It's often thought of strictly as a holiday go-to, but why limit smoked trout's culinary mojo? Keep this versatile and budget-friendly (yet still sophisticated) alternative to smoked salmon in your fridge year-round. It's also an ideal ingredient when company drops by with little or no advance notice. Because while these tasty, charming bites look as though they took hours to make, they're actually on the fast and easy side -- but who needs to know?
Smoked Trout, Creme Fraiche, and Pickled Onions on Pumpernickel
Dollop 1 teaspoon creme fraiche onto each of 12 toasted pumpernickel triangles (from 6 slices). Divide 3 ounces flaked smoked trout and 1/4 cup very thinly sliced jarred pickled onions among the triangles. Garnish with dill. Season with pepper. Makes 12.
Endive with Avocado Mousse and Smoked Trout
Pulse 1 Hass avocado with 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mousse to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe mousse into 20 endive leaves and flake 3 ounces flaked smoked trout onto them. Garnish with 1 scallion, thinly sliced. Makes 20.
Smoked Trout Pate on Toasted Baguette
Beat 4 ounces room-temperature cream cheese (1/2 cup), 2 tablespoons minced shallot, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives until smooth. Fold in 2 1/2 ounces flaked smoked trout. Season with salt. Serve with toasted baguette slices. Makes 1 cup pate.