Sometimes I sign myself up for things that sound like fun at the moment, but then become another thing on my "To Do" list that never quite gets done. So last month I had the urge to sign up for the Daring Baker's and Daring Cook's challenges. That's right, not one more thing on the to do list, but two! For those in the non-blogging world, this is a group of individuals that cook a dish picked out by one of our peers and write about the experience. So why did I do this? There are so many dishes out there that would probably never be made in my kitchen otherwise, so this is my attempt to expand my cooking and baking, hopefully learning a thing or two along the way. My first Daring Cook's challenge is the perfect example of things I would not normally cook.
Salmon and I are not really friends. I find it to be a smelly, fishy type fish that texturally doesn't really work for me. My husband on the other hand enjoys salmon and has asked several times if I would make it for him, so I guess in some way I delivered on his request! This was a fun first challenge as I am always up for puff pastry and enjoyed decorating the outside with some snow flakes! As for the taste of the dish...I only had one bite of it, which confirmed the fact that I still don't like salmon...sorry to disappoint. For those that do enjoy salmon, I encourage you to make this, maybe even have a friend or two for dinner...they'll think you're really big time once they see your puff pastry!!
Salmon en Croute5.2 oz Mascarpone or cream cheese
4.2 oz Watercress, arugula, and spinach
17.6 oz Puff Pastry
17.6 oz Salmon filet
1 medium egg
Heat the oven to 390 degrees. Put the mascarpone or cream cheese in a food processor with the watercress, spinach and arugula 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 and lay it on a buttered or oiled baking sheet. Put the salmon in the middle. Spoon half of the watercress mixture onto the salmon. Now fold the pastry over into a neat parcel, 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 whether 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 spinach puree as a sauce.
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.