If you’re looking to impress your dinner party guests, salmon en croute is an ideal option. It’s delicious, it looks spectacular when it’s brought to the table, and it’s actually much easier to make than you might think.
This is particularly true if you use ready-made puff pastry, which you can find in any supermarket. While this may seem like a bit of a cop-out, it’s something even top chefs recommend, so there’s no need to feel like you’re cheating.
In any case, the star of the show should be your salmon, so feel free to push the boat out here. Ask your fishmonger to skin and debone the fish too, as this will save you a couple of tricky jobs later.
Once you’ve done the preparation work in the kitchen, you can simply leave your salmon en croute to cook in the oven, giving you more time to chat to your guests. Allow us to walk you through the process.
Building your dish
Preparation is the key to the success of your salmon en croute. If you take care at this stage and don’t cut any corners, your final bake will turn out perfectly. Firstly, your ingredients:
2 packs of ready-made puff pastry
1kg side of salmon
If you’re feeling fancy, you can also add an extra element to your dish by including roasted vegetables, rice or pesto. For this recipe, let’s go with the first option to give your meal a Mediterranean flavour. This means you’ll also need:
2 red peppers
Pre-heat your oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7 and add a splash of olive oil to a roasting tin.
Chop your vegetables and roast for 20 mins. Remove them from the oil and allow them to cool while you prepare your pastry. Pre-roasting the vegetables will prevent all the moisture in them from spoiling your pastry.
Take your first pack of pastry and roll it out so that it’s a good 2-3cm bigger than your fish on each side.
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and place this pastry onto it. You should use a tray rather than a tin, as it will be much easier to remove the final dish.
Place your salmon carefully in the centre of the pastry and top with the roasted vegetable mixture.
Next, roll out your second pack of pastry until it’s a slightly larger shape than your first piece.
Place it over the top of the salmon and vegetables and press down all the edges so that the entire bake is completely sealed.
Cut away any excess pastry. If you like, you can save this and make decorations to top your dish, but this is by no means essential.
Beat the egg and use it to brush the top of your pastry. This will help it achieve a golden brown colour. If you are making decorations, stick these onto the brushed pastry and then brush those with egg too.
Bake for 35-40 mins.
You should let the finished dish rest for 10 minutes before serving. If you try to slice it straight away, it will likely fall apart. By leaving it for a short while, you’ll wow your guests by carving perfect slices of your delicious salmon at the table.
A quick sauce
Seeing as you have 10 minutes, you might as well whip up a quick sauce that will finish the dish off nicely. Salmon is one of those fish that just cries out for certain flavour combinations, and in this case you needn’t look much further than lemon and dill.
All you’ll need is:
1 carton of double cream
The juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp of chopped dill
It really is as easy as slowly heating the cream, squeezing in the lemon juice, adding the dill and stirring it all together.
Showing off your culinary skill at home
This recipe proves how easy it is to achieve professional-standard food in your own home. Whether you’re entertaining guests or cooking for your family, we have plenty of recipe ideas that will keep your mealtimes exciting and varied.