I am about to eat the last of the smoked lake trout I purchased at Carlson’s Fishery while on vacation in northern Michigan. This makes me sad. Very sad. Because it’s very good.
Carlson’s was founded by Norwegian immigrant Nels Carlson several generations ago (a fifth-generation Carlson is now at the helm). Located in historic Fishtown, the old fisheries center of Leland, Michigan (on the Leelanau Peninsula), Carlson’s can turn the day’s lake catch into smoked delicacies, including a spicy hot smoked whitefish sausage. They also sell (naturally!) fresh fish, such as whitefish and trout. But, as I have a predilection for All Things Smoked, it was the smoked fish that I had to buy and transport home to Indiana. They also produce a fine smoked fish pate, the sort of thing I’d spread on a few crackers until I realized that I could get a strong fish buzz if I eliminated the flour platform and just ate the pate with a spoon.
Smoked fish can serve as the focal point of appetizers or, if you eat enough of them, a meal. I like to combine seasoned cream cheese, cucumbers, and smoked fish two ways—as rounds or stuffed. Instructions found below.
What You’ll Need
- 1 cucumber, peeled if desired
- 3-4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
What to do
- Mix the cream cheese with some onion powder and garlic powder (to your own taste). Add salt and pepper if desired.
- Slice the cucumber into rounds or halve it and scrape out the seeds.
- If using rounds, spread some of the cream cheese mixture onto each cucumber slice. If using hollowed halves, stuff each half of the cucumber with half of the cream cheese mixture.
- Top each round or cucumber half with smoked trout.
- Eat and enjoy!