Hi everyone! My name is Simone and I am from Junglefrog Cooking. When I got asked to host the December version for the Daring Cooks I got all excited, to be immediately followed by a slight panic attack… O no, what recipe to come up with?? Since it is close to Christmas I wanted to pick a recipe that would also be a perfect item to make for a festive occasion.
I spend a great deal of time searching the internet, talking to my foodie friends and I finally decided to go for a real classic dish. So you still have the chance to test this before the holidays! The dish is Salmon en Croute or if you don’t like fish you can substitute for a Beef Wellington or a veggie version. More info on the variations below.
To download the recipe in .pdf format, click HERE!
Recipe source : Good Food online
A few notes first:
- If you are making the short-crust pastry yourself; make sure not to add too much water as that will render the pastry too hard, making it impossible to roll out into the needed size. I made that mistake for the first batch and ended up using store-bought instead.
- If you cannot find short-crust pastry (a I did) and don’t want to make it yourself, you can substitute with puff pastry. Do not use the packages that are available (at least in the Netherlands) for pies… Not the right dough! (I did make that mistake and the taste was just not that good)
- The recipe does not call for adding any extra salt or other seasonings to the salmon. I found that the salmon could use just a little bit of extra flavor, so feel free to add some seasoning to your liking. Be careful not to use too much as the topping also adds flavor.
Preparation time: Total prep time incl. cooking for the Salmon is 50 minutes
Total prep time for the Beef Wellington is 3 hours
Shortcrust pastry: 50 minutes (optional)
For the Salmon en Croute:
For the Beef Wellington:
Blender or food processor
15 cm crepe pan or small frying pan or griddle
Salmon en Croute:
Mascarpone or creamcheese 5.2 ounces/150 gr
Watercress, rocket (arugula) and spinach – 0.6 cup/4.2 ounces/120 gr
Shortcrust pastry – 17.6 ounces, 500 gr. Use a butter version such as Jus-rol which is frozen or dorset pastry. or… make your own!
Salmon fillet (skinless)- 17.6 ounce/500 gr
egg – 1 medium sized
- Heat the oven to 200°C/390 F. Put the mascarpone or cream cheese in a food processor with the watercress, spinach and rocket and whizz the lot until you have a creamy green puree. Season well.
- Roll the pastry out so you can wrap the salmon in it completely (approx. 2-3 mm thick) and lay it on a buttered or oiled baking sheet (it will hang over the edges). Put the salmon in the middle. If it has a thinner tail end, tuck it under. Spoon half of the watercress mixture onto the salmon. Now fold the pastry over into a neat parcel (the join will be at the top, so trim the edge neatly), making sure you don’t have any thick lumps of pastry as these won’t cook through properly. Trim off any excess as you need to. Make 3 neat cuts in the pastry to allow steam to escape and make some decorations with the off-cuts to disguise the join if you like. Brush with the egg glaze.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and browned. To test whether the salmon is cooked, push a sharp knife through one of the cuts into the flesh, wait for 3 seconds then test it against the inside of your wrist; if it is hot, the salmon is cooked.
- Serve with the rest of the watercress puree as a sauce.
While this is not mandatory to do, I highly recommend making your own shortcrust pastry as it is very simple to do! As mentioned in the notes; please make sure to not add too much water as that is the key to having a successful shortcrust pastry. Watch this video to check the correct consistency of the dough Making shortcrust pastry
450 gr (15.8 ounces or 3.2 cups ) of plain all purpose flour
200 gr ( 7 ounce) cold butter
pinch of salt
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you have a food processor you can use that as shown in the above video.
- Stir in the salt, then add 2-3 tbsp of water and mix to a firm dough. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill while preparing the filling.
- For best results make sure the butter is very cold.
Instructions for Beef Wellington (serves 4)
Button mushrooms – 17.6 ounces/500gr (stalks removed and finely chopped)
Olive oil – 2-3 tbsp
thyme – 1 sprig
Beef fillet, center cut piece – 21.16 ounce/600 gr
English mustard – 1 tbsp
puff pastry (all butter pastry pack) – 17.6 ounce/500 gr
Parma ham (prosciutto) – 3 slices
egg yolk – 1 lg., beaten
For the herb crepes:
plain (all purpose) flour – 0.3 cup/1.76 ounce/50 gr
milk – 0.5 cup/125 ml
mixed herbs – 1 tbsp (chopped, use herbs such as chervil, chives and tarragon
butter – 0.5 tbsp
- To make the crepes, whizz the flour, egg and milk with a pinch of salt in a blender or processor until smooth. Pour into a jug and stir in the herbs and some seasoning. Leave to rest.
- Fry the mushrooms in a little oil until they give up all their moisture and it has evaporated, leaving you with a thick paste. Add the thyme leaves and some seasoning and keep cooking for a few minutes. Cool.
- Stir the melted butter into the crepe batter, heat a 15 cm crepe pan and oil it lightly. Pour in enough batter to make a thin layer on the base of the pan, cook until the top surface sets and then turn over and cook briefly. Remove and repeat with the rest of the batter. This will make a couple more than you need so choose the thinnest ones for the recipe.
- Sear the beef all over in a little oil in a very hot pan. Brush with the mustard, season and allow to cool.
- Lay a large sheet of cling-film on a kitchen surface and put two crepes down on it, overlapping a little. Lay over the Parma ham (prosciutto). Spread the mushroom mixture over the ham and put the beef in the centre. Roll the cling-film up, taking the crepe with it, to wrap the beef completely into a nice neat log. Chill for 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/390F. Roll out the pastry, remove the cling film and wrap the beef in the pastry like a parcel, with the ends tucked under. Trim to keep it nice and neat. Brush with egg, score with shallow lines across the top and chill for 20 minutes.
- Cook for 20 minutes. The best way to test if the meat is done to your liking is to neatly and carefully stick a skewer into the beef, count to three and then test it against your inner wrist. If it is cold, the beef will be raw, if it is warm then the beef will be rare and if it’s hot, it’ll be cooked through. Leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Also check out the website of BBC Good Food as it has tons of information and other video tutorials as well