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Smoked Mackerel Mousseline

February 27, 2011

Last year when I was living in Kailua, Hawaii, my friend Iwona taught me how to make her Polish fish and cheese spread. We would make a batch in the morning while we waited for a loaf of fresh bread to bake – the best partner we could imagine for the spread. Recently I’ve been craving this satisfying combination almost as much as I have been craving a return trip to Kailua. Iwona’s version is chunky; she simply mashes the ingredients together with a fork. I wanted to glam it up a bit and pass it off as a sophisticated appetizer. Enter, the mousseline.

By the strictest of definitions, this is not a mousseline though I suppose you could add whipped cream at the end with favorable, maybe even delicious results. The third definition for mousseline according to the Food Lover’s Companion is “any of various dishes or baked goods that have a light and delicate texture.” And light and delicate is exactly how I would describe this tasty spread. The silky texture and color reminded me of good tahini. It’s creamy without being too rich thanks in part to the slightly tangy cheeses.

Spread it on fresh bread or crostini in the winter and thick slices of fresh cucumber in the summer.

Smoked Mackerel Mousseline


6 oz smoked mackerel (Approximately an 8-10 ounce whole smoked fish)
3 oz cream cheese
6 oz farmers cheese*
horseradish, optional
2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Carefully separate the fish from the bones.
  2. Combine fish and cheeses (and horseradish if using) in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with sliced scallions.

* Note: Farmers cheese is a soft, unripened white cheese. If you can’t find it locally, simply combine three parts ricotta with one part sour cream. Some people use cottage cheese as a substitute, but I don’t like the texture.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. herbgirl permalink
    February 27, 2011 1:57 pm

    mmm!!! This recipe sounds easy enough. Thank you for identifying the farmers cheese and the option….it helps when the igredients are hard to find. I love bread fresh from the oven!

    • Maile permalink
      April 19, 2011 10:14 am

      I want to try to make this.. wish me luck. How do you make crostini?

      • April 19, 2011 1:28 pm

        Both are easy to make. For the crostini: you slice bread 1/4 – 1/2″ thick, spray or brush it with olive oil, and bake it at 375F for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let it cool and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it. It’s a great use for day-old/slightly stale bread.

  2. Maile permalink
    April 23, 2011 9:24 pm

    Thanks!! Made this tonight and am serving it at Easter brunch!! Fingers crossed!!

  3. Maile permalink
    April 25, 2011 7:32 am

    This was a huge hit with my Polish Easter crowd! Thank you!!

    • April 25, 2011 12:37 pm

      Yeah! Maile, I’m thrilled to know that your family enjoyed it. Pretty easy right?


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