We love bagels with plain cream cheese in my house, but I’m always looking for ways to be a little more creative and add other ingredients.
You can buy flavoured cream cheese, but I am always a little disappointed by the flavour. Perhaps it’s because it has sat on the shelf of the supermarket for a while. Using fresh ingredients is always going to taste better and the options are endless.
This is a spicy recipe and so quick to make if you use a gas hob. I have been burning the skins off peppers over gas flames since I saw Jamie Oliver do it many, many years ago, but they can always be roasted under a hot grill or in the oven. So much quicker over the flame though!
I have used jalapeno peppers which aren’t super spicy, but it’s always best to taste the chilli to find out just how hot it is first. I used two for this recipe and they add a lovely spicy, smoky flavour that works well with the zesty, fresh lime. An additional 60 grams of cheddar cheese also works well in this too, but I would have cucumber or salad leaves rather than smoked salmon if I added extra cheese.
1-2 fat fresh jalapeno chilli peppers – depending on how spicy you like it
280g pack of good quality cream cheese – I used Philadelphia full fat
2tbs fresh dill – chopped
Freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt
Prick the chillies all over and using metal tongs, place directly onto a gas flame and burn the skin until it is black all over. If you don’t prick the skin, the chillies can explode!
When the chillies are completely black, place in a plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic and leave to cool down and steam.
When they are cool enough to handle, rub off the skins, remove the seeds and finely chop.
Add the peppers and seasonings to the cream cheese. Stir in the zest of the lime and then add the juice of half of it. Stir to thoroughly combine and refrigerate until needed.
The perfect way to serve this is on a warm, fresh bagel, but equally delicious spread on savoury scones, crackers and oatcakes. It’s good with the traditional pairing of smoked salmon too!