Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Smoked Trout Spread

At the family reunion last summer, Aunt Kathy gave me a gorgeous new cookbook: The Vineyard Cookbook: Seasonal Recipes & Wine Pairings Inspired by America's Vineyards. She had it signed for me by the photographer. Kathy owns a terrific book store in California, and is always sending us books (signed by authors no less!) that she thinks we will enjoy. So thoughtful and generous! Thank you, Aunt Kathy!

This is the first recipe I've tried out of the new cookbook, but there are many more that also look delicious. I really wanted to make this spread with smoked trout for our Housewarming Extravaganza, but for some reason we couldn't find any so we substituted smoked salmon.

I didn't have the time (or the help!) to assemble the spread on toasted pumpernickel triangles adorned with cucumbers and dill, but I was confident that our guests could figure out what to do! We served this dip with artfully sliced cucumbers and/or Artisan Bread Crostini, and I was right: our guests knew exactly what to do with this delicious spread--eat it any way they could!

The next time I run across smoked trout, I will be making this again. I'm sure it's equally delicious either way!

Smoked Trout Spread

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 pound smoked trout filet, cut into small pieces (I used smoked salmon)
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
4 scallions, trimmed and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
24 small slices of pumpernickel bread, toasted and cut into triangles (optional)
2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)
dill sprigs, for garnish (optional)

1. Place the ricotta cheese, sour cream, smoked trout, horseradish, scallions, dill, lemon juice and pepper to taste in a food processor. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings and process again. Scrape into a bowl, cover, and chill in the refrigerator 2 to 3 hours before serving.

2. Spread the pumpernickel toasts, if using, with the trout mixture and top with cucumber slices. Garnish each toast with dill sprig and serve.

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