Miss Party still has the recent 54th GRAMMY AWARDS on her mind which led her to wax nostalgic about growing up in Beverly Hills in the 70s. One of her favorite things to do was walk up town from Beverly Hills High School with a few friends to the NATE ‘N AL Delicatessen to get a bagel loaded up her favorite (and cheapest) way. Miss Party’s “90210 Mini Bagel” hors d’oeuvres are the replication of her favorite, light, ‘anytime’ meal.
Miss Party visited L.A. a couple of years ago and did her best to fit into the hip scene at THE LONDON WEST HOLLYWOOD HOTEL. On the first morning, jet lagged and caffeine-deprived, Miss Party somehow managed to spew out a typical L.A., ‘high maintenance’ breakfast order with the best of ‘em –”two double shot-skinny-dry-cappuccino’s, one served 15 minutes ago and one served with breakfast and an un-toasted, split, plain bagel, each half topped with plain cream cheese, a slice of tomato and a sliver of a red onion ring (Miss Party’s “90210 Bagel”). Those kitchen fairies deciphered the jibberish perfectly. That gorgeous California morning on the rooftop terrace was a little slice of bliss once the food and caffeine kicked in!
Miss Party suggests preparing the “90210 Mini Bagels” as a 2-3 bite hors d’oeuvre size if adding to a larger buffet. Or, go to a full size bagel if you prefer it to be a more substantial offering for a smaller menu. Offer a few other “California” healthy options like fresh cut fruit, a cheese platter and, perhaps, a “MYO Yogurt Sundae station“.
For 24 servings
12 mini-size plain bagels, split in half for 24 halves
8 oz brick of cream cheese
6-8 small, ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly into 24 rounds (A tomato slice should be approximately the same size as the face of the bagel.)
1 red onion, sliced very thinly
Freshly ground black pepper
Thinly sliced lox is a traditional addition, though not something Miss Party is fond of so not part of her ‘usual’. If adding lox, cut out 24 small rounds by drawing a paring knife around the perimeter of a biscuit cutter.
1) Spread a 1/8″ thick layer of cream cheese over each of the bagel halves and place on a cookie sheet to await step 2.
2) Layer a slice of lox (if adding), tomato and then one or two small onion rings on top of each bagel half.
3) Lightly sprinkle the entire tray of bagel halves with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. (Because the Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper is key to the final taste outcome, Miss Party doesn’t recommend substitutions.)
Cover and refrigerate for up to one hour.
If you would like to prep part of the assembly a few hours ahead, do everything up to the tomato slice and then place bagels in airtight storage or cover the tray with plastic wrap. Bag your onion slices separately and refrigerate. When ready to serve, plate the bagels and finish the assembly of onion slices, salt and pepper.
The NATE ‘N AL Deli was founded in 1945 and was packed night and day during the 70s. Rich folk, movie stars, film industry moguls and teenagers all rubbed elbows to get their fix of traditional Jewish recipes: matzo ball soup; pastrami and corned beef; bagels and noodle kugel, and yummy blintzes. Everyone was equal when they crossed the threshold. It really was, and still is, just a classic, hometown diner at heart –that just happened to have clientele who drove S Class Mercedes Sedan’s and/or tricked out Porsche’s :)
* 90210 refers to the popular 90s tv show by the same name about a group of teens who attended a fictitious high school in Beverly Hills and is also the zip code for Beverly Hills, California.