This year has been full of unprecedented times and situations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families and individuals will be cooking at home this holiday season. That’s why we are bringing the dishes to you all month long in our Quarantine Kitchen series. We talked to 23 chefs who have shared some of their favorite dishes to prepare for the holidays. Stay tuned Dec. 1 through 24 on the blog, as well as our social media channels, for a new dish to feature in your home each day. Now let’s get cooking!
Creamy smooth and savory dips are one of my personal favorites around the holidays, offering either a light pre-meal starter or a hearty, shareable snack.
This North Carolina Smoked Mountain Trout Dip recipe provided by Rex Horrell, chef of Henry’s Restaurant in Wilmington, hits the mark for ease of preparation, adaptability and flavor. Horrell even offers a suggestion for a smoked trout substitute if you don’t have a smoker or if you want to save some time in prepping this dip.
While you won’t find the trout dip on the menu at Henry’s, there are plenty of delicious seafood offerings that could make ordering “difficult” — shrimp and grits, crab cakes, crab dip and blackened shrimp salad to name a few. All of them sound yummy!
Henry’s has earned a reputation with locals for its approachable menu that is built around a farm to table philosophy of local produce, food products and fresh seafood combined with a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere. Casual and fine dining are both terms used to describe the food that graces the lunch and dinner menus, making it a versatile dining option and reinforcing why it is a local favorite.
Check out the recipe below, and if you are in Wilmington, search out Henry’s Restaurant and Bar for some homegrown and fresh caught goodness.
North Carolina Smoked Mountain Trout Dip
— 4 trout filets or two whole fish
— ¼ cup kosher salt (for brine)
— ¼ brown sugar (for brine)
— 3 cups of water (for brine)
— 3 packages of cream cheese (8oz.) softened at room temperature for 90 minutes
— 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
— ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
— ½ tsp freshly cracked pepper
— 1 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- Mix salt, brown sugar, and water to make a brine & pour into a 9X13 glass baking dish.
- Brine trout for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Remove fish from brine & Smoke the trout using your preferred method and favorite fruit wood at 225 degrees for 90 minutes. (You can use a cabinet smoker, offset smoker, or kettle grill with indirect heat. As an alternative, a quality store bought smoked trout can be substituted. Acme Smoke Fish in Wilmington and their Blue Hill Bay brand is an excellent choice.)
- Once the Trout is smoked, remove the skin and crumble fish with a fork.
- Place the trout in the refrigerator and cool for one hour.
- Mix the trout with the remaining ingredients and serve chilled with your favorite crackers or crostini.