Blog Archive

Friday, November 13, 2015

Salmon En Croute

This was an interesting adventure:

I'm not what most people call a "fish person". Fish is smelly, scaley, and tastes, well... fish-y. However, I have had an occasional bite of salmon a couple times in my life and the experience wasn't altogether awful. So, when I saw Gordon Ramsay's "Salmon en Croute" featured on Master Chef Jr. I was tempted to try it. I mean, how bad could salmon, wrapped in a package of flaky, buttery, crust be? At Aaron's cue, this was the weekend to try it. 

And they turned out pretty well. I, however, was a mess as I handled the pink, stripey, slippery flesh of the salmon. I held my breath as I unwrapped the package I got from the fish counter. I closed my eyes and I stuck my hand in the package to pull out the fish. According to Aaron's record, I kept muttering to myself, "oh my gosh, ew, eek, blech, oh my gosh", etc. throughout the whole process of flicking off the remaining scales, and noticing the silvery skin still attached in places. There also may have been a loud moan as I realized that after I painstakingly wrapped the salmon in its "croute" I forgot to season it with salt and pepper... so I just as painstakingly unwrapped it, seasoned the sucker, and re-wrapped it again. Not one of my best or favorite experiences in the kitchen... until I saw this: 

It was beautiful! I was proud! I couldn't believe it! I had taken a less-than-detailed copy of a recipe and made it work. And while I still picked at the unfamiliar parts of my fish, the results were un-fishy and pretty tasty. I'm still not a huge fan of Salmon, but if I had to, I could eat it again, and I daresay I may even enjoy it and call it "de-lish!"

To end dinner, I was feeling particularly ambitious, so I also made a 4-ingredient Martha Stewart Chocolate Pie. Not too shabby for a Sunday Dinner for two. 

Here's my recipe take on Gordon's recipe for the Salmon, complete with American measurements and temperatures:

Salmon en Croute 

(Serves 2)

2 servings of salmon, skin removed 
(you can have this done at the fish counter)
1 1/2 tsp. chopped, fresh dill
1/2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard, divided
3 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
Salt and Pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 package of puff pastry 
(I recommend splurging for the good stuff, such as Dufour's)

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees*

Combine the butter, dill, a large dash of salt and a large dash of pepper, and mix well, and divide in half.

Next, slice your salmon in half to make a top half, and a bottom half. If your salmon fillets are not square, trim them to make them so. Once you've done that, pat the salmon slices dry. To the top of the bottom half, spread half of your butter mixture; To the bottom of your top half, spread half of the mustard. Re-assemble your salmon so that the butter and mustard meet in the middle, and season generously with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Divide and trim a square of pastry dough (about 4" x 4")**. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the section of dough to a 3 millimeter thickness, or approximately the thickness of a nickel. Place salmon in the middle of the pastry, and brush the surrounding area with egg. Wrap like a present, trimming where necessary (you want an even ratio of pastry to salmon all the way around), and sealing well the seams. Brush the tops and sides with egg wash. Cut three small slices diagonally along the top, to vent steam.

Bake in the oven until pastry is golden brown and salmon is done to your liking, about 20 - 30 minutes. 

* If your oven has the capability, adjust the temperature setting to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

**Manufacturers fold their puff pastry in order to fit it in the packaging. When you unfold it, the fold lines make great guides to indicate usable "sections" for this recipe.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Scottish "Raison" Scones

...personally, raisins are not my favorite. I know many would disagree with me, however I think raisins have no place in baked goods. blech. So i substituted the assigned recipe with chocolate chucks. 

This week's assignment was "Scones and Coffee". It was a weird chapter for me, because A) I don't drink coffee, and just didn't care about that part, and B) I didn't feel like I learned anything novel (which may have been a result of speeding through the coffee portion), except that these scones are not very sweet and pretty much plain bread with chocolate chips. They sure do look pretty, though. 

To learn more about this course, click here: Scones and Coffee