Salmon en Croûte

DSC_0665I saw this recipe in one of Mary Berry’s (I think) columns and fell in love with it as soon as I planted my eyes on it. It is traditionally served as a Boxing Day dish but I don’t think any particular occasion merits its appearance.

As you may know I love working with pastry in both sweet and savoury forms, but I have never worked with pastry and fish in the same dish before. So here we go:

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 fresh Red Peppers – washed
  • 25g Butter
  • 200g Spinach – washed
  • 1 whole side of Salmon
  • 1 pack Puff Pastry
  • Fresh Basil (to garnish)

SAUCE

  • 250-300ml Double Cream
  • 2 tablespoons Pesto
  • Juice of 1 Lemon

Serves 6
Preparation time: 40-45 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes (peppers) 35 minutes (salmon and pastry)

METHOD

  1. Wilted_SpinachPre-heat the oven at Gas Mark 7/210°C.
  2. Cut the peppers in half and remove all the seeds. Place the halves cut-side-down on a baking tray and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Take the peppers out and place in an oiled bowl. Tightly cover with clingfilm and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, melt the butter in a large saucepan and shortly afterwards, add the spinach. Cook until it is slightly wilted – a considerably darker green and reduced by about half (see pictured above).
  4. Side_SalmonAfter you have done this, the peppers should be cool enough to handle. Using a vegetable knife to assist you, peel the skins off of the peppers and cut the flesh into thick strips.
  5. Skin your salmon side (I do not recommend any more than a whole side of salmon (see pictured), but you may want less if you have less guests to serve). Cut the fish in half.
  6. Also cut your pastry in half and roll out one of the sheets on a lightly floured surface. Place half the salmon on top, followed by some of the spinach and the peppers. Do the same again with the other half of the salmon, peppers and spinach.
  7. Salmon_en_Croûte_precookedNow lift up the pastry and fold so you leave a little gap at the top. Roll out the other half of the pastry and fold over the top and seal at the sides so the mixture is fully encased (see pictured). Crimp the edges with a fork and place back onto the baking sheet and put back in the oven for another 35 minutes.
  8. With ten minutes left, make the sauce: simply heat the double cream in a saucepan, squeeze in the lemon juice and stir in the pesto. Serve the pastry dish in slices, and pour over the sauce. Accompany with mashed potatoes and peas, as well as the leftover peppers.
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