August 2, 2019
Smoked Trout gets very little attention, unlike its attention-grabbing smoked salmon cousin. In an effort to ‘even-the-playing-fields’, I offer a quick cream cheese-based dip/spread ready in about 30 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to gather some crackers, radishes, cornichons, olives or other piquant and crunchy bites to complete your serving platter.
2 each, 8oz packages cream cheese (use full-fat for best results)
8-ounce package smoked trout fillets
2-3 teaspoons prepared horseradish (depending on its strength)
Lots of freshly cracked black pepper from the peppermill (I used 12 ‘twists’ of the mill)
1 tablespoon cornichon or dill pickle juice
1 teaspoon grainy French mustard
2 tablespoons very finely minced red onion or shallot
2 tablespoons chopped cornichons or dill pickles
1 teaspoon of fresh or ½ teaspoon dried dill
Bring the cream cheese to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Use this time to gather and prep your ingredients.
Peel the skin from the trout fillets. Trim and discard the bottom inch of each fillet; this tail piece is usually very dried out. Break the trout into pieces and feel and look for small bones. They generally run down the thickest part of each fillet.
Use the food processor and whip the cream cheese until ‘fluffy’. Add the pickle juice and process to combine. Remove cream cheese to a bowl, scrapping out the processor bowl with a flexible spatula.
Add the smoked trout to the processor bowl (note: no need to wash the residual cream cheese from the processor bowl). Pulse on and off a few times to roughly chop the fish. I like a bit of texture so I don’t puree the fish to a paste. Add to the bowl with the whipped cream cheese.
Add the ‘mix-ins’: the grainy mustard, the horseradish, the chopped onion/shallot, the dill and the chopped cornichons or pickles. Stir to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Add many turns of freshly cracked pepper. I used 12 twists of the peppermill!
Taste and adjust flavorings to your liking.
Serve with crackers, pickles, olives, radishes and/or spears of lettuce for your Keto or gluten-free guests.