After all that turkey, what better dinner to enjoy than salmon? And thanks to the December Daring Cook challenge, that's just what we had.
The 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking (http://junglefrog-cooking.com/). Simone chose Salmon en Croute (or alternative recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croute) from Good Food Online (http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/).
I haven't been cooking much for the past month. We were gone half of November and then I had my little mishap and had to have help even to get Thanksgiving dinner on the table, so our day-t0-day meals have been purchased or defrosted rather than prepared with fresh ingredients. It was a relief to really cook again.
This challenge was surprisingly easy. The pastry is an all-butter short pastry, which is rich and meltingly good. The salmon I used was Alaskan coho. While the original challenge called for a watercress, argula and spinach topping for the salmon, I changed that because Bob's kidneys don't like spinach and I don't like watching Bob writhe in pain!
I used mushrooms, toasted hazelnuts and marscapone. I sauteed the mushrooms in butter and olive oil, cooked off all the liquid, added some sherry, salt and lots of black pepper. I toasted the chopped hazelnuts in a dry saute pan and then mixed the nuts and the mushrooms together with the marscapone. A little thyme, a little more pepper and we were good to go! I spread the mushroom mixture over the top of the salmon filet, wrapped the whole thing in pastry and baked it for about 30 minutes.
The flavors all worked really well together. The buttery pastry was balanced by the meaty mushroom/nut mixture and the salmon worked well with everything. We ate well that night!