Recipes From Living the American Backwoods Cabin Life

Great Lakes Smoked Fish Dip

In the past few years, my husband, Steve, and I have had the opportunity to expand our fishing skills. I say "expand" because our total knowledge of fishing was having a pole, a hook, and a worm. Since moving to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and being surrounded by three Great Lakes and one large river that connects two of them, we have been blessed with magnificent natural resources to explore...and fish! Now we use flies and lures. Steppin' up! Maybe someday we'll learn to fly fish without taking somebody's eye out.

One Christmas a few years back, our youngest son surprised us with our own smoker. This was before we had embarked on fishing as a hobby. We were avid hunters and imagined all the ways we could smoke the meat we harvested. Well, after we smoked our first batch of fish, we were HOOKED. Nothing beats smoked fish with cheese and crackers and a beverage of your choice on a sunny summer day.

But then a trapper friend of ours came over with his smoked fish dip. "Try it," he says to Steve.

With wide eyes my husband looked at me and said, "Can you make this?"

I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Sure." I looked at our trapper friend. "What's in it?"

"Fish," he said. "Creme cheese. A little relish."

Okeeedoookie. I sighed to myself. Three ingredients. This should be easy.

So after a small time span of trial and error, adding more to the three ingredients, and removing others, (but not the three ingredients, these I knew HAD to stay in) I came up with this dip when we were staying in the state of Wyoming. We took what was left of our smoked fish, just a couple of packages, along with us. My husband took a bite, looked at me with wide eyes (yay!), then asked me if I had written my recipe down through the whole process.

"Boy, did I! I even took pictures!" I enthusiastically declared.

I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

I started out with one 8-oz. package of creme cheese brought to room temperature and softened.

I added a 1/2 cup of real mayonaise.

Then I put in 2 tablespoons sweet relish, 1 heaping tablespoon horseradish sauce (it gives it zing!)...

...1 tablespoon each finely chopped (but not too fine, You want some oomph to the dip...and color, right?) red onion, green pepper, and red pepper.

1 tablespoon FINELY chopped fresh parsely

(That's right, finely. You don't want one of these Bessies stuck in your teeth. It's never happened to me, but I'm just sayin'...)"

Just keep tossing it all into the bowl.

Add 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Now comes the star of this dip. Toss in your big crumbled hunks of smoked fish. In this case I used one whole Trout with skin and bones removed. But you can use any smoked fish. I've used Cutthroat and Salmon before.

Mix it all together with a large spoon. Chill several hours. Serve with veggies and/or crackers. We like club crackers and celery!

Here I heaped it on a club cracker.

And popped it in my mouth...

Here I was a little more sophisticated and made up a pretty plate and took it to Steve for his opinion and you know the rest of the story.

Here's the printable recipe if ye be so inclined to give it a whirl.

Happy Fishing!


Lisa A said...

This looks great! Definitely will make when my brothers are around. They'll gobble it up and my sisters-in-law will make faces!

Debi said...

Haha...would like to see those faces! :)