Hot smoked trout is delicious for breakfast, or made into a delicate paté but on this occasion I decided to put it to good use in this pretty, and tasty, brunch dish writes Sandra Tate…

troutFirstly I asked my fishmonger to kindly fillet 2 medium sized fresh trout. Make a light brine by mixing 30g salt, 20g light brown sugar and 500ml cold water and leave the fillets immersed in it for 30 minutes. Remove, rinse and pat completely dry on kitchen paper, and allow to dry for a further hour on a Bradley wire rack – they will feel slightly sticky by now. Add a few Pacific Blend or Alder bisquettes to the Bradley stack and set it to 75°C/170°F then smoke the fillets for 1 hour (an extra half hour more if you want a smokier flavour). Remove and set aside.

Ingredients – serves 4
4 smoked trout fillets (see above)
for the pancakes:
200g young spinach, washed, blanched, squeezed & chopped
3 spring onions, trimmed & finely sliced
225g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
300ml milk
2 eggs
30g melted butter
1 tsp salt
black pepper
oil or butter for frying
to serve mix 4 tbsp crème fraiche together with horseradish, to taste, and some chopped chives

Make the pancake batter by placing the flour, salt, a grinding of black pepper and baking powder in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and break in the eggs. Add half of the milk and start to bring the batter together, now add the remaining milk and melted butter and whisk until smooth. Add the chopped spinach and spring onion and stir in to incorporate.

Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, or knob of butter followed by a small ladle of pancake mixture. Once bubbles are appearing it is time to turn the pancake. When cooked to golden on both sides, transfer to a plate in a warm oven and continue to cook until mixture is finished. Depending on the size of pancakes you make, (and the size of your pan of course), you may be able to me 2-3 at a time. You will end up with 3 pancakes per person if you make them about 7cm diameter.

Finally, spiral three pancakes on each plate, top with a flaked fillet per person, and finish with a blob of horseradish crème fraiche. Serve while still warm.