On sunday afternoon I had a few hours spare and so decided to try my hand at making puff pastry, I will skip the details of the pastry making (or possibly just save it for another time) as you can buy it pre-made to make this recipe.
Once my mission was complete I was eager to create something using the pastry to see if all the effort had been worth while!
I consulted the other Keston ladies and they suggested that I served up a Monday evening dinner of salmon en croute. I have to admit I was not exactly sure what that entailed so I turned to google. After establishing that you could use puff or short crust pastry and any pretty much any combination of flavours to go inside I chose a recipe I found on the channel 4 website that I liked the look of and based my dish on that.
Ingredients (serves 4):
4 X 120g fillets of salmon - these were smaller than the recipe suggested, I used Scottish, sustainably sourced salmon from sainsbury's
125g unsalted butter
25g watercress leaves
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1 chopped tablespoon of fresh tarragon (i couldn't find any tarragon and so used a herb from our garden which was possibly marjoram!)
1 and a half teaspoons of fresh chopped chives
Half a teaspoon of salt
400g chilled puff pastry
Flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten for glazing
Serve with boiled new potatoes and steamed green beans
-Put the butter, watercress, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs and salt into a food processor and whizz briefly to make a paste.
-Season the salmon
-Cut the pastry into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece out into a rectangle of about 17 X 23 cm (I didn't measure this, but just made sure they were plenty big enough to wrap around the fillets). Put each fillet to one side of each rectangle.
-Divide the the herb butter into 4, then put it on top of each fillet. Brush the pastry edges with some egg, then fold the other side of pastry over the butter and salmon. Seal the edges with a fork, and, using a sharp knife, make 3 slits in the top of each parcel.
- Place the parcels side by side on a tray, spaced apart (I didn't use a tray with sides and the buttery stuff dripped all over the oven and my parcels were too close together so they touched and weren't as brown all over as I would have liked).
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/Gas 6. Brush the parcels with egg and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and just cooked through. Salmon is best when still slightly pink in the centre (mine were cooked through as the fillets were small).
The end result was a success, the pastry puffed! We all agreed the the buttery pastry had a much tastier flavour than the ready to roll stuff. It was time consuming to make but I made a big batch so next time I can just get some from the freezer.
Although not the healthiest of twists to a fish supper it was certainly enjoyed by all and may be the first of many puff pastry based dishes!