This week it was my turn again to pick something for Craving Ellie in My Belly, and I chose a New York Breakfast.

Like Ellie, I grew up in New York (I may have mentioned that a bazillion times on this blog already), and thus I grew up eating lots of bagels with cream cheese and various types of smoked fish. My favorite being nova lox. I know this is something that people either love or hate, so I apologize to my Craving Ellie girls who fall in the latter category.

However, I was in New York a few weeks ago and every time I go I always ingest tons of lox while I am there and then bring some back with me and freeze it. So I was inspired by my trip up there to pick this recipe since I knew I would be flush with smoked fish.

Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk fish. Lox, nova, nova lox - it’s all the same thing. And what it is is cured and cold smoked salmon. Yum! It is the stuff of dreams (well, my dreams). The name is derived from the German word “lachs” and the Yiddish word “laks", both meaning salmon. Nova can sometimes be confused with smoked salmon, which are indeed two completely different things. Smoked salmon is hot smoked, so it is cooked, which provides a very different final texture and flavor compared to a cold smoked salmon. Cold smoked salmon is technically raw because it never reaches over 90F. You may have also heard of Gravlax, which is a Nordic preparation of salmon. In Gravlax, the salmon is cured with a spice rub usually containing salt, sugar, paprika and dill. It is then weighed down to push out all the moisture and cures for about 3 days. Gravlax is not smoked at all, so it is also a raw application of salmon. I love salmon - raw and cooked - and all of these different preparation are delicious. However, nova remains my favorite.

This sandwich is really simple to make and it does not have many ingredients. So that is why it is important that all the ingredients are top quality, because you will taste everything. I hope everyone who made this was able to find good lox. I prefer to get mine from a deli where they slice it off the fish themselves on site. I try to stay away from the vacuum sealed stuff, but it will do in a pinch. I also tried some lox from Whole Foods once and found it to be horrendous. This is why I usually don’t buy it unless I am in New York, but I am bit of a snob, so just ignore me.

I made my New York Breakfast a bit different than Ellie’s directions.

Here are my changes:

  1. I used thinly sliced rye bread instead of pumpernickel.
  2. I used full fat chive cream cheese instead of neufchatel cheese. I did this because Nick and I have decided that besides the fact that NY bagels are superior to every other bagel, another reason why our NY bagel sandwiches are always so good is because of the delicious homemade cream cheese you get at some of the bagel shops and delis. So I picked up some quality cream cheese from a NY style bagel store near my office in Maryland. Since I got chive flavored cream cheese (my favorite) I did not add extra chives.
  3. I left out the cucumber and tomato.

So my sandwich consisted of well toasted rye bread, cream cheese, thinly sliced red onion, lox, and some more red onion. I hope everyone who made this enjoyed it. I sure did. And this is not the only way I like to eat lox, check out my post about lox, eggs, and onions. Also yum!

Lox:

And yummy cream cheese: