Get ready to ditch the classic charcuterie plate for Pippin Hill’s new seasonal staple – the smoked fish board. Executive Chef Ian Rynecki created this light and refreshing dish just in time for summer and it has already proved to be a hit on those hot Veranda afternoons.

Chef Ian found his inspiration for the dish in a surprising place: New York bagel shops. “I was inspired by my years in New York City eating some fantastic smoked fish at places that have been around for more than 100 years,” Chef Ian says. “My plan was to create a dish that encompassed the “everything bagel with smoked salmon” and finding some ways to elevate that.” Using quark cheese instead of normal cream cheese and fresh-baked everything baguette from MarieBette are just two of the ways that Chef Ian elevates his smoked fish board.

The board includes two different kinds of smoked fish: cold smoked Atlantic Salmon and smoked Chesapeake Trout, sourced from Ivy City Smokehouse in DC and Acme Smokehouse in NYC. Salmon and trout are ideal candidates for smoking because the process enhances their mild flavors, and Chef Ian is always looking for ways to incorporate ingredients that may be under-represented in the dining scene, like trout.

The salmon is cold smoked, meaning it is cured in brine and then smoked at a temperature below 130 degrees. On the other end, the trout is hot smoked, meaning it is smoked at a temperature above 175 degrees. The trout is then deboned and mixed with ravigote, which is comprised of red and white onion, capers, parsley, tarragon, chive, sour cream, and sherry vinegar.

The fish is accompanied by pickled caper berries, which add saltiness and brine to the board. Caper berries, the mature fruit of the caper bush, have a more mild flavor than the young caper we know and love. The caper berries are pickled and have a distinctive popping texture from the hundreds of small seeds inside the fruit.

No board is complete without at least a little bit of cheese, and this board features quark cheese, a soft and acidic European-style cream cheese. Quark is German for “fresh curd,” and we source this special cheese all the way from Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery.

The fish is also accompanied by pickled red onion, marinated baby artichokes, and everything bread. All of these salty and savory components come together to create the perfect summer smoked fish board. “Smoked fish offers a refreshing option to typical cheese and charcuterie boards we’ve been selling since Pippin opened,” Chef Ian says. “It’s a dish meant to be shared and, for me, fits the role of a perfect lunch.”

This shareable dish pairs especially well with any sparkling wine, including our 2017 Pippin Hill sparkling rosé. It also compliments the sweet, peachy flavors in our 2016 Viognier or the butter, vanilla and oak that delight the palate in our 2016 Chardonnay.

Now that you know about the care and attention to detail that goes into our new smoked fish board, come visit us and try it for yourself!

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