Friday, February 12, 2010

Baked Salmon in Puff Pastry with Mushroom Duxelle - Fancy Schmancy!

The photo of this dish does not do it justice.  I served this delicious salmon dinner for our Christmas Eve Dinner.  I am just getting around to posting it because I wasn't happy with the final photo.  It's really hard to set up a good shot, when you have six dinner guests and all of us have been imbibing in some holiday spirits!  With Valentine's Day coming, it seems perfect timing to show you how simple and impressive this is to make.
I'm a big fan of Beef Wellington, but one of our dinner guests doesn't eat red meat.  I decided to make Salmon En Croute (or Salmon Wellington) using puff pastry.  Mushroom Duxelle is a traditional filling for these beautiful puff pastry dish, so let me show you how easy it is to make:

Cremini mushrooms are baby Portobello mushrooms.  I love their "nutty" taste-- even more than traditional white button mushrooms.  You need fresh thyme, shallots, butter and white wine.  Yes, I wash my mushrooms!  Alton Brown adequately proved to me, on one of his shows, that the mushrooms do not absorb a significant amount of water.  You can hand wipe them, but I take the easy route.  You need to pat them really dry.  Prep your shallots, by chopping them finely and you need to remove the woody stem from the thyme-- I love thyme, so I used about 1 Tablespoon of the fresh herb.

My food processor did a fast job of chopping the mushrooms, by pulsing them a few times. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft.  

 
Stir in cremini mushrooms and simmer for 7–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the mushrooms to cook down while their moisture evaporates.

 Add white wine (I used dry Vermouth), thyme and salt. Simmer for an additional 5–7 minutes.

 Remove from heat and stir in whipping cream.   OMG!!  I ate a few spoonfuls, it's so good!  Use immediately or cover and refrigerate. Makes 1 cup-- though I doubled the recipe. 

Now, let's make Salmon Wellington!

I paid around $30.00 for this gorgeous salmon filet.  I didn't weigh each slice, but I cut it into equal pieces-- which yielded 8 slices.   I thawed commercially bought (Pepperidge Farm) puff pastry, according to the package directions.  Next:

Cut puff pastry into four equal 5" x 8" (13cm x 20cm) sheets. Approximate measurements are suitable.
Spread ¼ cup mushroom duxelle evenly onto each sheet of puff pastry, leaving a ½" (1 cm) margin at the edges. Place a salmon fillet in the center of each prepared pastry, seasoning each with a sprinkle of salt.

These are my brother's hands-- who arrived to help me get the dinner together.  In retrospect, I cut the filets closer to 8 ounces, so there was little room for a seam to pinch together. No worries, we used a form to seal the edges.  I brushed an egg wash (beaten egg with water) over each pastry and baked this at 400 degrees F  for 15 minutes. Next, lower the heat to 325 degrees F  and bake for an additional 15–20 minutes until puff-pastry is flaky and golden brown.

I did make Tyler Florence's  Beurre Blanc Sauce to drizzle around each pastry, and I will blog that recipe later on.

The Beurre Blanc sauce gave a nice acidity to the buttery pastry and...

The salmon was very moist!  The kitchen was a little busy, and my guests were very hungry. So, the photos pretty much stop right here!   I will say that I should have cut the filets about half the size-- more like 4 ounces.  Most of us could only eat half-- but... the next day, I reheated the leftover Wellington's in the oven (not a microwave).  My son took his home, and he did the same thing-- we all agreed that it was delicious!

I froze the remaining Duxelles (I had about 1/2 cup left) and the Beurre Blanc Sauce.  Stay tuned-- because I reinvented some tasty treats with these.  This dinner was one of the easiest "fancy" meals I've made. Seriously, making puff pastry from scratch is a lot of work.  Buying it is a shortcut I have no problem taking.  I hope you try this, sometime.  The Duxelles... I have to make more of this soon.  It's delicious on crostini, phyllo dough or even as pinwheels with puff pastry. Yummy!

By the way-- I am just now feeling better after coming down with a wicked cold, on Super Bowl Sunday.  I lost my sense of taste and smell-- which means that I haven't been doing much cooking.  I'm finally able to taste again, so I need to get busy planning something special for Valentine's Day Dinner.  It's too busy for us, so we'll go out to eat when the restaurants won't be so busy.  I'm making something heart-shaped, and it's a first-time attempt for me. Hopefully, it will turn out well and I'll post it on Valentine's Day!

I'm off work until Tuesday...and I'm looking forward to some R&R!











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19 comments:

Cristie said...

I learn something everytime you post! What a beautiful dish, from beginning to end. You are amazing.

Monica H said...

I've been sick for the last few days too. no fun at all. Glad you're feeling better!

Fancy schmancy is right, but they look so tasty. fantastic Debby! I would have loved to a guest at your Christmas Eve dinner.

Debinhawaii said...

Glad you are feeling better! This looks so elegant and so good!

George Gaston said...

Debby, Salmon en Croûte is one of my favorite dishes. There is something about the wrapped package made just for the me that adds that special touch.

I really like your step-by-step process that shows how easy an elegant dish can truly be. Many thanks....

Ed Schenk@ Detroit Eats said...

Great recipe. I may have to change my Valentines day menu because of this.

Joanne said...

God that is beautiful. Salmon is my absolute favorite fish and this seems like a great way to prepare it! All I have to say is that with this meal, you wouldn't have to ask me twice to be your Valentine!

Big Dude said...

Wow - Absolutely outstanding looking dish

Bellini Valli said...

I just love this type of dish...so perfect for Valentine's Day too.

À LA GRAHAM said...

I swear we have the same taste buds...you are always making what I am craving! Looks beautiful...as always!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Debby, Glad you got your taste back because what a shame it would be not to taste all this fantastic food you put out! I'm so making the mushroom duxelle, your discription sold me, and the salmon looks divne... Lucky guests at Debby's house!

Mother Rimmy said...

What a beautiful dish! Who wouldn't love salmon in puff pastry. Fantastic pictures. Definitely the perfect, company coming to dinner dish!

Kim said...

I love the pictures of the salmon itself. It looks like some gorgeous and fresh salmon. I wish they sold it that beautiful here. I think this sounds like one delicious dinner and I bet your guests were very impressed. Great job Debby!

Catherine said...

Debby you have such a beautiful site! These puff pastries look delicious!

Cathy said...

What a beautiful meal, Debby. Your step-by-step directions are excellent. I have the same problem at my house. There is no way I can take time to snap photos when everybody is waiting for their meal.

r4 ds card said...

That looks awesome! I'm going to try it. Keep posting such delicious recipes. I am looking forward to new recipes.

bella said...

A BIG WOW for this beautiful creation of yours! All of your photos are so nice ....on the whole blog for that matter! Roz

Ingrid said...

LOL, here's another recipe my children would really enjoy. My kiddos have sophisticated palates. Unlike a lot of children they love veggies, fruits, trying new foods, and eating at home. One twin has gone so far as to let me know that anything that comes from a box or can is not good! I'm the picky eater! :)
~ingrid

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS WONDERFUL RECEIPE,I WAS ON INTERNET LOOKING FOR DRUXELLE RECEIPE AND FOUND YOURS ON LINE I CHANGE THE SALMON FOR TROUT AND IT IS LOVELY,THE TROUT WAS A BIT TOO THIN BUT I CUT THE TIME OF COOKING TO 10 MINUTES AND THE SAME TIME FOR THE PASTRY GREAT EXPERIENCE EVERY ONE WANTS THIS RECEIPE....THANK YOU AGAIN.CLO.

Anonymous said...

sounds delicious but leaves me hanging for the beurre blanc sauce…..guess I will search for a different sauce cause I'm making the salmon…..thanks