This decadent smoked trout dip comes together in minutes and yields the perfect amount for a shared appetizer for a small party (4 to 6 people).
Besides smoked trout fillets you need only a handful of ingredients – cream cheese, capers, paprika, dill weed (fresh or dried), fresh chives and lemon (for zest and juice).
You may want to season with salt & pepper after you make it, depending on how salty the smoked trout is. Taste the dip once you’ve mixed it and season accordingly.
Because the trout is the star of the show we recommend that you get good quality whole smoked fillets (not canned). They are superior both flavor and texture wise. For the dip quantity of this recipe you need about half a pound of trout, which is typically the equivalent of two fillets.
Remove the skin before using the trout. Simply peel it off starting from the tapered tail end of the fillets.
Making Smoked Trout Dip is Really That Easy
The hardest thing you’ll have to do is wash your food processor after you are done.
Before you start mixing the ingredients take out the cream cheese from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature on your counter – it is much easier to work with softer cheese.
Pulse it in a food processor and then crumble the trout fillets on top and process again.
Next add the capers, paprika and dried dill weed.
NOTE: If you’d rather use fresh dill weed chop it very fine and add it along with the chives in the end.
Process again (briefly) and then zest one lemon into the mixture and squeeze the juice of about half a lemon.
Pulse all the ingredients one last time and transfer the dip to a mixing bowl. Fold in the finely chopped chives. Reserve about two teaspoons of chopped chives for garnish.
If you are using fresh dill, fold it in now. This step of folding in the chives (and possibly dill) is necessary because the fresh herbs will color the mixture green if processed. Besides, the fine chop adds to the overall texture.
Taste your creation and adjust the seasonings as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved chives and a pinch of paprika.
You can enjoy it right away or cover it with plastic and refrigerate until needed. The trout spread will keep well for a few days in the fridge. Remember to let it come to room temperature before you serve it.
Tips & Considerations
The recipe for this smoked trout dip is Chris’ – a significantly scaled down version of the batches of it he used to mix for one of the very busy restaurants at The Stanley in Estes Park. He used to buy locally smoked trout from a place down the road and swears that the quality of your smoked fish is the single most important thing to consider when making this appetizer.
Serve smoked trout dip with a variety of fresh veggies (cucumbers are particularly well suited), crackers or toasted baguette slices (our favorite). The dip tastes really rich so simple ingredients make the best partners.
See below about beer pairing recommendations.
Smoked trout dip that is delicious, easy and fast work. It all begins with the quality of the smoked fish.
- 8 oz smoked trout fillets*
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 tbsp capers (increase by 2 tsp if you really like capers)
- 1 tsp dried dill weed**
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 lemon, medium sized (for zest and juice)
- 2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped + 2 tsp for garnish
- salt & pepper, to taste, if needed
Bring the cream cheese to room temperature and set up a food processor. Finely chop the chives, reserve 2 tsp for garnish.
Pulse the cream cheese to break it up and then crumble the smoked trout on top. Process to combine.
Add the capers, dried dill, paprika and pulse to combine.
Add the zest of the whole lemon and squeeze the juice of about half of it. Pulse one last time to combine. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Fold in the chives. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with reserved chives and a pinch of paprika.
*Be sure to use good quality smoked trout fillets as opposed to canned smoked trout. The quality of the fish directly impacts the end results in this recipe - both taste and texture.
**If you'd rather use fresh dill chop it finely and add it in the end along with the chives.
The dip is best enjoyed right away but will save well refrigerated for a few days. Remember to bring it to room temperature before serving.
To make toasted baguette slices cut a baguette in about half an inch thick diagonal slices, arrange them onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a 375 F oven for about eight minutes or until they start turning golden brown. Turn them over once, after the first four minutes.
Beer Pairing Suggestions
Smoked trout dip tastes even better when paired with crisp German lagers. Their fine carbonation along with the aroma and herbal bite of Noble hops cleanse and open up the palate and enhance the experience of each new bite. Especially the stiffer, slightly more bitter North German pilsners. No wonder smoked trout dips can often be found on beer garden menus in Germany.
Other fine beer pairings are pale ales or IPAs hopped with citrusy American hops. The bright citrus complements and accentuates the flavors of the dip.
Overall, the more pronounced the hop presence in your beer, the better. Remember – hops love salt and smoked trout dip is definitely salty.
Browse our collection of Hops Salts & Seasonings.
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