Numedal boasts some of the best fishing in Norway. And if you have ever tasted trout or salmon from this area, you would have to agree. Permit-holding, pole-bearing men, women and children head out during the season to collect their bounty. Some make it a weekend affair and hike to the tops of mountains to hidden lakes year after year. The freshly, caught fish cooked then and there is like eating melted butter. The rest, is saved for later – either frozen, smoked, or fermented.
And as I had some smoked trout in the fridge, I wanted to make something a little more decadent and exciting for guests. It is the holiday season after all. And as I thought of party food, my mother-in-law’s fiskekarbaret came to mind. The recipes for fiskekarbaret vary substantially, but in general, it is a holiday spread of fish with a layer of gelatin over the top and used on bread or crackers. If you google the term, you’ll find many that look like something jumping out of a 1970s cookbook – uninviting and outlandishly decorated. But to the credit of my mother-in-law, her fiskekaberet has pure sophistication to it. It’s creamy, light and uses only a few ingredients. No eggs or vegetables or odd looking shapes. And while she guards her recipe from any and all eyes, I wanted to create something with that fluffy texture and creamy taste. And so began the smoked trout mousse.
It’s light, fluffy, slightly salty and tangy – and it does not come shaped in a gelatinous mould. It’s incredibly easy to make, and with a couple of ingredients and a food processor, you’ll be serving this alongside your brød in no time. And as I had just made potato & shallot latkes, the mousse was a perfect accompaniment. Fish and potatoes. It doesn’t get any more Norwegian than that.
Smoked Trout Mousse (Røkt Ørret Mousse)
- 8oz smoked trout (200 grams)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml)
- 4oz cream cheese (115 grams)
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt & pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped chives
- Garnish: smoked trout, chives and lemon zest
Add the smoked trout, heavy cream, cream cheese and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until the mousse is slightly course, but creamy.
Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper as desired. Gently incorporate the chives.
Serve as a dip or on top of potato and shallot latkes, flatbrød, sliced and boiled potatoes, and crispy bread.
*You can serve the mousse immediately, but the flavors are best if allowed to rest overnight in the refrigerator.