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Recipe: Shmear

Makes about 600g

Prep:

Cook:

Serves:

    "What's a 'shmear'?" asked my non-Jewish editor when I was writing The Jewish Kitchen. It was a good question. It is more than a spread because there is a element of enthusiastic greed in its application. It is less than a topping and it is surely not a puree - far too elegant, and French. Smear comes closest, but even that implies a parsimonious approach. I explained how "shmearers" had once referred to textile workers who glued pieces of fabric, how the word has come to mean extra-curricular payments to dodgy politicos, how every bagel needs a shmear. By the time I had finished, she was sorry she asked. Then she made the mistake of asking how many people a shmear serves? "Well," I said, "It all depends on whether you shmear thick or thin…"

    Smoked Trout and Dill

    Makes about 600g

    If preferred, substitute cream cheese for the butter or use half and half.

    Ingredients
    ● 500g smoked trout fillets, flaked
    ● 225g unsalted butter, slightly softened
    ● Juice of 1 lemon
    ● 2 tbsp creamed horseradish
    ● A large pinch of cayenne or paprika
    ● Freshly ground black pepper
    ● 6 heaped tbsp sour cream
    ● 4 tbsp chopped dill

    Method
    ● Process half the trout with the butter, lemon juice, horseradish, cayenne and a generous amount of black pepper.
    ● Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and add the remaining trout flakes.
    ● Stir in the sour cream and dill until well combined. Add salt or more lemon juice if wished.

    Roasted pepper and white bean

    Makes about 500g

    Ingredients
    ● 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, roasted and peeled.
    ● 1 x 400g tin white beans (haricot or cannellini), drained.
    ● 40g fresh white breadcrumbs
    ● 4 anchovy fillets
    ● 50ml olive oil
    ● Salt and black pepper, to taste
    ● 1 tbsp lemon juice
    ● A couple of drops of Tabasco

    Method ● Puree all ingredients in a food processor until they are smooth.
    ● Check the seasoning and turn mixture into a serving bowl.

    Feta and mint

    Makes 200g

    Ingredients
    ● 200g Feta cheese
    ● 2 spring onions
    ● 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
    ● 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
    ● Freshly ground black pepper

    Method
    ● Blend all the ingredients to a grainy paste.
    ● Check seasoning and texture and adjust as wished.
    ● Turn into a serving bowl.

    Clarissa’s website

    Method
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