When we had the Mallow Farmers’ Market taking place outside Urru last summer, I never missed the chance to pick up a pack of Old Millbank Smokehouse hot smoked trout from Geraldine Bass. Saturday mornings in work were always busy so I had to watch for a gap between customers to make a dive out of the shop before all the good stuff was gone. Geraldine would also have her smoked salmon and, for a real treat, some very fine smoked salmon pâté but I always made a beeline for the trout, a much underrated ingredient and one that I’d pick any day over smoked salmon.
Each vacumn pack cost €5 for a whole smoked trout and with, one of those in the fridge, we always had something good for dinner. We baked it with pasta, broccoli and cream for cold day comfort food, mashed into cream cheese to spread on rye bread, and used in many sunny day salads, my favourite of which is the Smoked Trout and Lemon Pasta variation below.
Even though the Mallow Farmers’ Market may be no more, fortunately Geraldine sells her wares at the Killavullen Farmers’ Market and you can also pick up Old Millbank Smokehouse products at Mahon Point Farmers’ Market. If you can’t get your hands on any smoked trout, then you could use another smoked fish instead. Mackerel is a good, inexpensive substitute.
Smoked Trout and Lemon Pasta Salad
Dried penne pasta – 450g
Smoked trout – 1 pack, about 250g
Spring onions – 4, chopped
Juice and finely grated zest of 1½ lemon
Extra virgin olive oil – 4 tablespoons
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
Flaked almonds – 100g, toasted
Fresh fennel – small bunch, chopped finely
Cook the penne according to packet directions, drain, rinse under cold water and drain well again.
Remove the skin and any bones from the smoked trout, break into bite-sized pieces and add to pasta with the chopped spring onions.
Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil together. Season well and pour over the salad. Toss well and serve sprinkled with the toasted almonds and chopped fennel.