My kids have pretty much hit the jackpot in the aunt and uncle department on both sides.
My sister, their Aunt Katie, is a private chef with over twenty years of kitchen experience. Each summer at the cottage, she masterfully transforms all of our collective meal offerings into some of the best food I have ever tasted. As she makes magic happen at the counter, the rest of us happily wilt to surrounding chairs. This reprieve gives Aunt Em, a seasoned reporter, an opportunity to regale the children with horror stories while sweet Uncle Joe heads to the boathouse to build them rustic weaponry out of scrap wood and metal.
Last summer, Katie took Ruffles potato chips from my grocery pile, a filet of double smoked trout that my classier sister gifted, and made an appetizer that we were still dreaming about in spring. When contacted for the recipe, she assured me that the process was simple and ingredients perfectly suited to both home and travel. Since delighting one dinner party with this unique starter and next a cottage group I have been bursting to share with anyone ready to put hummus and baby carrots on notice.
One bag of Ruffles potato chips
One piece of double or triple smoked salmon or trout (The smoking process removes water from the fish. For this recipe a piece low in moisture works best.)
Tartar sauce (We make our own, see recipe below, but a good jarred variety might do the trick.)
Extra chopped dill for fanciness
Load a platter with salmon or trout filet, potato chips and bowl of tartar sauce
Sprinkle dill where needed
Encourage guests to put a spoonful of tartar sauce on a chip and top with a bite size piece of fish
Smile like the Cheshire cat watching their faces light up with joy
(This is one of those recipes without exact measurements. Keep adding and sampling until it tastes right.)
Chop up about half of a sweet white onion and place in a bowl
Add approximately ½ cup of sweet pickles and a splash of pickle juice from the jar
Mix in a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
Snip and add ¼ cup of dill
Combine all sauce ingredients with about 1 ½ cups of mayonnaise, cover and refrigerate
Quickly top up your wine glass before Mom comes back to the kitchen
Freshen Dad’s tumbler of tequila at the same time
After a mandatory freezing cold swim in the lake, check consistency and add more mayo if needed
Chef Katie suggests serving Bite Size Fish and Chips with pickles, olives, cold shrimp, and Caesars. She also suggests putting out some cut-up veggies because the tartar sauce also makes a delicious dip.
(Note: Thank you to Lapointe in Ottawa for letting me attend your school of fish!)