Firstly I promise there is nothing in this for me – well that is apart from a couple of ‘free’ packets of the said ‘trout’ to taste. I’ll be honest, I was a little dubious, I quite like smoked trout but really, the stuff from the packets is ok but hardly anything special. Yes, I do think the trout ‘Daddy’ catches and smokes is very good but I have never found a shop bought equivalent and though we used to buy in a little back in ‘Sugar & Spice’ days it was pretty average. The trout I was sent last week to taste was exceptional. Two packets were delivered with incredible efficiency after a brief correspondence from the lovely Shara, who with her husband runs Moffat Water Foods. The ‘Portrait Painter’ had already bent my ear, waxing lyrical about how sublime her sister is and more so her newish career in fish farming and smoking. Why am I surprised to say the ‘Portrait Painter’ was right, but way more than just right, this trout, hot and cold smoked is quite simply, DELICIOUS. It is so different from anything I have ever tasted before it just completely exceeded all my expectations or possibly lack of!
Delicate, smokey, moist, and importantly boneless, the ‘hot smoked’ trout had me smitten. It was savvy, subtle, intense, yet not overpowering, it was divine and so versatile that the endless possibilities at what I could marry with it led to quite a sleepless night. First time out it was the obvious, cucumber, radishes, granny smith apple, shaved horseradish and lemon dressing. Clean, crisp, shockingly healthy but equally punchy on taste, this is the perfect ‘palate pleaser’ for a summer dinner party. Always a fan of food looking pretty, this also wins hands down.
Second time out I had something totally different in mind, a dish more akin to being added to a smart picnic or buffet – I raided the garden and pulled out a few underage beetroot and teenage potatoes but the cradle snatching was worth it. Only problem was it did end up looking slightly psychedelic, so possibly it would be more fitting at a rave! Again, it was lipsmackingly good, obviously helped by my homegrown loved and nurtured vegetables but the crowd pleaser was without question the trout – it’s well worth shelving those inexplicable reasons why you think you don’t like trout and try this one, because, well just because it is worth it!
The cold smoked packet lay sitting in our kitchen looking slightly forlorn at the lack of attention. Cold smoking is what most people are familiar with typically in the form of classic smoked salmon. The trout looks like, same color, and slices like, smoked salmon, but at the risk of sounding boring and repetitive, I think you have probably guessed what I am going to say next – yes – once again – it hit the jack pot. Controversially I happened to like it more than the revered and expensive salmon. It had more depth, is not slimy and is just more interesting, served with some freshly grated horseradish mixed with creme fraiche, a squeeze of lemon and grind of pepper sunday night supper has never been so good.
So, yes I am a fan – smoked trout from Moffat Water Foods will be used again and again in our kitchen. Sadly it won’t be a standard sunday night kitchen supper, it is a treat, and like all well sourced good fish, is not cheap, but it so worth it.
Smoked Trout Salad with apple, radish and cucumber -Serves 6
Smoked trout from Moffat Water Foods (200gms should be ample)
1 Granny Smith Apple
1/2 a cucumber
6 red radishes
1 lemon, olive oil, black pepper
Cut the cucumber and apple into very fine batons and slice the radish on the round, ideally through a mandolin or carefully with a knife. Mix all 3 ingredients together with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice and grind of black pepper.
Layer up the salad flaking the fish in between the vegetables. Finish with a good grating of horseradish and a splash more oil and lemon juice. I’m quite partial to a teaspoon of creme fraiche on the side and an edible flower or 2 !
Hot Smoked Trout Salad with new potatoes and ‘allsorts’ beetroot
This ended up being a pot luck recipe. I pulled it together largely based on what was in the garden and ready to eat. Hence I have not got any real measurements to hand. As you can see the beetroot are small but were curiously sweet, the potatoes have now reached a more legitimate size, a few random spring onions gave it some extra bite and a scattering of chives finished it off. I cooked most of the beetroot and then shaved uncooked ones over the top of the salad – don’t be mistaken they are not radishes I promise ! A good splash of olive oil, pinch of Maldon sea salt and grind of pepper – that was it – simple, quick and reassuringly good.
As to where to buy this yummy smoked fish please look at their website: http://www.moffatwaterfoods.com/index.htm