Loved the fish spread we had in Leland, Michigan.
On our trip around Lake Michigan a few weeks ago we saw “smoked whitefish dip” on (no kidding) every menu. By the time we reached Lealand, MI (Fish Town) and we were sitting in a little restaurant overlooking a small waterfall (dam) with all the little weathered fish shanties, old smokehouses and drying racks for the fish and wondering what this life would have been like in the early 1900’s, we decided it was time to try their version of smoked fish dip.
Have to say I was pretty reluctant and if it weren’t for my hub I would not have ordered it. I’m sure this was popular back in the day (decades ago) because of all the fish and the smoking of them that went on around this area. I’ve seen hot and cold version along our trip; this particular one was hot and I think the fish was smoked.
My “smokey” flavor is coming from the smoked almonds not the fish. Even though our stores have a great selection of fish, not even our fish market carries whitefish from Michigan so I used some redfish. You could use any mild, white flaky fish for this recipe. If you want a little more smokey flavor, add a couple of drops of liquid smoke.
I cooked the redfish with the scales on then removed skin and scales on back of fish. Next time I make this I may have my husband smoke the fish for a smokier flavor.
Some of the ingredients. I mashed the cooked fish up with a fork before mixing in with the other ingredients.
I used garlic out of a jar because chopping garlic is my least favorite thing to do.
Mix all the other ingredients together except for the green onions.
Coarsely chop the salted roasted almonds and save a few for garnish.
Put the dip into a sprayed small casserole dish or if you have an 8″ cast iron skillet use that; looks cool served that way.
Baked Smoky Fish Dip
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 6-8 oz. smoked fish
- Slap Your Mama seasoning or other cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/3 c. coarsely chopped smoked almonds a few extra for garnishing
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- zest one lemon
- 3 thinly sliced green onions for garnish
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- few grinds of cracked black peppercorns
- 1-2 drops liquid smoke optional
- Pita bread
- 4 Tbsp. butter melted
- 1/2-1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
Mix all the ingredients (except for the green onions) for the dip and put in a greased baking dish and bake in 325° oven until hot and bubbly. Serve with toasted pita chips.
For the pita chips, I cut and separated into small triangle shapes. I melted 1/2 stick butter and mixed with 1/2-1 tsp. of lemon pepper and then brushed this on pita and baked in 300° oven until crisp.
I also served some toasted baguettes with my dip because I kind of burned some of my pita chips. I think a cracker like Trisket would be good with this spread.