February 25, 2015

Salmon En Croûte with Fingerling Potatoes, Mint Peas over a Hollandaise Sauce

*Based on Gordon Ramsey's Recipes

This recipe is amazing. It's blend of flavors of herbs and mustard with a hollandaise sauce provide the perfect combination, with minted peas adding a fresh flavor to the dish. This recipe was featured on MasterChef Junior, this show features amazing kid chefs between the ages of 8-12. Each of the kids had to make this recipe, some did better than others. I can not believe they cooked it by themselves in under 90 minutes.  For Valentines day I thought it would be fun to cook this together with my husband. I made a few errors while making this dish, too much vinegar in the Hollandaise sauce and the pastry dough was a little raw on the edges.  I think I did not flatten it enough.  Overall this dish was amazing!  I can't wait to make it again, perfect this time. Here's the recipe!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Fingerling Potatoes

12 fingerling potatoes
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them, and boil for 10 minutes until tender, but still a little firm. Drain, then let cool slightly.

2. Slice the potatoes lengthways. Melt butter in olive oil, then sautee until lightly golden.

Minted Peas

1 bag frozen peas, thawed
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Small knob of butter
Handful of mint, leaves roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, tip in the peas and blanch for three to four minutes or until tender.

2. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of iced water to refresh. Drain well and tip into a bowl.

3. Tip the peas and broad beans into the frying pan and add a splash of water and a little butter. Heat for a minute to warm through, season to taste and toss through the mint leaves.

4. Spoon the vegetables onto warm plates. Serve immediately.

Hollandaise Sauce

1 bottle white wine vinegar (about 500 mL)
1 tbsp peppercorn
bunch tarragon
3 large egg yolks
200ml clarified unsalted butter (use 1 cup of butter to get this amount)
squeeze lemon juice

1. Boil the vinegar together with peppercorns and tarragon, reduce by half. Strain and place back in the bottle for future use.

2. Clarify the butter. Melt the butter in a pan.  Skim off the froth.  Pour clarified butter in another container, leave the fat at the bottom of the pan in the pan.

3. Boil a large pan of water, then reduce to a simmer. Using a large balloon whisk, beat together the yolks and 2 tsp of the reduced wine vinegar in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over the pan.

4.Beat vigorously until the mixture forms a foam, but make sure that it doesn’t get too hot. To prevent the sauce from overheating, take it on and off the heat while you whisk, scraping around the sides with a plastic spatula. The aim is to achieve a golden, airy foam, which forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted.

5. Whisk in a small ladle of the warmed butter, a little at a time, then return the bowl over a gentle heat to cook a little more. Remove from the heat again and whisk in another ladle of butter. Repeat until all the butter is incorporated and you have a texture as thick as mayonnaise. Finally, whisk in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste plus a little warm water from the pan if the mixture is too thick.

*If you eat this for left overs you can use the same method or leave it out for about an hour to get the desired consistency again.

Salmon En Croûte

1 side of salmon, about 2 lbs, skinned
A little olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Generous handful of basil leaves
Small handful of dill leaves
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry sheets (2 sheets about 500g)
Plain flour, to dust
2 egg yolks, beaten

1.Check the salmon for pin bones, removing any that you find with tweezers, then cut in half. Line a baking tray with a lightly oiled piece of foil.

2. Mix the softened butter with the lemon zest, basil, dill and some salt and pepper in a bowl, to make the filling.

3. Pat the salmon fillets dry with kitchen paper, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the herb butter over one fillet, on the boned side, and the mustard evenly on the other fillet. Sandwich the two salmon fillets together, in opposite directions so both ends are of an even thickness.

4.Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, the thickness about 1/16th an inch and large enough to enclose the salmon. Put the salmon parcel in the center of the pastry and brush the surrounding pastry with egg. Bring up the edges, trimming off any excess, and tuck them in before folding the rest of the pastry over to form a neat parcel. Carefully turn the whole thing over so that the seam is underneath and place on the prepared baking tray.

5. Brush the pastry with beaten egg. Lightly score a herringbone or cross-hatch pattern using the back of a knife. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover loosely and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400°F.

6. Bake the salmon for 20–25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. To test if ready, insert a skewer into the middle. It should feel warm for medium cooked salmon. A piping hot skewer indicates that the fish is well done.

7. Rest the salmon for 5 minutes, then cut into portions using a serrated knife. Serve with hollandaise sauce, fingerling potatoes and minted peas.

*I found the puff pastry sheets in the freezer section of my grocery store.

*I substituted stoneground mustard for wholegrain because my grocery store did not have wholegrain mustard, just make sure the mustard has seeds in it.

*Overall recommendation, do as much prep before hand as possible.  Get out the cooking tools you will need, cut everything, and make the sauces before you start cooking.  This will make everything go quicker and help so the food will not be cold once everything is done.  I made the hollandaise sauce while the salmon was cooking in the oven.

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