Dec 14, 2009

Challenging myself : Daring Cooks' December Challenge – Salmon en Croute



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.

This months challenge was not as easy as I hoped. The Recipe was amazing don`t get me wrong, the problem was that there was not the time I wanted.

And nobody wanted to eat.

At all.

I can proudly say that the whole family has been able to catch the flu, no not the swine flu. The “normal” flue.

It was horrible. As some of you know I have 3 ½ year old twin boys and the flu is dangerous for children. My husband is diabetic and so it was a problem to get the right medication and make sure he eats enough to make sure he is not getting real problems.

And there is little old me with a lung that has not more than 70% capacity on a good day.

Let`s just say the last 3 week were no picnic.


But finally we feel a little better. And yesterday I gave the challenge a try.

I wanted to make the original, but I just could not bring myself  to go shopping.

So I changed the recipe a little and hope Simone is not to broken up about it.

I used char in place of salmon, I love char if you never had one you should give it a try.

I made the short-crust pastry myself using Simone`s recipe and it tasted great but it broke a lot. So next time I will use a pasty recipe with a egg. This makes the dough more workable. I also used almonds to give the impression of scales. and to be honest I just love the taste of fish wish almonds. 

The result was tasty and I think even by husband would have eaten it, if we would eat.

I will do it again and I can only advise you to give it a try. See you next time.

Salmon en croute:

Ingredients

Mascarpone or creamcheese 5.2 ounces/150 gr

Watercress, rocket (arugula) and spinach - 0.6 cup/4.2 ounces/120 gr

Shortcrust pastry - 17.6 ounces, 500 gr. Use a butterversion such as Jus-rol which is frozen or dorset pastry. or... make your own!

Salmon fillet (skinless)- 17.6 ounce/500 gr

egg - 1 medium sized

 

Directions:

1.Heat the oven to 200°C/390 F. Put the mascarpone or cream cheese in a food processor with the watercress, spinach and rocket and whizz the lot until you have a creamy green puree. Season well.

2. Roll the pastry out so you can wrap the salmon in it completely (approx. 2-3 mm thick) and lay it on a buttered or oiled baking sheet (it will hang over the edges). Put the salmon in the middle. If it has a thinner tail end, tuck it under. Spoon half of the watercress mixture onto the salmon. Now fold the pastry over into a neat parcel (the join will be at the top, so trim the edge neatly), making sure you don’t have any thick lumps of pastry as these won’t cook through properly. Trim off any excess as you need to. Make 3 neat cuts in the pastry to allow steam to escape and make some decorations with the off-cuts to disguise the join if you like. Brush with the egg glaze.

3. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and browned. To test wether the salmon is cooked, push a sharp knife through one of the cuts into the flesh, wait for 3 seconds then test it against the inside of your wrist; if it is hot, the salmon is cooked. Serve with the rest of the watercress puree as a sauce.


 

Shortcrust pastry

While this is not mandatory to do, I highly recommend making your own shortcrust pastry as it is very simple to do! As mentioned in the notes; please make sure to not add too much water as that is the key to having a successful shortcrust pastry. Watch this video to check the correct consistency of the dough Making shortcrust pastry

 

Ingredients:

450 gr (15.8 ounces or 3.2 cups ) of plain all purpose flour

200 gr ( 7 ounce) cold butter

pinch of salt

 

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you have a food processor you can use that as shown in the above video.

Stir in the salt, then add 2-3 tbsp of water and mix to a firm dough. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill while preparing the filling.

 

For best results make sure the butter is very cold.

 

 




39 comments:

Junglefrog said...

Sorry to hear of all your families health trouble! I can understand why that must have been hard to even complete the challenge, but you did and wonderfully too! I love the addition of almonds to the crust and although I don't know what char is but I will look that up (and ofcourse I don't mind!!) I had some trouble with the selfmade crust too and I ended up cheating and buying storebought, but will definitely try it again with an egg pastry too!

unpredictablekitchen said...

It looks so nice in that fish shape, how original!

Asha @ FSK said...

Glad to hear your family is feeling better!..

love the cute fish shape that you molded your pastry into! :)

Jenny said...

Glad to hear your family is feeling better now! Great job completing the challenge despite the health problems, I think you did a really good job! I love the look of your little fish with the scales :)

taste traveller said...

I love the fish shape! Sorry to hear that the entire family has been sick, it seems to be going around this time of year :-(

Winnie said...

Sorry your family was sick, but good thing they are feeling better now. Your challenge came out really well; glad you at least got to enjoy it and when you make it next time for the family, they'll enjoy it too!

Jenn said...

So cute to make your pastry shaped like a fish! LOVE the almond scales!

Lauren said...

Sorry they were sick. Your char looks amazing! I love the fish shape =D.

TaGa_Luto said...

I'm glad that you guys are all feeling better. I love your idea that you shaped it like a fish and almonds as scales. I will have to look up what char is but it looks like a salmon or trout family basing on the color.

C said...

Your fish looks so wonderful! Love the shape and almonds for scales. Sorry you weren't able to enjoy it like you wanted. Sick kids are no fun- Hope you all get feeling completely better soon.

Sue said...

Love your fish! That is very clever and it looks delicious.

Denise @There's a Newf in My Soup! said...

Wic,
Nice choice with the Arctic Char and almonds! Hope everyone is well for the holidays. Wishing you the best.

chef_d said...

I love your fish-shaped pastry and the almond scales. Im going to look up char here in the philippines if we have and will try it. Im glad your whole family is feeling better :)

Cori R. said...

I know it's been said before, but I love the fish shapes you created! Very creative and fun.

mub said...

I'm glad you guys are on the mend. I really really like the cute fish shapes you made and the almond scales are brilliant!

bcswerit said...

you did well to make those fish - shaped pastry, congratulations on your challenge!

Begoña said...

Your recipe is very, very original. I like it.
Put almonds is a good idea.
Un saludo, Begoña

Claire said...

I reaaly like your fish shapes too.

Rochelle said...

Cute fishy pastry :)

Dani said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Wic! I like your fish shape and the creative twist on the ingredients :)

Evelyne@Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Hope everyone gets better soon. but the fish...wic...too cute!

QueenForOneDay said...

Love your one-portion fishies :) Great idea!

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Your fish are just adorable! I hope that you make and enjoy this dish again sometime when everyone is feeling better.

Barbara Bakes said...

Your fish is adorable! Great job on this challenge! I have twin boys too! Only mine are 13 now.

Sarah said...

So sorry to see you family was sick. I am glad everyone is one the mend now. Your fish with scales are adorable and much more creative than anything I could have come up with myself! I'll definitely have to try the pastry next time.

Simon said...

Nice work with the post. For a moment I was wondering if the pastry was small or the almonds were massive! It looks so out of scale with each other, at least from my perspective :)

bake in paris said...

Hope your family is all getting well soon. Things will be better.

And the fish shaped char en croute is wonderful. I agree with you that the almond will definitely go well with the fish.

Sawadee from bangkok,
Kris

Elenaki said...

It's a great idea about the almond leaves! I'll steal it for the next time, if you don't mind!
I had big problem with the pastry, but when I was disappointed (ater 3 tries!!!) cjmpletely, I just put more cold water and it became easy to roll. Try this. I also made it with egg once, but it didn't work out for me:))) maybe the problem is that the air in the flat is sooo dry now during the heating season, otherwise it would need less water. Also I noticed that the butter may be diferent - some of them are melting during the mixing and some stay hard.
So, I hope your family stay out of flus this winter, I know what it is to have both kids ill and no one to help you...

syrupandhoney said...

Yeah the pastry definitely seemed to be missing that egg! I hope you're all feeling better...I know how that is because I don't feel well now and nothing appeals to me.

pigpigscorner said...

Hope you all are feeling better now. I like how you shaped it, so cute!

amber said...

What a great idea to make it look like a fish! So sorry the family couldn’t enjoy it, but now you have a reason to make it again. Great job! Привет!

nikki said...

I hope you and your family feel better soon! Your fish shaped pastry looks terrific anyway.

Kirsten said...

You are so creative! Bravo! :)

Karine said...

Originally shaped! Great job :)

I hope everyone will feel better soon :)

Natashya Kitchen Puppies said...

Oh no! I hope you guys are doing better now.
Love the fishie shape!

Valérie said...

Yikes, sorry to hear about the flu, I'm glad you're all feeling better. At any rate, I simply adore your presentation! Using almond slivers for flakes is just brilliant!

lisamichele said...

Poor you! I'm so sorry everyone was sick! I hope they're all feeling better now..and trust me, sick or not, I would have scarfed down your beautiful salmon en croute in less than a nano second. Great photos too :)

Olga said...

I think despite everything, the end result is great.
Hope everyone feels better soon and gets their appetites back.

Catalina said...

So sorry to hear about all the health troubles in your family.
I think it's great that you still made the recipe with all of that going on!
The almonds are a great touch!
P.S. Thanks for the comment on my post! :)