Breaking bread: My Salmon and Dill Bagel.
Smoky salmon. A rich and golden mustard and honey dressing, a thick comforting spread, and a silky and runny poached egg. Breakfast allows indulgence like few other times of the day. And it only takes little to transform your mediocre morning meal into a chance to treat yourself. My Salmon and Dill Bagel is done in a couple of minutes and, despite its look, require almost no skill at all. So make the choice, today, to treat yourself.
Today, over an ample breakfast table (it is the anniversary of Jesus’ return from the dead) my sister showed polaroid pictures of her latest trip to Puerto Rico. So there we were, scooping runny egg-yolks out of their shells, spreading fancy salads onto our buns and nibbling on fresh and sweet fruit. I believe there was even rose jam. Pictures were being passed around, dad commented on how our generation made no sense to him (“why on earth would you take bleak polaroids if you have a DSLR at your disposal?”), and grandma told the story of an early type of camera they called “the box” (which apparently was somewhat like a polaroid camera, but also mostly not). And through this all: The excited chit-chat, the clattering of spoons and the “ohs” and “ahs” I couldn’t help but wonder. Why don’t we do this more often? Treat ourselves to nice things, be they decadently topped flaky danish buns, or trips around the world? Why do we wait, and wait, and wait, until we allow ourselves to indulge for a short while, only to later feel bad about it? I envy those who do indulge, especially in travel. My hunger for the world is raging, but I keep it on a strict diet, because I feel I can’t allow myself to take off the time. I should be working much more, should be making more progress, should waste less time. “I can’t afford to take of time to travel to Lisbon, let alone Puerto Rico”, I tell myself whilst watching Frank Underwood charmingly threaten his way into the presidency (sorry for the spoiler). I come from a culture of Muesli for breakfast. The kind with coarse oats and too many raisins. Where the occasional banana chip brings you shortlived happiness.
Some time ago I decided to treat myself more. To take off the time. To just eat thick slices of mango on toast, to treat myself more, and to do it now. And then I forgot. Because I was too busy with distracting myself from the pressure my “not now – you first have to work more” mentality had caused me. It is an odd thing to realise how much time I have spend, and will likely spend, with distracting myself from the stress I cause myself, from the crippling paralysis that the fear of not performing well enough is accompanied with. But enough with that. It spring, time for new beginnings, for new promises. I, hereby, solemnly swear that I am up to
no good all the good things. Let’s indulge more. Let’s treat ourselves.
I think that, oddly enough, this thought was formed around making today’s dish. I wondered when I had made a fancy breakfast for the last time, and I couldn’t quite recall. But I realized the reason for this wasn’t because I didn’t have the time – since there is almost no work involved in filling a bagel, seriously -, it was because I thought I shouldn’t be doing it. Because it felt like “no wasn’t the time”, maybe later, maybe on the weekend, maybe next time I have friends over. But screw that. Treat yourself to this awesome little snack. Smoky salmon, a smooth and comforting sauce, a golden and rich dressing, and the most golden egg yolk oozing all over the place. This is what breakfast should be like every single day. Because we certainly deserve nice things.
My Salmon and Dill Bagel.
- Smoked Salmon
- Crème Fraîche
- Mustard (Dijon)
- Honey (Runny)
- Gem lettuce
- Mustard Sauce: Mix equal parts of fine Dijon Mustard and Runny Honey together, add enough lemon juice to turn this into a slightly runny sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste (if you are fancy, substitute the peper for chilli flakes)
- Remember the stuffing for my stuffed chicken breasts? Mix crème fraîche, chopped fresh dill, and finely sliced shallot. Add peper and salt to taste.
- Using a vegetable peeler create fine, translucent cucumber ribbons. Was the baby gem lettuce leaves.
- Poaching the egg: Bring a skillet or sauce pan with water to a simmer. Use so much water that it would barely cover a whole egg if you were to put it into the pan. Add a splash of white vine vinegar. Crack open the eggs and let it slowly glide into the running water. Imagine you wanted to cover the egg with a blanket, using a spoon – this is how you should try to keep the egg close to the white. Let simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and pat dry.
- If necessary, or prefered, heat up or toast (slice in half an pop into the toaster) your bagel.
- Spread your crème on the bottom half of the bagel. Layer plenty of smoked salmon on top. Drizzle over your mustard sauce. Add shreds of the lettuce and ribbons of cucumber on top. Top with the poached egg and Cover with the top half of the bagel. Done.
- If you’d like, slice a ripe avodaco finely and add a few slices under the salmon. I did when I took the pictues for this one. To be honest though – I think it doesn’t really need it.