King, Spanish and cero mackerel, along with amberjack, are excellent for the smoker and make a great base for Florida Keys Smoked Fish Spread.

A heavy-duty mixer or food processor makes it easier to break down the fish into a spread-like consistency, but elbow grease will work just as well.

The sweet flavors added by the roasted red pepper and hoisin sauce balance the assertive flavor of the fish.  Garnish with strips of red pepper or chopped parsley, and serve with thinly sliced toasted rye bread or crackers.  This spread freezes exceptionally well.  Omit the pine nut garnish before freezing.

Serves 4 to 6


  • ½ pound smoked fish, skin removed  (mackerel, trout, bluefish,     kingfish, amberjack)
  • 1 teaspoon bottled horseradish
  •  2 tablespoons sour cream
  •  4 ounces cream cheese
  •  1 tablespoon minced roasted red pepper
  •  ¼ teaspoon hoisin sauce  (found in the Asian section)
  •  1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  •  Salt
  •  Freshly milled black pepper


Flake the fish into a large mixing bowl.  Add the horseradish, sour cream, cream cheese, roasted red pepper, hoisin sauce and lemon juice.  Beat well until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes with an electric mixer.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate before serving.


  • With garlic chives – Add 2 teaspoons minced garlic chives to the mixture.
  • Lower fat – Replace the sour cream and cream cheese with light versions of both.
  •  With toasted walnuts or pine nuts – Garnish with toasted nuts.

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Capt. Chris and Christy Johnson
SeaSquared Charters
Marathon Florida Keys

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