The other week when the cupboards began to look a little bare, I had a rummage through the freezer to see what wonderful things I could produce from the contents. The answer was very little that hadn’t been freezer-burned to within an inch of its life or that still looked like it might have any life left in it. I really think it’s about time that they invented a better kind of cling film for freezing. If it doesn’t stick at ambient temperatures, it won’t stick when it’s freezing cold and miserable.
Anyway, from the freezer, I found a lovely side of salmon from a trip to the supermarket. The sides of salmon in supermarkets seem to constantly frozen (excuse the pun) on a half price offer at the moment. I know both Ocado and Tesco charge £10 for a £20 piece of fish and that, my friends, is a bargain! It seemed a waste to cut it into little pieces so I rootled around in the fridge and decided to make a salmon en croute. Salmon en croute is one of those things that I love but that you see so rarely. It always reminds me of supper after arriving at my godmother’s.
I didn’t have a recipe to hand because I felt that if you’d made a beef wellington before, you could probably manage a salmon en croute and so I invented my own. Surprisingly it worked, it really worked. It was bloody tasty and work-night easy! We like work-night easy, even on weekends, I can only be bothered to make enormous effort if I feel that it will win me awards or new friends. In the fridge, I had some puff pastry, some herby cream cheese, some lemons, some dijon mustard, a bag of spinach, a couple of eggs and the salmon. I don’t think you really need anything else, except maybe some salt and pepper. I don’t think we even bothered with vegetables as it was so well packed with spinach.
I did find myself with the smallest piece of puff pastry, which must have been leftover from some kind of pie, but actually it meant that I had to roll it really thinly, nearly breaking thin, and that was most delicious as it was still crispy. I think when you have wet fish, wet filling, wet spinach, you want really crunchy bronzed puff pastry encasing it.
The same week, Esther at reciperifle.blogspot.com made a salmon en croute and she used a real recipe from a proper chef so you might want to go there and copy hers. However, I can promise that this was delicious and worth the very little effort required. The colours in the picture don’t really do it justice but the combination of pink and green was very pretty.
Salmon En Croute
- 500g piece of fresh salmon
- 150g puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 handfuls of spinach leaves
- 100g herby cream cheese,
- lemon juice
- 2 tsp of dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, dijon mustard, some lemon juice and salt and pepper. This will make a wet and sticky mixture.
- On a clean board, roll out the puff pastry to at least twice the size of your salmon with room to fold over. In the middle of the puff pastry, spread a layer of the cream cheese mixture. On top of this layer some spinach.
- Place the salmon on top of the spinach and spread a layer of the cream cheese mixture over the bottom of the piece of salmon.
- Roll the pastry so that the seam is under the salmon and there are no holes in the pastry. Use some of the beaten egg to seal the pastry if you need to.
- Brush the puff pastry with the rest of the beaten egg and bake in the oven for about 20-25 mins, at about 180C, you want the pastry to go golden and brown. I scored the pastry first so that I had a pretty pattern, that bits entirely up to you.