Smoked Trout Paté

By • November 27, 2010 • 48 Comments

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Author Notes: I read in Food & Wine that chef April Bloomfield made a trout pate at the John Dory in NY. The article gave no recipe, just said that the pate is made with crème fraîche and cottage cheese. That sounded up my alley, with cottage cheese instead of mayo and...I'm a sucker for crème fraîche. After several attempts, I came up with a version that seems very popular at all our large parties. - healthierkitchen healthierkitchen

Food52 Review: WHO: Healthierkitchen is a retired attorney and an avid home cook.
WHAT: A quick and dirty party app that tastes like it took much longer to make.
HOW: Just mix, stir, garnish, and eat while holding a cocktail in the other hand.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This appetizer has enough smokiness to keep guests going back for more, but not so much that they're exhausted before they get to the other spreads on the table. And, it's a host's dream -- it only requires a quick stir before it's ready to serve
A&M

Serves many as an hors d'oeuvre

  • 1/2 pound smoked trout fillet
  • 2/3 cup 2% cottage cheese
  • 2 heaping tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared white horseradish, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Remove the skin from the fish and discard. Crumble or flake the fish into a bowl using two forks (one in each hand moving away from each other in the bowl) or your hands if you prefer. If the top of your fillet has a hard crust from the smoking process, you can pick out the larger, hard bits if you prefer. I like to leave in most, as they have the smoky flavor, but I try to make sure to break them down.
  2. Add cottage cheese and crème fraîche and mix well with a spoon. If the mixture seems dry, add another dollop of cottage cheese. I like a smooth consistency so using the back of the spoon, I "smooth out" some of the cottage cheese curds against the side of the bowl.
  3. Sprinkle a pinch of salt (if your fish isn't particularly salty), a couple of grinds of pepper and the horseradish and mix well.
  4. Add the chives, reserving a pinch for a garnish. Mix gently.
  5. Put into serving bowl and sprinkle the remaining chives on top. If not serving right away, refrigerate, but take it out about 1/2 hour before serving so it can come to room temperature which will make spreading easier. Serve with thin slices of baguette or crispy toast crackers.
Jump to Comments (48)

Tags: doubles easily, festive, finger food, serves a crowd, travels well

Comments (48) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago Ian Brereton

Is this ok to make a few days ahead of a large party?

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15 days ago healthierkitchen

I wouldn't make it more than 2 days or so ahead. While creme fraiche seems to last a long time in the fridge, I find that cottage cheese doesn't taste as fresh for too long. Sorry I'm just seeing this now!

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6 months ago danielle

What are some other fish substitutions I can use if i don't prefer a strong smoky fish?

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6 months ago danielle

What are some other fish substitutions I can use if i don't prefer a strong smoky fish?

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4 months ago healthierkitchen

The creaminess of the creme fraiche and cottage cheese are a good counterpoint to the smokiness so for this recipe, at least, I'd stick with a smoked fish. Hot smoked salmon or whitefish would be good too. The dish as a whole is not too strong, but maybe those other fish would be milder? It's possible that it's the smoking that you'd prefer milder, rather than the fish? I just found a local smokery that I've been using for my trout lately and though the package has a very strong smoky smell, the trout itself is pretty mild. I've never tried it, but it's possible this would be tasty too, with a piece of poached fish, but I just don't know.

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10 months ago svbooker

Looks delicious! Has anyone tried it with full-fat cottage cheese? And the fig jam - spread it on the toast first?

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

I'm sure full fat cottage cheese would work fine, I just don't use it because the creme fraich is quite rich so I find I don't need full fat cottage cheese. As for the fig jam, maybe Randi will advise! I've never added that but it sounds like an interesting counterpoint. Maybe taste it first on one toast before doing the others? Or serve it on the side?

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10 months ago savorthis

We always put a small dollop of the jam on top, but I know there are people who don't like sweet with meat (of any sort) so a jar on the side would also be a good idea.

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10 months ago ingefaer

This is a quick and delicious Appetizer. I added some lemon juice and a bit more Creme fraise than called for.

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

It is so adaptable for taste! It is pretty mild so the lemon juice must have picked things up a bit! Thanks.

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10 months ago cookbookchick

Congratulations, Wendy! Did I tell you I ate the leftover bit you gave me for a most delicious breakfast the day after our holiday party? So good!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

I was so glad to share it! Thanks for letting me know!

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10 months ago Randi

I made this for our Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. It was a hit with all, young and old. Served with apple slices, gluten free crackers, and fig jam. We finished the little bit that was leftover with Christmas morning poached eggs and biscuits. Delicious. Thank you!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

I love the fig jam idea! thanks for your kind comment Randi!

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10 months ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

Made it yesterday for a very late Christmas dinner, it was a one big yum! What a wonderful dish!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

so glad you liked it!!

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10 months ago gingerroot

Served this today for Christmas brunch and it was fabulous! Thanks for a great recipe, hk

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10 months ago gingerroot

Whoops, sent too soon - wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks gingerroot! And Happy new year to you and your family!

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10 months ago Midge

Made this yesterday and my only regret is that I didn't double it. Big hit! Thanks for a keeper hk and congrats!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks so much, Midge, for saying! The beauty of it is that it's so easy to make!

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10 months ago savorthis

Hey congrats! Smoked trout is almost always on our party hors d'oeuvre list (it's great with fig jam too!) especially since we can get local trout so cheaply. I love the idea of fluffing it up with the cottage cheese...good luck!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

I love it too! When Mrs. Wheelbarrow's book comes out I am hoping to learn to smoke my own and get really creative!

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10 months ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

I love love love trout, creme fraiche and the fact that there is no mayo in this dish! I will be making it for the holidays. Best of luck!!!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks Queen! Enjoy and happy holidays! guess we both read Food & Wine!

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10 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yum, this looks great! Congrats on being a finalist! I love that both finalist dishes were inspired by Food & Wine!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks Emily! I've been finding that since Gourmet's demise, Food & Wine has really become one of my favorite print food reads!

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10 months ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks great! And so, so easy. I love the addition of the cottage cheese!! Congrats and best of luck!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks so much! It's funny how the cottage cheese works.

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10 months ago Katheryn's Kitchen

Congratulations Healthier Kitchen, very yummy looking recipe, will definitely try it, Happy Holidays!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks Katheryn! Happy holidays to you too! Bon appetit!

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10 months ago gingerroot

Yay! Congrats hk!! This looks fantastic and I love that it comes together in a snap. Can't wait to try it. Happy Holidays!!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks so much gingerroot! It is easy and lots of bang for your small investment of time!

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10 months ago EmilyC

Woohoo -- congrats Wendy! So happy to see you (and your delicious pate) in the finalist circle!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks Emily!

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10 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations on being a finalist, this Pate is wonderful, well deserved finalist spot. I love smoked trout and will definitely make this very soon.

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks so much Suzanne! Give it a try - it is the easiest thing to put together!

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10 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Huge congrats, Wendy!!! Yay!!!

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10 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks Em!

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almost 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

I love smoked trout, and will definitely have to try this!

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almost 4 years ago healthierkitchen

Hope you do! I usually get my trout from a terrific local fishmonger and it's really meaty and delicious. This last time, he had none and Whole Foods had none and my local organic market had none. I found a few scrawny pieces at Trader Joe's and it was still pretty tasty.