Salmon en Croute with Asparagus & Dill

Salmon en croute with asparagus and asparagus cream sauce.

Salmon en croute with asparagus and asparagus cream sauce.

We first tried to make Salmon en Croute a few years ago and used a recipe that was mushroom based. We actually only made that version one time and then we switched over to a method with asparagus and dill. We like this new version because it is brighter and lighter. For those of you who aren’t familiar with a Salmon en Croute, it is similar to a Beef Wellington except it is salmon wrapped in a puff pastry. I realized I haven’t written up this recipe so here is our contribution to the Salmon en Croute recipes.

For this time, we made our own crust using a pate brisee recipe that I wrote up for our chicken pot pie in a pumpkin. For the pate brisee, we substituted dill instead of the thyme for that recipe. We also used butter for our cream in this recipe but you can easily substitute cream cheese, creme fraiche or Neufchâtel.

This recipe is for 2 people but you can easily adjust it for more. Wih the holidays coming up, it would be a nice treat that you could serve for your guests. It’s really not that hard and the presentation of it on the plate is pretty impressive.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon of dill
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 salmon fillets (boneless and skinless)
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (or similar sized sheet of pate brisee)
  • 1 egg

Instructions

First, trim the asparagus to the length of the salmon fillets. Don’t throw away the cut off pieces. Put the cut end pieces into a pot of water and bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the tips are fork tender.

Salmon and trimmed asparagus

This is the asparagus trimmed to the length of the salmon.

While the asparagus ends are simmering, poach the long asparagus spears.  To do this, bring salted water to a boil and then add the asparagus spears. Reduce heat and simmer the spears for 5 minutes then move them into an ice bath. Once cooled, put them on a paper towel to dry.

Asparagus ends simmering

Here are the cut asparagus ends simmering in salted water.

Once the cut ends of the asparagus are tender, put them into a food processor with the dill, lemon zest, pinch of salt and butter. Mix this in the food processor until it is a smooth cream.

Making the asparagus sauce

Making the asparagus sauce

Here is the final asparagus cream sauce.

Here is the final asparagus cream sauce.

Heat your oven to 450 degree Fahrenheit.

OK, now you’ve got everything prepared and you’re ready to start assembling the final product while your oven heats up.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Next, put your pastry on the parchment paper and roll out your puff pastry or pate brisee into a square, about as wide as a baking sheet. You want it fairly thin and large enough to completely wrap around the salmon. Once it is rolled out, place your first piece of salmon on the center of the pastry and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Rolled out pate brisee

Rolled out pate brisee

Salmon on pate brisee

Salmon on pate brisee

Next, you’re going to put a layer of the asparagus cream sauce on top of the salmon filet. After that, place a layer of asparagus spears length-wise. This is why you want to trim the to the length of the salmon filets. You’ll notice we timmed our a little too much so we cut a couple spears down to help give us complete coverage.

Asparagus cream sauce on the salmon filet.

Asparagus cream sauce on the salmon filet.

Asparagus spears on top of the cream sauce.

Asparagus spears on top of the cream sauce.

Now, lightly salt and pepper this layer to taste, then repeat with the other salmon filet, then cream sauce and then asparagus layers.

When you’ve finished assembling the layers, you are going to wrap it up with the pasty. We pulled up long side, then the two small sides, and finally the final long side. Be careful folding it over so you don’t get holes in the pastry. If you do, just pinch it back together. As hard as we try to be gentle, we typically get a couple of tears in the pastry.

Pate brisee pastry wrapped around the salmon and asparagus.

Pate brisee pastry wrapped around the salmon and asparagus.

Once it is assemble, cut small slits in the top of the pastry so it can vent while it is cooking (see picture below). You are going to cook the assembled salmon en croute for a total of 30 minutes and put on an egg wash at the 10 and 20 minute intervals. So, to start, put a light egg wash on the salmon en croute before you put it in the oven. Next, cook for 10 minutes, then take out the salmon en croute and apply a second egg wash. Put the salmon en croute back into the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then take it out and apply the final egg wash. Put the salmon en croute back in the oven and cook for the final 10 minutes.

Egg wash on the salmon en croute before we put in the oven.

Egg wash on the salmon en croute before we put in the oven.

Egg wash on the salmon en croute after 10 minutes in the oven.

Egg wash on the salmon en croute after 10 minutes in the oven.

The finished salmon en croute.

The finished salmon en croute.

Salmon en croute with asparagus and asparagus cream sauce.

Salmon en croute with asparagus and asparagus cream sauce.

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