Thursday, February 9, 2012

Salmon Wellington

It’s always a great day in St. Louis, when that doyen of cooking, Helen Fletcher, guests on the local CBS affiliate’s Great Day St. Louis morning program, one that has become a daily addiction.  Her book The New Pastry Cook will make your mouth water with every turn of the page.
When I saw Helen make Salmon Wellington one morning, I knew this was a recipe custom-made for my husband, my live-in salmon chef (he is currently writing a book of salmon recipes of his own creation).  According to Helen, The recipe for the Salmon Wellington is based on one that Marlene Sorosky, a food writer I have long admired, developed long ago.  Like Helen, we too admire Sorosky and, also like Helen, we decided to change up her version a bit by using a leek and mushroom filling.  Not that we don’t love artichokes, quite the contrary, but I am passionate about leeks, even going so far as to grow them in the garden every year.  
Below is Helen’s recipe from her wonderful website called The Ardent Cook.  Follow the link to see her very informative step-by-step pictorial on how to put this dish together.  At the bottom of this page is the recipe for the leek filling that we used.
Mushroom Artichoke Filling
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
8 ounce can artichoke quarters, coarsely chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 pound mushrooms
2 tablespoons Maderia
Salt and Pepper to taste
Remove the stems from the mushrooms by cutting or de-stemming.  Slice the mushrooms.  Then coarsely chop.  Set aside.
Melt the butter in the saucepan.  Sauté the onions and artichokes until slightly browned.  Add the mushrooms and Madeira and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove to a bowl and chill.  Can be made the day before assembly if desired.
Line a perfectly flat plate with film with letting it extend on both sides.  Place the salmon on the film. Salt and pepper the fillets.  Divide the filling between the fillets.  Place one portion of filling on top of one fillet, pressing somewhat to compact it and make it fit the entire top of the fillet.  Wrap the film around the salmon and freeze at least overnight.
The puff pastry comes in sheets that are rolled.  Roll the pastry out 18 inches long cut it into two 9 x 9 sheets.
Place one fillet, filling side down, on one piece of the pastry.  If the puff pastry is too big, trim it so not more than 1 inch overlaps when both sides are folded.  Fold one end over the salmon.  Brush excess flour off pastry.  Egg wash the edge of the opposite side. Fold it over to overlap the other.  Brush excess flour off.  Make two cuts in the shape of a triangle on the top piece of puff pastry and remove it so it won’t be so bulky (see the photo).  Egg wash it so it will stick to the other piece. Fold it over.
Repeat with other side and fold over to enclose salmon.  Turn the package over and with a very sharp knife, lightly score the top in a cross hatch design.  Do not go through the pastry.
Glaze the top of the pastry with egg wash.  After glazing all, go back and glaze again.  Freeze overnight.
DO NOT THAW. It is important these be frozen hard so the salmon doesn’t overcook before the pastry gets done.    Place on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes.  Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  Serve hot.
To make leek filling:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
8-ounce package of mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
Pinch of Old Bay Seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup whipping cream

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks; sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Set aside.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet and sauté mushrooms until golden.  Add leeks to mushroom mixture, slowly pour in cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Old Bay. (Creamed leeks can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

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Richard Cottrell said...

I did not know you were from St.Louis,I am not a fish person, but this sounds good. Richard from My Old Historic House.

Tracy Wood said...

Wow. I am so impressed! Beautiful in every way - I am a salmon lover, so let me know more about your Mr.'s cookbook. That's a dream of mine: writing a cook book!

Janet Rudolph said...

OMG! This looks fantastic! Very professional... can't wait to make this. I'm a big salmon lover, too, so I look forward to your husband's cookbook

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

This looks fantastic! We love salmon and this looks like a delicious alternative to grilling. The filling sounds amazing.

Chatty Chics said...

They look too pretty to eat! Great job! Thanks for sharing!