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Daring Cooks' challenge December: Salmon en croûte

>> Monday, December 14, 2009

Salmon en croute
I was very pleased when the Daring Cooks' challenge of this month was revealed, because I love salmon. Therefore I had to love a salmon fillet wrapped in short crust, a.k.a., salmon en croûte. En croûte dishes are typical in French cuisine, the croûte being the dough in which they are wrapped. If there's any French in the room, please correct me if I'm wrong. So here's my take on this scrumptious dish.

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.

Salmon en croûte

  • 150 g mascarpone or any cream cheese
  • 120 g watercress, rocket and spinach
  • 1/2 kg shortcrust pastry (you can use store-bought pastry, but I always make my own, recipe follows)
  • 500 g salmon fillet
  • 1 medium egg
For the shortcrust pastry:
  • 280 g all-purpose flour
  • 125 g cold butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 100 g cold water
To prepare the crust, first weigh the flour and butter. Dice the butter and toss it in the flour. Mix it in a food processor until you obtain a crumbly mixture. Add the salt, mix and pour the cold water. I always use the water at fridge temperature. Then mix on high speed until the dough coheres and you get a nice ball. Don't overmix it. Then roll it to at least 1 cm thickness, lay on plastic film and then on a large tray that can fit into the fridge. Cover with another sheet of plastic and put in the fridge to cool.

Salmon en croute
While the dough is resting prepare the filling. Wash the vegetables, pat them dry and mix with the cheese in a food processor, until you get a smooth green cream. I only used spinach and the result was very mild, but I prefer it that way. I'm sure the flavor will be sharper if you add the rocket and watercress too.

The recipe called for making a large package with the whole salmon fillet, so that it could be served in large slices. I preferred to try and make individual little packages, although my size estimation wasn't very... ahem, accurate. In the end each "little" package sufficed for 2 people, because the assembly is quite... nourishing. But anyway I'm sure this would also be a great combination in empanadas size.

Salmon en croute
Heat the oven to 200 ºC. In the meantime, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it thin. Lay the salmon fillet or pieces of fillet on the dough. Sprinkle the salmon with the salt and spread the vegetables-cheese cream on it. Then close the package by brushing the edge with a little water and pressing with the tines of a fork. Transfer the packages to a baking dish. My intention was to make a fish-looking croûte... but I didn't quite succeed. Judge for yourselves. I need some more practice... I'm willing to learn by making this dish some other time... I will make this sacrifice. Back to the point, slash the dough surface in a couple of places so that the steam can come out (I forgot it!). Then beat an egg and use it to brush all the croûte. When the oven is hot enough, put the dish into it and bake for half an hour.

I really liked this dish, we had a family meal and everybody loved it. The flavors meld wonderfully. You can't clearly make out the flavors of the vegetables and cheese and at the same time the salmon flavor is tempered... very tasty result. Wonderful with a good white wine, for an elegant main course on New Year's Eve... remember we have dinner at 10 in Spain... we're crazy.

28 comentarios:

Junglefrog December 14, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

Wow Miriam! I love how your salmon en croute looks! Your crust is perfect!! Unlike mine I have to say; I so have to try this again and get it better!

penny aka jeroxie December 14, 2009 at 11:01 AM  

That looks amazing! The crust seems so perfect and the fish is cooked perfectly too.

Wic December 14, 2009 at 11:32 AM  

amazing work with this challenge. love the result it looks delicious.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 14, 2009 at 11:45 AM  

I don't even eat salmon but this looks wonderful!

Asha @ FSK December 14, 2009 at 12:53 PM  

Oh WOW!! That is one stunning en croute!! the crust is so invitingly golden ! Beautiful....

Jenny December 14, 2009 at 1:09 PM  

Looks absolutely amazing! perfect crust and perfectly cooked salmon. I did the meat version (Moose Wellington!) but all the salmon en croute I have seen today has convinced me I need to make it with fish as well. Great job on the challenge!

Winnie December 14, 2009 at 1:36 PM  

Nice job on the challenge...beaufiful photos; it looks so delicious!

Tasty Trix December 14, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

Very very cool version of this dish. Can I just say how happy I am to see homemade pastry for this? Bravo!! Just beautiful, and so cute how you shaped it. I adore salmon and my mouth is just watering right now.

Shirley December 14, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

Love the shape!

Cajun Chef Ryan December 14, 2009 at 4:24 PM  

It's has been years since I've made a version of this. It was call Cubiac of Salmon and also had spinach, mushrooms and rice in the preparation.


chef_d December 14, 2009 at 6:31 PM  

Perfect looking crust and fish! And yes I agree, this would be perfect in empanada size :)

Rochelle December 14, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

Great looking pastry and fish! The photos are perfectly clear too.

Tasty Eats At Home December 14, 2009 at 8:22 PM  

Your crust looks so delicious, and I love that you made fishy shapes with it! How creative. Congrats on a job well done!

Janice December 14, 2009 at 10:35 PM  

ooh that looks great, lovely moist salmon and such a pretty fishy shaped pastry case.

Bread and Jam December 15, 2009 at 3:14 AM  

The crust on this looks perfect and the salmon so delicate. What a great job! And very creative with the fish design. :)

Lori Lynn December 15, 2009 at 3:38 AM  

It looks terrific! I bet it was delicious!

Simon December 15, 2009 at 6:16 AM  

Remember, you guys also have a break from work and lunch during the middle of the day. That makes more sense to me than to power through tired and unproductive :)

This looks perfect for one generous portion. Looks like it was cooked through rather nicely too :)

NOELLE December 15, 2009 at 6:37 PM  

Wonderful pictures and recipe! COngrats!

syrupandhoney December 15, 2009 at 6:59 PM  

Yours turned out beautifully - great job!

Pilar - Lechuza December 15, 2009 at 8:51 PM  

Miriam, this is just like the empanadas we prepare in Galicia.
un biquiño

computer desk December 16, 2009 at 7:43 AM  

The crust looks so crunchy and the stuffing is like heaven! I would love to make some for me and my family this Christmas! Thanks for sharing! I have something new to serve.

Miriam December 16, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

Simone: your crust was OK!
Penny: thanks!
Wic: thanks!
Mardi: thanks!
Asha: thanks!
Jenny: the meat version was also great, but the fish one was new to me
Winnie: thanks!
Trix: homemade pastry is so much better... and not such a big effort
Shirley: thanks!
Ryan: you're right! It's similar
Chef_d: thanks!
Rochelle: thank you!
Tasty: thank you!
Janice: thanks!
B&J: thank you!
Lori: thanks, it was delicious!
Simon: well, ther would be much to discuss about that :-)
Noelle: thanks!
S&H: thank you!
Lechuza: políglota! XD
CD: hope you like it!

s. stockwell December 16, 2009 at 11:58 PM  

What a work of art! Love this post and will make this for guests. Best to you from Jefferson's Table, Montecito, California.

The Klutzy Cook December 17, 2009 at 2:08 AM  

I have some salmon waiting to be cooked and this looks fantastic. The pastry completely won me over. Thanks.

Anonymous December 17, 2009 at 9:13 PM  

WOW..not only is that a perfect salmon en croute, but your photos and presentation are gorgeous!! Beautifully done all around!!

Xai December 19, 2009 at 12:43 AM  

i love your en croute! i want to make it right now!!!!

Kevin December 20, 2009 at 7:43 PM  

That looks so good!

Miriam December 23, 2009 at 11:39 PM  

S. Stockwell: thank you! Lovely site!
Klutzy cook: hope you like it!
Lisa: thank you!
Xai: haha
Kevin: thanks!


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