Smoked Trout Spread by Chris P.

Smoked Trout Spread Recipe

“The recipe starts with 4 whole trout. This will make a party sized amount of spread so you might want to half the recipe if you’re not feeding a hungry dozen. 

First, rinse your fish and pat it dry. Some people say to debone the trout after smoking but a lot of recipes call for you to filet the fish first. I will try smoking a whole trout next time but for this recipe I do filet the fish before smoking. The advantage of working with a filet is that the flavors can penetrate the flesh better. It might be debatable if you’re only brining and smoking but let’s continue with a filet. I have now have 8 filets from the 4 trout.

Brine Ingredients:
1/2 gallon water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar

Boil all brine ingredients in a pot so they dissolve and then let the brine cool to room temperature. Transfer the brine to a pan that will allow you to submerge the trout filets and refrigerate for 8 hours.  After that, remove the fish from the brine and rinse. Pat the filets dry and lay them skin side down individually for 1 hour to create the pellicle.

Now, we’re ready to smoke. Set your SmokinTex to 200F. I used 1 ounce of Pecan wood chunks. Other options could be Alder, Apple or even Oak but I really like the flavor of the Pecan. I would also recommend using the SmokinTex seafood grill since the trout filets are fragile and thin. Again, smoke the filets skin side down.

After one hour, open your smoker and inspect the fish. They should have a nice light golden color.

While the filets are still warm, but not too hot to handle, peel off the skin. We want the filets to be at room temperature when we mix it into the other ingredients so now would be a good time to mix the other items while the filets cool.

Spread Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
4 teaspoons of capers (drained)
2 teaspoons of prepared horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pinches of cayenne pepper
8 teaspoons of lemon juice
4 teaspoons of fresh chopped chives
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill

Mix all ingredients. It’s easier to mix if the mascarpone (or cream cheese) is at room temperature. When the trout is also at room temp, grab 2 forks and shred the filets. Look out for any bones you missed. Take the shredded trout and mix it into the spread paste you just made. I like eating this spread at room temperature but you can also transfer the spread into serving bowl and refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Trout Spread Ingredients

Toast Crostini:
The last thing is to make toast crostini. It goes great with the spread. 

Preheat your oven to 400F. You’ll need 1 or 2 French baguettes. Cut it diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. You’ll want several dozen sliced pieces at the minimum. The toasts get eaten quickly. Put the baguette slices on a baking sheet and then brush them on one side with olive oil before toasting for around 6 minutes, or when golden brown.

Now you have everything. Serve the trout spread at room temp or cool. Spread a little on the warm toast crostini and YUM! 

I hope you enjoy it!

-Chris P.”

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