It's a Keeper: Salmon en Croute

For the last several weeks, I've been posting about working my way through the top 10 recipes from Rachael Ray's talk show last season. Let me tell you, I think I found a recipe that could dethrone the Buffalo Chicken Chili from the top spot: Salmon en Croute. Now, making this recipe was all about synchronicity. My friend Tommy had just gone fishing in Alaska and had more wild salmon that he knew what to do with and I needed wild salmon after worrying that farmed can have lots of toxic stuff.

So, I invited Tommy and his wife Kate over for dinner to enjoy their own salmon in a whole new way. I think we were all a little worried about how it would turn out since (a) it took awhile to make (b) it included hard boiled eggs, and (b) it required skill with puff pastry, which I have not demonstrated in the past. But goodness gracious, this was outstanding. All plates were clean by the end of the meal.

If you've ever thought you weren't a salmon person, try this recipe. You will become a true believer. And if you have a friend who only weeks before actually caught wild salmon in Alaska, make sure to be really nice to them so they will bring some over for you. Check out the slideshow below, where you can see the little fishing pole and fish that we made out of puff pastry. They were just icing on the cake.

I served the salmon with Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and a whole grain rice pilaf from a box. Made for a nice square meal. Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 pound button mushrooms and stems, cleaned and chopped [I am not a mushroom fan, so I chopped them up really small and that helped.]
2 sprigs dill, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (a small handful)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, optional [I don't consider it optional, I thought it added some good flavor]
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped [sounds odd, but it works]
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 6-ounce salmon filets, skin removed
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, 11 x 17 inches, defrosted but still cold
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water

Yields: 4 servings

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onions and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté 10 -15 minutes or until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated [remember that patience is a virtue - you really want all the liquid to evaporate or it will make your puff pastry soggy]. Remove from heat and add to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add dill, parsley, lemon juice, mustard, hard-boiled egg, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Wipe out the pan you used for the mushrooms and return it to medium-high heat with a drizzle of EVOO. Season salmon with salt and pepper, and sear 1-2 minutes on each side [remember they will cook in the oven too, so all you have to do is sear them] in a drizzle of oil. Remove skillet from the heat.

Spread the puff pastry sheet onto a counter and roll to 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut in half.

On each rectangle of dough, place 2 spoonfuls of the mushroom mixture and top with salmon.

Starting with the corners, wrap dough over the salmon, creating a package. [My packages didn't look like Rachael's, but they were just fine.]

Trim excess dough and seal with the egg water mixture using a pastry brush (leftover dough bits can be used to decorate the top of the packages.). Place sealed side down on a non-stick cookie sheet and make small slit in the top to let steam escape. [Put a cute fishie cutout on the top of each one, too. And a fishing pole if you are motivated enough.]

Brush with a light coating of the egg/water mixture to give it a nice sheen. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve.

8 comments:

  1. I definitely surprised myself with this one, but I couldn't have done it without Kate's help!

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  2. I'm impressed with the fishing pole on the top. Sounds delish!

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  3. I forget if Tommy or Kate made the fishing pole, but they did a very good job.

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  4. YUM! How long would you say it took you to complete? I'm slightly intimidated, lol.

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  5. Thanks, Faith - that is an important piece of information I left out! I think it probably took a little over an an hour, counting the the baking time and the time to make the green beans and the rice. It's from her talk show, and not intended to be a 30 minute meal.

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  6. my mouth is watering all over again. i think that is my favorite thing you have cooked for me!

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