Posts Tagged cream cheese

The Dish: Lox Bialy at Boulevard Bread Company

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Monthly Feature, By Jarred Kibbey

Each month, Jarred highlights one of his favorite dishes from around Little Rock.

There are few dishes that I have found in Little Rock that I can place on a list for “best sandwich,” “best breakfast item,” and “best lunch* item,” but the lox bialy at Boulevard Bread Company is firmly on each of those lists for me.

Lox isn’t something I ran across growing up in rural Arkansas. To be honest, I didn’t even know what lox was for the longest time. Once I found out, the idea of eating fish for breakfast wasn’t something that sounded appetizing – or even a good idea. Where I grew up, there was only one way to prepare fish, deep fried with a cornmeal batter. So I avoided it as long as I could.

When I finally tried lox, it was at Boulevard Bread. I was instantly hooked and had to order another one the next day. The cured salmon goes so well with the chewy onion bialy, briny capers, sliced red onions, cream cheese, mixed greens, and tomato. I am not sure what it is about this specific sandwich, but I have ordered similar dishes at other places and nothing comes close.

I have tried other variations of the sandwich at Boulevard when they were out of the onion bialy. I have tried it on a cheese bialy, but it isn’t the same. It needs the sharpness of the onion cooked in to the bialy. I have tried it on the multigrain bread, and it doesn’t hold up as well as the bialy. I have a friend who swears by subbing the cream cheese for goat cheese, it takes it to a whole other level. I want to try it, but I just can’t bring myself to mess with something I love so much.

I crave this sandwich and come to Boulevard specifically for it. Boulevard has a wonderful, creative brunch menu and I have tried many of the dishes. I say “tried” and not “ordered” because I always bum a bite off someone else at the table, because I am always going to order the lox bialy. Ordering the same dish every time is something I really try to avoid, but I just can’t help it when it comes to this sandwich.

*Note: lox bialy is only served until noon. I was severely disappointed when I tried to order one for a late lunch and subsequently threw a temper tantrum when I got back to the car.

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Mighty Good Recipe: Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushrooms

Ready to go in the oven!

Ready to go in the oven!

I cook it. You read it. And who knows…maybe you’ll give it a try!

The stuffed mushroom is my official dinner party, go-to, must-make appetizer. There are a million recipes out there and believe me, I’ve tried most of them. What makes the stuffed mushroom so beloved at gatherings? Well, for starters, it’s a mushroom. I mean, who doesn’t love a good mushroom? Next, you have the endless possibilities of what to actually stuff in the mushroom. Finally, every great appetizer tends to have that wonderful, hand-held factor going for it. Hello, stuffed mushroom!

In the past, I’ve favored meat options like Italian sausage or ground beef. Currently, I’m all about the cream cheese. This Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushroom recipe seems to be a crowd pleaser. I recently made it for a small gathering and the entire platter was devoured within minutes.

The recipe itself is very easy to make, although a bit time-consuming due to the mushroom prep work. Personally, I find it somewhat relaxing culling out mushrooms while watching a basketball game. But that’s me. Others might find this step quite boring.

Here’s a tip: always use a small spoon to dig out the mushroom cap and innards. The bluntness of the spoon actually works in your favor. Another tip: place the mushroom cap in the palm of your hand and then go at it with your spoon. Third tip: buy big mushrooms!

Once you’re finished prepping the mushrooms, give the dug-out pieces a good chop and sauté in pan. Just click on the recipe’s link to find the remaining directions. The entire recipe is very easy and absolutely perfect for dinner parties. Why? Because you can prepare these a full day in advance and then just pop in the oven 20 minutes before your guests arrive. Also, feel free to tinker around with the recipe. For example, add bacon bits to the stuffing for a meatier taste. The cayenne pepper seems to really stand out in this recipe (in a good way) but be careful not to be too heavy-handed with this ingredient.

Finally, stuffed mushrooms typically aren’t visually appealing. Remedy that by topping each cap with some finely chopped, vibrant green onions.

Enjoy!

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