Breakfast for Dinner

by Melanie Fortino

It is a shame that such a wonderful meal as breakfast gets shoved into that tiny space of time between getting up and running out the door to work. To address this meal injustice we have in our home an event called “breakfast for dinner.” This allows us to appreciate the deliciousness of the morning meal in a relaxed evening setting when we have time to really enjoy it. Sometimes it is blueberry pancakes; other times we make potatoes and eggs. But this evening we indulged in one of my favorite breakfast-dinners: Build your own bagel!

Since I spend my day playing in the Cheese Department of our Rittenhouse location, there isn’t time to run far afield gathering all the necessary components – thank goodness everything I need for this meal is right here.

First stop: the bread section of our Coffee Bar for bagels. Usually I will pick up an everything and a sesame. After a chat with Adrienne who knows a bit about what’s what in the bread section, I walked away with an additional flavor – jalapeno! “Not too spicy and a good flavor,” she said. And she was right.

To make a bagel into a meal it needs its accompaniments. Walking a few short yards to our Produce section, I pick up an Avocado (still at a great price of only 99¢ each) that is perfect for eating tonight and another that I can hold onto for a few days to ripen. I like to judge how ripe they are, not by their softness, but how the stem has started to pull away from the leathery skin. Nearby and not to be passed up was a bright vine tomato and a shallot. I prefer a shallot to the traditional purple onion as it tends to be sweeter and just the right size for a bagel or two.

Next I make a quick stop at my Cheese home-base for the necessary cream cheese. The all-natural Gina Marie brand we carry is good stuff and will work nicely. Now I’m ready for the really fun part: Salmon!

There are many choices for cured and smoked fish to distract me including whitefish and herring so I have to stay focused. If I was in a hurry I could grab a package of River & Glen Smoked Salmon already sliced for me and ready to go.

But I prefer going to the charcuterie and fish area to watch the skilled people working there carefully carve the beautiful, watermelon-pink sides of salmon. It takes practice and not every place you go will slice it fresh for you – which is another reason why buying my smoked salmon this way is special. Plus I get to ask Curt which one he recommends and why. He has never steered me wrong, so when he suggests something I go for it. Today he tells me that the Scottish Salmon is very nice so that’s what I get.

After watching Curt slice and wrap the centerpiece for my dinner, all I need to do is turn around to pick up a jar of capers and I’m set!

Preparation is easy: some knife work to get my produce ready to go, some light toasting of the bagels, and everything goes out to the table for an easy, social, build-your-own feast! We round it out with a nice salad and, because this is dinner, we substitute wine for coffee – yet another bonus of the breakfast for dinner concept. Cheers!