Who doesn’t love a crispy little ball of goodness that you can pop in your mouth between sips of wine? This is a mash-up of three different recipes, so I could come up with something original to serve guests as an appetizer with a chilled dry Riesling wine.
The origins are taramasalata, a smoked trout and cream cheese spread, and a lamb croquettes recipe. Somehow, in the hot summer, I find cream cheese a bit cloying, and although I love taramasalata, I know it’s an acquired taste, and it can be difficult to find a wine that works with it.
If you want to use this as a spread on bread, crackers, or vegetables, you can omit the panko and baking, and use a little more olive oil until it reaches a spreadable consistency. If you’re making it as panko crusted balls, serve them at room temperature or chilled: just make sure you keep the air circulating around them as they cool down so they don’t get soggy.
one fillet 8 oz smoked trout (about 7 oz after skinning), flaked
1 pinch chili flakes
1/4 tsp white pepper
4 oz by weight of stale good quality white bread (without crusts)
1 cup drained cooked beans (either prepare them the day before, or use canned beans — look for white kidney or cannellini beans)
half a small white onion — just over 2 oz by weight
juice of one lemon — 3 tbsp liquid measure
1/4 cup olive oil
Soak the stale bread in water and squeeze out the excess.
Combine the flaked fish, bread, beans, chili flakes, pepper, and chopped onion in a food processor, and pulse until well combined, and no big chunks (big hunks of beans and such) remain.
Pulse and slowly add lemon juice, followed by the olive oil to the desired consistency (use less oil if you’re planning to bake). Chill if serving as a spread.
To make croquettes, use a small scoop to shape balls of it, and roll in panko crumbs. Bake on a nonstick surface in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes.
Garnish with herbs and serve!
On Pat Anderson’s site you’ll find her writings about food, gardening and photography in her blog, links to photographs that she sells, either as prints on canvas or as manufactured goods, as well as some things that she has fun with, like a little bit of Leslieville history and info about her gardens.