Did you know that mullet are one of Florida’s biggest commercial fisheries? The state supplies nearly 9.5 million pounds of them to markets throughout the country and abroad. Each year around this time, entire festivals are held in fishing villages like Niceville, Woodland, and Mims to celebrate the start of the annual mullet run through the Gulf of Mexico. Did you know that mullet are herbivores that feed on plant matter floating in the water column? To cleanse mud and other particles from their gills they often make acrobatic leaps out of the water. Did you know that they have one of the highest contents of Omega-3 fatty acids and other essential amino acids and that their natural oils are high in vitamins and minerals?
For true Floridians, smoked mullet is a regional delicatessen. Surprising, huh? Did you also know that you can substitute cottage cheese for some of the mayonnaise in traditional smoked mullet dip recipe to give your spread a lighter, healthier taste? Even I, a lifetime connoisseur of fresh smoked fish spreads, was skeptical of that one until I tried it out myself.
With a little help from cottage cheese, I decided to put a healthy twist on the traditional Florida smoked fish dip. Since this cottage cheese was thicker and not as soupy as most other cottage cheeses, it made for a welcome substitution that didn’t alter the overall texture or consistency of the spread while adding a hint of sweet and cheesy flavor to compliment the salty taste of the mullet.
Not only does Friendship Dairies™ cottage cheese make the recipe taste better, you get up to an extra 15g of protein per serving. I’ll admit it. I was surprised.
Here is an extremely simple recipe if you want to give it a shot. Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of cottage cheese, you’ll probably be surprised about how good this is too.
You’re going to need two large smoked mullet filets, 1 cup Friendship Dairies™ Cottage Cheese, 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 2 oz celery, 1 oz. fresh chives, and 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning to get started.
We also use ground horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, 2 Key limes, and a pinch of cayenne pepper with salt and pepper to taste.
Since instructions on smoking mullet filets would probably take up an entire blog post, we’ll just assume your fish has already been smoked to your liking (or maybe you brought some home from the aforementioned mullet festivals). The next step is to flake the fish by pulling it apart with a pair of forks. Dice celery and chives. Set aside some of the chopped chives since you will be using it as a garnish to give your spread some color when you serve it. In a large mixing bowl, add fish, celery, chives, mayo and cottage cheese with seasoning, horseradish, Worcestershire. Cut limes and squeeze in juice. Mix all ingredients until it becomes a chunky paste.
Serve on your favorite wheat crackers. Sprinkle chives and cayenne pepper on top. This makes enough dip to feed 6 to 8 people. You don’t even have to tell your guests that they are eating cottage cheese. Let it be our little surprise.
- 2 large smoked mullet filets
- 1 cup Friendship Dairies™ Cottage Cheese
- 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 oz celery
- 1 oz. fresh chives
- 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tsp. ground horseradish
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Key limes
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start with smoked mullet filets. You can find them at the store or a seafood market if you don't smoke them yourself.
- The next step is to flake the fish by pulling it apart with a pair of forks.
- Dice celery and chives. Set aside some of the chopped chives since you will be using it as a garnish to give your spread some color when you serve it.
- In a large mixing bowl, add fish, celery, chives, mayo and cottage cheese with seasoning, horseradish, Worcestershire.
- Cut limes and squeeze in juice.
- Mix all ingredients until it becomes a chunky paste.
- Serve on favorite stoned wheat crackers. Sprinkle chives and cayenne pepper on top.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 270 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 39mg Sodium: 966mg Carbohydrates: 12g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g Protein: 13g
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