An elegant starter that is fast, easy and affordable. Use it as a dip or serve like a spread. Make sure to get whole smoked trout from the seafood shop with the skin on, not the vacuum sealed or canned portions. It's far cheaper and the flesh is much juicier and flavoursome. This recipe is adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller. I have provided more detailed ingredients and directions, and changed a step that did not work for me.
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats
1 stick / 4 oz / 120 g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
1eschallot(golden shallot), finely diced (Note 1)
1garlic clove, very finely chopped
Rind of 1 lemon, very finely grated (yellow part only, the white part is bitter)
1 1/2tbsplemon juice
1 lb / 500g whole smoked trout
Pinchof cayenne pepper
4 oz / 120g creme fraiche(or sub with full fat sour cream) (Note 2)
1tbspcream(full fat, not whipped)
1/4cupfresh dill, coarsely chopped
2tbspchives, coarsely chopped
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted, then pour 2/3 into a bowl and set aside.
Add the shallot, garlic and lemon rind to the pan and let it cook gently for 3 to 5 minutes until soft and translucent (it should not brown). You will only need to stir it occasionally.
Meanwhile, remove the skin off the trout and discard. Use your hands to remove the flesh and place into a bowl, being careful to avoid the bones (you will be able to pull the flesh off the bones easily). Use a fork to flake the flesh. Discard the bones.
Pour the shallot butter mixture into the bowl with the trout.
Add lemon juice, cayenne pepper, creme fraiche, cream and herbs. Stir gently until well combined. Do a taste test and add salt and pepper if required. You may not need salt as smoked trout is often salty (I only add a tiny pinch).
Spoon into jars or ramekins (1 large, 2 medium or 4 small) and smooth the surface.
Pour over the reserved butter until the top is covered.
Place in the refrigerator to set. (Note: Original recipe set to freeze it for 5 - 10 minutes first but I found that this caused the surface of the butter to crack).
This can be served on the day you make it, but it gets even better with time. It can be made up to a week in advance.
Serve with fresh or toasted bread.
1. Golden shallots / eschallots / french shallots look like small onions but more pointy rather than round. Not to be confused with scallions / spring onions. However, this recipe would be fine made with scallions, spring onions or ordinary onions instead of eschallots. You will need around 2 tbsp very finely diced.2. Creme fraiche is available in the cream/sour cream section of supermarkets. It is very similar to sour cream, though slightly creamier and not quite as tart, and is more expensive. Full fat sour cream is a VERY close substitute so if you want to save some money, just use sour cream. But please make sure to use full fat sour cream. Low fat just won't cut it!3. The purpose of the butter is the seal the smoked trout spread. This keeps it fresh which is why it can be made a week in advance.4. This can be made up to a week in advance. It can be served as soon as it is set but the flavour just gets better with time so I strongly recommend making it at least the day before.4. The Nutrition assumes you eat all the butter that is set on top of the pot. But not all people eat the butter (much like the jelly on top of pate!). I myself don't eat it, especially if it is still firm because I serve it slightly chilled. In which case, the calories are significantly reduced because about 2/3 of the butter in the recipe is used to seal the pot rather than mixed in.