Sunday, February 19, 2012

Coulibiac of Salmon

Sounds very interesting, doesn't it? I actually did research on the word coulibiac which is defined as a loaf of fish, meat or vegetables baked in a pastry shell. The traditional Russian version is made with salmon, mushrooms and dill which is what I tried tonight. This recipe reminded me a little of Beef Wellington which is where a tenderloin of beef is topped with a sauced mushroom mixture and wrapped in puff pastry. Tonight's version started with a piece of puff pastry, topped with a little leftover cooked white rice, topped with thawed, frozen, chopped spinach, topped with mushrooms sauteed with shallots, topped with a piece of salmon fillet, sprinkled with salt, pepper and fresh dill. The edges of the pastry bottom were brushed with beaten egg and another layer of puff pastry went over the top before going in a hot oven to bake for 30 minutes. This recipe was quite good, but I am looking forward to adding my own touches to it next time. I used a Sockeye salmon tonight which is really not my favorite and I think the entire thing would benefit from a mustard flavored Bechamel sauce before being sealed with the top layer. I'll let you know when I try my own version. I served this with a simple green salad dressed with a buttermilk dressing.

Coulibiac of Salmon (4 huge servings)
Adapted from A Spicy

2 sheets of thawed puff pastry (thaw overnight in refrigerator)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped dill
1 cup cooked (leftover) rice
1 pound of salmon, cut in 4 square-ish pieces
10 ounces chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1 egg
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place a skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, sliced shallots and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes to brown the mushrooms. Then salt and pepper to taste and add the wine. Allow the mushrooms to simmer until the wine has complete reduced and the mushrooms are nearly dry - about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut one sheet of puff pastry into 4 squares and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Top each square with 1/4 cup of cooked rice - make sure to leave a border around the edges.

Squeeze the spinach to remove any excess liquid, then layer the spinach over the rice. Sprinkle the spinach with a touch of salt.

Once the mushrooms have cooked down, layer them on top of the spinach.

Now top each stack with a piece of salmon. Salt and pepper the salmon and sprinkle with fresh dill.

Whisk the egg and brush it around the exposed puff pastry edges.

Roll the second piece of puff pastry out to a slightly larger square. Cut it into four smaller squares. Lay each square over a salmon stack. Gently seal the edges by crimping with a fork.

Brush the remaining egg over the tops. Cut a small vent in the top of each pastry.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the tops are golden.

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