Hey, Today is the December DC's Challenge reveal day! And what was that?
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.
Variations allowed: Mandatory for this challenge is to cook with pastry.!If you do not like fish or are allergic to salmon, you can substitute the salmon for the Beef version, which is Beef Wellington. Recipe below. Salmon can be substituted for another type of fish, although I am not sure which fish would do well in pastry. Vegetarian versions are also allowed. For a vegetarian version check out this recipe on my blog and leave out the chicken.
The original DC's recipe and then my comments
Salmon en Croute
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. or... make your own!
Salmon fillet (skinless)- 17.6 ounce/500 gr
egg - 1 medium size
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Ok, now it's me again: I chose the cream-cheese, but instead of watercrest, rocket and spinach i decided to mix the cream-cheese with wasabi powder
I spread some orange zests over the wasabi cream, then topped with the salmon.
I sprinkled Himalaian pink salt over it
The dough: first I have tried the recipe as it is proposed. It didn't work. I must say I have never seem a shortcrust pastry like that. I mean, these are all the shortcrust pastries I know:
_Basic: wheat flour, salt, sugar,egg, butter and water.
_Sablé: wheat flour, salt optional, egg yolks, butter.
_Sucré: wheat flour, salt optional, sugar, egg yolks, butter.
_Lintzer: wheat flour, salt, sugar, egg, butter, baking powder, almonds, spices.
_Frola: wheat flour, salt optional, sugar, egg yolks, butter, baking powder.
As you see, no one dough with just wheat flour, salt, butter and water. So I added 1 egg yolk to my first dough and everything got fixed.
Anyway, it was really delicious. Thanks to Simone for this amazing chance to learn and to taste this different way to prepare a salmon.