In case I haven’t mentioned it yet (most probably I have, and not once), I adore salmon. I am always in search for new ways to cook this tender, mild-flavored, unique fish. Salmon has a distinct taste from other fish and I LOVE that about it! Even if you are not a big fish fan, there is still a chance you might end up loving this pink beauty. Salmon is almost like the additional type of meat. Not chicken, not beef, almost not fish, it has it’s own unique taste. Alright, alright, enough about accolades, let’s see what I am up to today! Two words – Salmon Wellington.
What the hell is Wellington you ask? Well, it’s the capital of New Zealand, but it has nothing in common with our dish. The name Wellington is commonly used talking about beef. Beef Wellington is a well known English dish – a fillet of beef is coated with mushrooms and pâté, then wrapped in pastry and baked. We, however, won’t use neither mushrooms, nor pâté in our salmon variation of this dish. In fact, our Salmon Wellington will have another super delicious coating but it will still be, as the classic recipe suggests, wrapped in pastry!
The coating is made using leeks, spinach, wine and cream cheese. What a combination, right? This amazingly delicious mixture is wrapped together with a salmon fillet in puff pastry and baked until the crust is golden brown and the fish is so tender, you can cut it with a fork. I am writing these words right now and dreaming about a slice of this breathtaking salmon goodness. But, damn it, it’s all gone already! All. Gone. Why my husband had to love it? Whyyyy. In other case I would have it ALL to myself!
You know what? A new idea just has just sprouted in my head. I will go to the other room, tell my hubby to take his headphones off and kindly ask him to go to the shop and get some more salmon. And I will bake this melt-in-your-mouth pie with a fancy name Salmon Wellington once again today. Yup. I will do that. Because I can. And I highly recommend you to try this one too, because it’s really good. Trust me.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 leek , white and light green parts, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup tightly packed baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup cream cheese , divided
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic cloves , chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 salmon fillets (4-6 oz. or 115-170g) each, skinless and boneless
- 1 10x15-inch frozen puff pastry sheet , thawed
- 1 egg , beaten
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill , chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leek and cook for 3 minutes, until just tender. Add the wine and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the wine is nearly evaporated. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 cup of cream cheese and cook until it has completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
In a small jar with a lid, combine the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Cover and shake until mixed well. Brush dressing onto both sides of salmon fillets.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured surface, cut the puff pastry sheet in half and roll out into two rectangles (about 7 x 8 inches). Spoon half of the spinach mixture onto center of each pastry rectangle and top with salmon fillets (skinned-side up). Fold the long sides of the puff pastry over the fish fillet, then the ends to completely enclose the fish (feel free to cut away any extra pastry that doesn't fit). Gently press edges together to seal.
Place, seam sides down, on the baking sheet and brush the top of the puff pastry with an egg. Using the back of a knife, score a criss-cross pattern on top.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Melt the remaining cream cheese in the microwave, then stir in dill, lemon zest and juice. Serve with salmon. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Kraft Canada