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LOW-FAT COOKING

Lower Lox

April 29, 1998|DONNA DEANE | Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

It's not just the cream cheese that's fattening on the typical lox and bagel platter--it's the fish too. Salmon is one of the fattiest fish in the water.

But if you mix Neufchatel cheese, which has half the fat of regular cream cheese, with nonfat sour cream, chopped smoked salmon and just the barest amount of liquid smoke, you'll have a low-fat bagel spread that might have less salmon than the usual lox and bagel special but plenty of flavor. Serve the spread on mini bagels and you'll have a quick hors d'oeuvre or brunch accompaniment.

MINI BAGELS WITH SMOKED SALMON CREAM CHEESE SPREAD (30 MINUTES OR LESS)

Neufchatel cheese can be found next to the cream cheese at most supermarkets.

1/4 pound Neufchatel cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons nonfat sour cream

1 ounce smoked salmon, chopped

1 teaspoon capers, chopped

2 tablespoons minced dill

1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 (10-ounce) package mini bagels, split and toasted

3 tablespoons minced red onion

1 head frisee, optional

Cherry tomatoes, optional

Combine Neufchatel cheese, sour cream, smoked salmon, capers, 1 tablespoon dill and liquid smoke in bowl.

Spread about 1 teaspoon cheese mixture on each half bagel. Top each with about 1/4 teaspoon red onion and sprinkle with remaining dill. Arrange on platter surrounded by frisee and tomatoes for garnish.

32 appetizers. Each appetizer:

48 calories; 116 mg sodium; 8 mg cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 4 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.13 gram fiber.

* Platter from HomeChef, Pasadena.

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