Another www.daringkitchen.com challenges and I’m pleased with the results.
The 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. Simone chose Salmon en Croute (or alternative recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croute) from Good Food Online.
I’m really getting into these challenges. This one is the “cook’s” challenge and they are posted on the 27th of each month and the “baking” challenge is revealed on the 14th of each month.
I have made en croute once in my life and that was individual beef wellingtons I made for a Valentines dinner for two I catered about 18 years ago. I don’t know why I haven’t tried salmon en croute before. The crust is very simple and is has a wonderful flaky texture.
I really thought that the filling for this recipe would be too rich. We had the option of cream cheese or mascarpone. I had the cream cheese so decided to use it. Next time I will probably try the mascarpone. I also used a mixture of arugula and spinach. Next time a little more on the spinach. I did add some dill to the mixture and I made a lemon butter paprika sauce to go with it.
I got to pick one of my Meyer lemons from my tree. I wait all year for fall to get here so I can start using them. I only had 18 this year but better than the 8 I got last year. My husband is going to plan it in the ground after this crop has been picked so we may get a bigger tree with more fruit next year.
I hope you will try this recipe. You could use puffed pastry but you should really try this shortcrust recipe first. I really thought this fish would be an individual serving but as I cut my template, I had to keep making it bigger and bigger to accommodate the fish I was going to put inside. Kind of like my dad’s fish stories. I think hearing about some of his catches, the fish kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger each time he told the story.
Everything ready to go. The green mixture is cream cheese and arugula/spinach mix with some dill thrown in. I think some finely chopped red onion would be great added to this recipe.
I did have to roll my top crust a little bigger to be able to cover all this up.
The tail piece of salmon is almost my favorite so I claimed this part for myself.
The lemon butter paprika sauce was fantastic. I added a little fresh thyme to it. Just wonderful.
Salmon En Croute
- Shortcrust pastry
- 5.2 oz. 150 gr mascarpone or cream cheese
- 4.2 oz. 120 gr. arugula, watercress, and spinach (mixed)
- 1 egg
- Shortcrust Pastry:
- 450 gr 15.8 oz. or 3.2 cups plain all purpose flour
- 200 gr 7 oz. cold butter
- pinch salt
- 1 lb. salmon
- Pastry: Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you have a food processor you can use that and it is a lot faster.
- Stir in the salt, then add 2-3 tablespoons ice water and mix to a firm dough. (I think I had to use almost 6 tablespoons before the dough started to come together). Here's a video if you want to watch someone making shortcrust. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surfce. Wrap in plastic wrap adn chill while preparing the filling. For best results make sure the butter is very cold.
- Preheat oven to 390°. Put the mascapone or cream cheese in a food processor with the watercress, arugula, and spinach and process until you have a creamy green puree. Season with salt and pepper (I added 1/2 teaspoon of dill weed.)
Lemon Butter Sauce:
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
- Melt butter in saucepan. Stir other ingredients in and serve over salmon.
barryDecember 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm
For the sauce…I would have reduced some cream and then whisked in some softened butter and seasonings… this would stop any possible butter oil taste that would occur with just the melted butter… would also give a better plate presentation
Sherry -- aka rosemaryandthegoatDecember 15, 2009 at 2:23 pm
I will try that the next time. I had to come up with a quick sauce and it was just for me and my husband and I wanted to finish the challenge early. I thing you are right about the presentation. My lemon butter did have a good taste though.
MonkeyDecember 15, 2009 at 8:12 pm
I love your pastry fish – looks great (and yes, I do like the cranberry bubbles too…)
Unfortunately the Monkey Wife does not eat fish, so we didn’t do the salmon version of this challenge…
AltaDecember 16, 2009 at 7:14 am
I love love love your fish-shaped crust! And the decorated plate – how cute! Definitely worthy of company. Great job!
JessieDecember 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm
wow! I just loved that you made a fish shaped crust to represent the main meat in this dish. This looks wonderful!