Smoked Trout and Horseradish Spread

Here's a fish spread I made awhile back with some smoked trout that was given to me. What happened was Rick's cousin, Tyler, caught and smoked more trout than he could eat. The trout were sitting in his fridge, and he said that no one else in his family was going to eat them. So I accepted the smoked trout without hesitation, remembering that I had happily eaten a rather large smoked trout by myself that Tyler left for me (and Rick) in a cooler at deer camp some years before. But I can see why many people don't like to eat trout, especially if they're not used to eating whole fish with bones. Trout does require a bit of concentration to consume. Heck, sometimes it makes me squeamish. All. Those. Darn. Bones. 

But if you catch all this trout, what are you to do? The rest of your family doesn't want to touch it. There's only so much trout a person could eat, and you know that if you're going to put in the effort to smoke fish, you can't smoke just one. Well, you could, but I envy you for having so much free time to waste.

Over the years, I have come to one conclusion about the general eating habits of people: if you make a spread/dip with it, people will usually gobble it up. So that's what I did. I picked all the meat from the bones and skin, trying my best to remove as many pin bones as possible, and the spread turned out to be absolutely delicious. It's a great way to clear out a lot of fish-- serve it with crackers, chips, toasted slices of French bread or made into a sandwich... People will love it. It's similar to salmon spread, but much cheaper.

- 2 14-inch smoked trout, or equivalent 
- 4 ounces of cream cheese, softened 
- 3 green onions, chopped 
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped 
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 
- 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground horseradish, or to taste 
- Salt and pepper, to taste 

1. Use your favorite recipe for smoked trout, or buy a brine kit from the store. Once smoked trout is cooled, peel off the skin and pick off as much meat from the bones as possible, paying special attention to pin bones. 
Place meat in a medium size bowl, then add cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, onion, parsley, horseradish and pepper. Mix well and taste before adding any salt. Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator for the mixture to firm up before serving. 
2. Serve in a sandwich or spread over crackers, chips or toast. To make the sandwich in the photos, you will need ciabatta bread, mozzarella cheese slices, artichoke and tomato antipasto spread(from HyVee), lettuce and tomato slices. Spread antipasto on the bottom bun and cover with cheese slices. Toast top and bottom buns until warmed and cheese has melted. Then fill sandwich with a good helping of the trout, tomato slices and lettuce. Serve sandwiches or spread with cornichons/gherkins.