his hunger, but still be a lighter option to leave room for dinner.

Smoked salmon is not new to me. I am a major fan of bagels and lox, and sometimes even snip it into my favorite egg salad (and toss in some capers). Most every Christmas season sees me preparing a smoked salmon spread for snacking with crackers. However, until now, it has mostly been a solo indulgence for me. While I did believe that Hubby would appreciate the savory flavor, I usually prepare heartier options for meals with him. It's a new year, and I think it is time to give him some new options on his plate.

He cautiously watched me prepare the first open faced sandwich. I layered on the ingredients and refused to listen to his request to omit the paper thin slices of cucumber. A couple of slices of cucumber weren't going to make him burp any more than the Mountain Dew that he was guzzling. He took a first uncertain bite, then another, and by the third chomp, I knew that I had won him over. I had just completed my own sandwich preparations when he joined me at the cutting board to make another for himself. I think that lighter options, like the New York Breakfast Sandwich, will be appearing On Our Plates a little more often in the new year.

New York Breakfast Sandwich

8 slices pumpernickel bread
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
8 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 English cucumber, thinly sliced
2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
2 tsp. chopped green onions
2 tsp. capers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Toast the bread.
Spread 1-1/2 tsp. of cream cheese on top of each slice.
Put a slice of smoked salmon, a couple of slices of onion, a slice or two of cucumber, and about 1 Tbs. of chopped tomato on top.
Sprinkle with the green onions and capers.
Season with salt and pepper. (Serves 4)

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