We eat a lot of salmon in our household – we’ve never been big red meat eaters and living on the West Coast of British Columbia provides ample access to fresh fish. This being said, we’ve started running out of creative ways to prepare salmon, bringing us to the brink of giving up on seafood out of boredom, for chicken which can be prepared in a variety of ways. This is pure culinary laziness on my part – as you’ll see from this easy recipe below which serves up salmon in a refreshingly different, restaurant-calibre way.
6 tbsp butter, chilled and chopped
3 tbsp red onion, finely sliced
4 tbsp shallots, minced
4 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, plus 2 tbsp for garnish
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked spinach or 3/4 cups frozen spinach
1 package of puff pastry sheets (2 sheets), thawed
Flour, for dusting surface
1 egg plus 2 teaspoons water, for egg mixture
4 x 3/4-inch-thick 6-ounce salon fillets
1/2 cup block of cream cheese, sliced into small rectangular 1 inch x 1 inch pieces
Dijon cream sauce:
1 cup whipped cream (in milk carton)
1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, red onion and tarragon and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. After 5 minutes add the spinach and mix well. Let the liquid cook off, add the salt and pepper, and then remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Roll out each pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to approximately a 12-inch square. Cut each in half, forming 2 12×6-inch rectangles. Place 1 salmon fillet, with skin removed, in the middle of each rectangle, leaving about 1-2 inches space between short edge. If the salmon is too long, fold the excess fillet underneath.
4. Sprinkle each fillet with the onion-tarragon mixture. Cover the top of each mixture with cream cheese pieces, ensuring that entire top is covered (about 5-6 pieces).
5. Whisk the egg and small amount of water in a bowl. Brush edges of rectangles with some of the egg mixture. Fold sides of pastry over fillets and seal or close off edges. Continue wrapping fillets in additional sheets of pastry (10-12 sheets approximately), brushing with egg mixture at each layer.
6. Place the salmon envelope seam side down on a sheet pan. Brush with egg glaze and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. As oven times may vary, keep a close watch to see when the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before slicing.
7. Directions to make sauce: Pour the cream into a medium bowl and whisk until sauce becomes thicker (about 10 minutes). Add the mustard, lemon zest, salt and pepper and continue to whisk by hand until for another 2 minutes. Drizzle the salmon wellington with Dijon cream sauce and garnish with additional tarragon leaves.