Ok, let me start by saying that this is not one of my personal favorite recipes.  However, my dad loves it, as does almost every other person I know.  What can I say, I’m just not a fan of the smoked fish…

This recipe originally came from a restaurant called The Bowery in Traverse City, Michigan, near where I grew up.  My parents often went there for holiday parties and special occasions, and this dip was always a favorite.  Eventually, my mom managed to weasel the recipe out of a waitress (my mom is notoriously personable and talkative, a trait I didn’t really inherit from her).  She was shocked by how easy it was (the waitress even told her where in town to get the smoked fish).  That was at least 10 years ago, maybe 15, and mom still makes it for parties.  She doesn’t make it all that often, because it does make the house smell like fish.  If you like fish, this is not a problem.  Mom doesn’t like fish. 

All that aside, it is ridiculously easy, and makes a very impressive appetizer, especially if you serve it in a pretty little terrine or small baker (a couple of those little Le Creuset bakers would be beautiful).  Serve hot with breadsticks, crackers, or bagel chips (anything crunchy is good I think).

Smoked Whitefish Dip
3/4-1 lb smoked whitefish, deboned, shredded
1 lb cream cheese
1 oz of garlic

To prepare: Mix all ingredients well in a blender or food processor.  (If you want to retain the bits of shredded fish, beat the cream cheese until soft, add the garlic, and then fold in the fish by hand.  This will give you a chunkier texture.)  Spread dip in an oval baker or other oven-safe dish. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Serve hot.