I really need to tattoo the Daring Cooks' posting date on my arm or something... why do i keep thinking it's the 17th?? I guess i get too excited about the reveal date that i mix it up with the posting :( This is like the 3rd time thats happened, ughhh... i frustrate myself too much. But anyways, this month's challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking and she picked Salmon en Croute for the December challenge. I've been meaning to make Salmon en Croute for a while now so thank you Simone for reading my mind! I was absolutely in love with everything about it that i actually made this a week after the reveal date (that's a huge improvement considering what a procrastinator I am). The recipe was very simple and everything went well during the process. My only complaint was that there weren't any fresh veggies at the grocery store the day i went shopping so i had to use frozen spinach instead. The cream cheese mixture turned out a little dry (squeezed too much out of the spinach) but that was okay since JLo and I don't pay too much attention to little details. I also made my own shortcrust pastry and used butterfly cookie cutters for decorations. Had to patch up some of the torn parts on my crust though, hope it isn't too visible on the pics XD. I would totally make this for Christmas dinner but since we'll be off on vacations, maybe for new years? We shall see!
- 450 grams (3.2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 200 grams butter, very cold and cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 - 3 tablespoons cold water
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the salt and 2 -3 tablespoons of water and mix to a firm dough. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill while preparing the filling.
- If you have a food processor: put the flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, gradually add 2 - 3 tablespoons of water through the funnel until the dough comes together [picture 1]. Gather the coarse crumbs together and push to form a ball [picture 2]. Wrap in cling film and chill while preparing the filling [picture 3].
Salmon en Croute
- 150 grams cream cheese or mascarpone
- 120 grams watercress, rocket (argula) and spinach
[i used frozen leaf spinach]
- 500 grams shortcrust pastry [recipe above]
- 500 grams salmon fillet, skinless
[Check out Gordon Ramsay's video on How to Skin and Bone a Salmon]
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium egg, for eggwash
- Heat the oven to 200°C/390 F.
- Put the mascarpone or cream cheese in a food processor with the watercress, spinach and rocket and whizz the lot until you have a creamy green puree. Season well [picture 1. 2].
- Roll the pastry out so you can wrap the salmon in it completely (approx. 2-3 mm thick) [picture 3]and lay it on a buttered or oiled baking sheet (it will hang over the edges). Put the salmon in the middle [picture 4]. If it has a thinner tail end, tuck it under.
- Spoon half of the watercress/spinach mixture onto the salmon [picture 4].
- Now fold the pastry over into a neat parcel (the join will be at the top, so trim the edge neatly), making sure you don’t have any thick lumps of pastry as these won’t cook through properly [picture 5]. Trim off any excess as you need to.
- Make 3 neat cuts in the pastry to allow steam to escape and make some decorations with the off-cuts to disguise the join if you like [picture 6]. Brush with the egg glaze.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and browned. To test wether the salmon is cooked, push a sharp knife through one of the cuts into the flesh, wait for 3 seconds then test it against the inside of your wrist; if it is hot, the salmon is cooked.
- Serve with the rest of the watercress puree as a sauce.