Whisky-cured sea trout on cream cheese and pumpernickel with apple salad
- November 2015
- Serves 10-12 as a starter
- Hands-on time 25 min, plus 48 hours weighting and curing
A wonderful do-ahead recipe. The curing flavours also work well with salmon if you prefer it to sea trout, or if it’s more readily available.
Our pastrami-style cured salmon also makes a spectacular buffet centrepiece.
- 8.3g (2.1g saturated)
- 15g (4.4g sugars)
- 2 x 750g skin-on sea trout fillets, pin bones removed
- 4 tbsp whisky
- 100g good quality sea salt flakes (we like Cornish Sea Salt)
- 75g golden granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
- 1 large bunch fresh dill or fennel herb (80–100g), thick stalks discarded, the rest chopped
for the apple salad
- 1 granny smith apple, cored and cut into small pieces (squeeze over lemon juice if making ahead, to stop it browning)
- ¼ cucumber, cut into small dice
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 tsp small capers
- 2 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 10-12 pumpernickel slices
- 150g cream cheese
- Lay the sea trout fillets, flesh-side up, in a large baking tray and brush liberally every now and then with 2 tbsp whisky, waiting until it has been absorbed by the fish before adding a bit more. This may take about 20 minutes. Set aside.
- Mix the salt, sugar, pepper and dill together in a medium bowl. Put one of the sea trout fillets, skin-side down, on top of a large sheet of cling film and press half the dill mixture in an even layer onto the surface of the fish. Lay the other fillet alongside, but in the opposite direction, flesh-side up, and cover with the other half of the mixture. Press the mixture onto the fillets and drizzle each one with 1 tbsp whisky. Quickly flip the second fillet onto the first one so they’re top to tail (with the thick part of a fillet at each end, sitting evenly together) with the skin on the outside.
- Wrap the cling film around the fish as tightly as you can, then wrap it with another 2-3 layers to make a watertight parcel. Put it back onto the baking tray, rest a wooden board or another tray on top and weigh it down with a few unopened tins or anything heavy, making sure the weight is evenly distributed. Leave in the fridge for 48 hours, turning the fish parcel every 12 hours or so.
- To serve, unwrap the fish, separate the fillets and scrape off and discard the excess herby mixture. Starting from the tail end of the fillet and using a very sharp, thin-bladed knife, thinly slice the fish at an acute angle and as close to the skin as you can, as though for smoked salmon.
- Arrange the slices of cured sea trout on a serving platter or attractive wooden board. Spread the slices of pumpernickel bread thinly with cream cheese, then cut into little rectangles. Put the ingredients for the apple salad into a small serving bowl and mix well. To serve, ruffle a little of the cured sea trout onto a piece of pumpernickel, spoon on a little of the apple salad and devour.
Make this up to 5 days in advance and leave in the fridge, weighted down.
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