Sometimes I get up early on the weekends. I pour myself a cup of fresh hot coffee and I sit and gaze through the open kitchen window. I feel the breeze coming and messing up with my hair and I hear the chirping of the sparrows on the nearby tree. I love my slow weekend mornings when I see the people and their dogs on their morning walk. The dogs eagerly run away ahead of their owners, stretching the leashes and sniffing every tree and bush on their way. From time to time they look back at their owners with their tails wiggling with happiness, just as my happiness is quietly wiggling inside me on this sleepy summer morning. I am happy – for yet another great summer day.
Those are the days when I let everything happen on its own. I have no plans. I have no ideas. I can only sense that there is a great day ahead of me.
I head to the farmers market and wonder around the produce tables for time unknown. I have no plan. I have no idea what to cook, but I am in the mood for something delicious. These are the times when I allow the vibrant colors, shapes and people to soak me in, to inspire me into my next kitchen adventure.
Today was one of these days when I wandered around each display table and touched and smelled everything that grabbed my attention. There were rows of boxes with giant tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, colorful zucchinis, fresh herbs and fragrant flowers. Then my attention was grabbed by a cooler filled with fresh and smoked lake trout. I don’t know what attracted me so much. Maybe it was the different display or the visual break in the sea of vegetables. The trout looked so fresh and silvery shiny. I talked to the seller and he told me that the fish was caught in Lake Superior and smoked on Wednesday – just 3 days ago. I had to buy it and taste it. You know me, I love fish!
As I walked back through the produce rows with the bag of smoked trout, I had an idea. Why don’t I grab some small cucumbers, red onions and fresh dill and why don’t I make a fresh pickled salad to top the trout with – ah, on a crunchy toast. Why not indeed?!
Back into my kitchen, I had a piece of smoked trout. It was the most delicious smoked fish I had ever had. It was buttery and flaky with a slight natural wood smoky flavor and just the perfect amount of salt. I could barely restrain myself from eating the whole fish. I marinated the thinly sliced cucumbers and onions by placing them in a bowl of white vinegar, salt and mustard seeds. I also made a tangy mixture of sour cream, capers, lime juice and zest to round up the flavors. Then I piled everything on a thick crusted rustic bread toast. It was a match made in heaven – especially with a glass of white wine.
As I took a bite of the mound of happiness I thought to myself – what a prefect day!
Ciao my dear friends! Thanks for reading and see you soon.
Smoked Trout Toast with Marinated Cucumbers
Makes 4 big toasts
• 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
• 5 medium cornichons (or 1 seedless cucumber), thinly sliced (tip: a vegetable peeler is great for the job)
• 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
• 1 small container (8 oz.) full fat sour cream
• 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
• 1/2 lime, zested and juiced
• 1 whole smoked trout, flaked and small bones removed
• 4 bread slices of large thick crusted loaf
• 5-6 sprigs of fresh dill
Make the marinated cucumbers salad by placing the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Make the sour cream sauce by mixing the sour cream, chopped capers, lime juice and zest in a medium bowl. Lightly season with salt and pepper (the smoked trout contains a good amount of salt).
Toast the bread slices by popping them into the toaster.
Spread each toast with 1/4 cup of the sour cream sauce, then top with 1/4 of the smoked trout flakes. Finish by adding your desirable amount of marinated onions and cucumbers and top with a sprig of fresh dill.
Enjoy right away.