En croûte means literally “in a crust” and can refer to any meat or fish wrapped in pastry, much like salmon en croûte’s British cousin, beef Wellington, or the French boeuf en croûte.
Personally, the salmon variety is one of my favourites. It’s easy to prepare ahead of time and therefore perfect for hosting friends or family with enough wow factor to make dinner that little bit more special. I went for a chilli and tarragon butter combination with added garlic, but there are endless meat and filling possibilities to experiment with to suit any preference. Creme fraiche or cream cheese makes a very good addition to any en croûte.
SALMON EN CROUTE WITH CHILLI AND TARRAGON BUTTER
- Pack of pre-made puff pastry
- 2 salmon fillets
- 2 red chillies
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp of dried tarragon
- Around 3 tbs of butter
- 1 egg
- Fresh spinach
- Roll out the puff pastry and cut into two large rectangles (large enough to place a salmon fillet on with around an inch and a half on all sides).
- Lay out your salmon on the puff pastry.
- In a separate bowl beat the butter, tarragon, garlic and chilli together into a paste and spread on top of the salmon.
- Fill a small pan with about an inch of water and bring to a simmer. Add about two handfuls of spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. This will take only about 2 minutes.
- Drain the spinach and squeeze out as much moisture as you can and place a handful on top of each salmon fillet.
- Return to your puff pastry and cut the same rectangle but slightly larger (about half and inch)
- Whisk your egg and brush on all sides of the pastry, each side of the salmon fillet.
- Carefully layer the larger second puff pastry rectangle over the salmon fillet to make a parcel and squeeze the edges together tightly. Go around each edge with a fork and press into the pastry to make a nice indent.
- Brush the remaining egg on top of each parcel and use a knife to slash three small cuts across the top of each one.
- Bake for around 20 minutes at 180 C and serve.