We’ve perfected the ultimate dinner party fish dish. A creamy salmon filling is encased in gorgeously flaky pastry and served with punchy pickled cucumber.
Cooking fish well for a crowd can be a tricky but that’s where salmon en croûte comes in.
Fish is delicate and easy to overcook while pastry isn't good when undercooked so we’ve concentrated on getting both elements perfect through an optional curing process and clever assembly.
As a flavour profile we’ve drawn inspiration from salmon and cream cheese bagels, adding a lightly pickled cucumber salad too for fresh crunch.
10 tips for the perfect salmon en croûte
1. Cure the salmon for firmness
We’ve given the option of curing the salmon before wrapping it in pastry. This means the fish is perfectly seasoned, giving it a firmer texture. It’s not essential and raw salmon can simply be seasoned with a little salt.
2. Dill and salmon partner well
For the filling, we’ve taken inspiration from a smoked salmon bagel by mixing together cream cheese, dill, lemon and, for a hint of smoky flavour, an optional seasoning of smoked salt.
3. Add watercress for pepperiness
Using watercress over spinach in the filling gives it a peppery flavour and there's less chance of the filling becoming watery and making the pastry soggy.
4. Layer the salmon for even cooking
Placing the salmon fillets on top of each other means that the fish takes longer to cook so it isn’t overcooked by the time the pastry is cooked through.
5. Use all-butter puff pastry
For ease, we’ve opted for shop-bought but not all puff pastry is created equal. The all-butter variety gives maximum richness and flavour.
6. Create scales with a spoon
We’ve given the optional but easy and effective decoration of rolling the edge of a spoon along the pastry to make a scale effect.
7. Use egg yolk for glazing
To stick the two pieces of pastry together and to give the pastry a deep golden glaze, we’re using just egg yolk not whole egg or milk. For an extra sheen re-glaze the pastry halfway through baking.
8. Prepare ahead for ease
Perfect for parties, once assembled the salmon en croûte will sit happily in the fridge for 24hrs before baking or can be frozen for up to one month. Fully defrost it before baking.
9. Cut into chunky slices
The easiest way to portion the en croûte is to use a serrated bread knife to cut it into thick slices.
10. Serve with pickled salad for contrast
With pastry, fish, greens and a sauce, the salmon en croûte is a self-contained meal but to cut through the richness we've made a lightly pickled cucumber salad. Cucumber and salmon are the perfect partners and this adds a complementary crunch.
See the full recipe for our next level salmon en croûte.
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