This deeply flavored smoked trout dip has a touch of sweetness from slowly caramelized onion and is perfect to serve with hearty crackers.
I created this dip on a whim. Smoked trout was an impulse buy at the grocery store, while actually shopping to test a different recipe. I was craving a dip so I began to conjure up a recipe based on ingredients I had on hand and I must say, it was a huge success. If you are looking for a refined dip for your next party, this is it!
Smoked Trout Dip Ingredients
- Cream cheese - Cream cheese is the primary base for this dip, providing the creamy texture.
- Sour cream - Sour cream is added not only for flavor, but it is also needed to thin out the cream cheese enough to be dippable.
- Smoked trout - There are a lot of small bones in trout, take time to ensure they are removed as you break the fillet apart.
- Worcestershire sauce - Adds depth of flavor and a little saltiness.
- Lemon juice - The bright flavor really provides a nice contrast to the smoked fish.
- Onion - Taking time to properly caramelize onions will add a lot of flavors. You aren't just quickly sauteing them, slowly caramelizing them in butter will coax out a lot more sweetness.
- Garlic - You can substitute garlic powder, but fresh cloves are best.
- Ground pepper - Fresh ground pepper is highly recommended.
How to make it
Begin by breaking apart the smoked trout into small pieces. While doing this, pick out all small bones so they don't make their way into the dip. Once the trout has been broken apart it can be added to a bowl with all of the other ingredients.
The bulk of your time making this recipe will be spent caramelizing onions. I recommend reviewing my caramelized onions tutorial for detailed tips. To maximize the sweetness be sure to take your time. I start out melting butter on medium heat, add the onions and saute until they threaten to burn, then I drop the heat to low while they continue to caramelize. Plan on this taking a solid thirty minutes.
For maximum flavor, you'll want to deglaze the pan and allow the liquid to soak up into the onions. When the onions are fully caramelized, add ¼ cup of water and vigorously scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any burnt-on fond. Let cook until all liquid has absorbed into the onions or evaporated, turning up the heat if needed.
The flavors dramatically improve as it sits in the refrigerator melding. I recommend making this dip the day prior to serving it, or at least a few hours prior if possible.
What to serve with it
Chips and dip are always a great combo, and they will certainly work here as well. However, I think the best pairing for this upscale dip are gourmet crackers. Bagel chips would be another great serving option.
More Seafood Dips
Smoked Trout Dip
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ¼ cup water
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 8 ounces smoked trout
- ½ lemon (juiced)
- Fresh ground pepper
- Melt butter in a skillet set over medium heat and add chopped onion.
- Caramelize the onion while stirring infrequently, scrapping any burnt on fond on the bottom of the pan so it can incorporate into the onion as it cooks. When the onion is threatening to burn, drop the heat to low while it finishes caramelizing. Add garlic in the final few minutes of cooking. Expect caramelizing the onion to take approximately thirty minutes.
- Add ¼ cup of water to the skillet and scrape off any burnt-on bits from the bottom of the skillet and stir them into the onion. Continue to cook until all of the water has evaporated or absorbed into the onion.
- While the onion is caramelizing break apart the trout into small pieces, being careful to remove all bones.
- Prepare the dip by whisking together softened cream cheese and sour cream. Then add Worcestershire sauce, smoked trout, lemon juice and fresh ground pepper. Stir in caramelized onion and garlic when it has finished cooking.
- The flavor will be best if this dip is allowed to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours prior to serving. Serve with hearty crackers, chips, or bagel chips.