Puff pastry is hands down my favorite dough for cooking. It’s easy to handle and readily available in the frozen section of your local grocery store. Well, it usually is – you never know these days.
I love its crisp, flaky and buttery texture and how versatile it is. From empanadas and tarts to pot pies and turnovers, there’s no limit on the sweet and savory creations it can make.
It elevates dishes not only in taste, but also in presentation, too (think beef Wellington, mini hors d’oeuvres, palmiers and Napoleons), making it perfect for occasions like Easter.
I know glazed ham or roast beef is usually the star of special meals, but, for this Alaskan, it’s salmon en croute.
And don’t let the fancy French name fool you, it’s easier to make than it sounds. Salmon en croute simply translates to “salmon in a crust,” with that crust being – you guessed it – puff pastry. Combined with a few basic ingredients, you’ll be shocked at how simple this impressive and utterly delicious dish is to make.
The pastry is topped with a filet of salmon slathered with a creamy mixture of cream cheese and spinach seasoned with the bright and savory flavors of lemon, dill and Worcestershire sauce. It’s topped with another sheet of pastry and sealed around the edges before being brushed with egg wash and placed in an oven to bake.
Slicing into its golden delicate crust reveals the exquisitely constructed layers of moist, flaky salmon and luscious spinach filling.
Served alongside a spring salad or roasted potatoes, it’s a heavenly meal that’s sure to become a family favorite.
Salmon en Croute
1 package puff pastry dough/sheets, thawed
1 pound salmon filets, skinned and deboned
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped and divided
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 (12 ounce) packaged frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Egg wash: 2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt
Roll out one sheet of puff pastry to fit the salmon filet. Place the pastry on a baking sheet. Pat dry the salmon, place it on the pastry dough, and season with salt and pepper to taste and 1 tablespoon chopped dill.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add in the spinach, remaining dill, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper, and mix to combine.
Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the salmon.
Roll out another sheet of puff pastry and cover the salmon. Pinch together the edges of the top and bottom dough all around. Score the top of the pastry lightly with a knife, cutting shallow crisscross lines or whatever design you wish. Brush with the egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Audrey Alfaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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