All wrapped up, Salmon en Croute.

When I was in culinary school many many moons ago we were taught many cooking skills and techniques.
Some I liked and retained some I flunked at, detested and forgot them as soon as I didn’t need to know them anymore.
One of my memories is of making filo dough.
The most boring, tedious job to do.
The rolling, folding and then waiting to do it all over again.
Not being a terrible patient person I failed that class.
Miserably too, but time passes and I got over that “F”.

To this day I still have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Filo dough.
I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I have made it since that day in 1977.
Luckily for cooks like me there is pre-made.

Himself went to Costco (for the non-Us readers, think mega grocery store where nothing comes in small packages)
Himself is not allowed to go to that store alone because he buys, a lot of food in bulk.
He came home with a whole salmon, his saving grace was that it was cleaned up. Never the less a WHOLE salmon.
I’m a bit bored with salmon and running out of ways to make it into a dish everyone will like.

That’s when my memory of Filo dough popped in my head (at 3 am by the way)

Here’s what’s for Christmas Eve dinner tonight;

Salmon with spinach in filo dough.

16 ounces washed spinach leaves
Freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 shallot chopped fine
8 large sheets Greek filo pastry
4 oz salmon filets per person
Melted butter, for brushing

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C/425 degrees F.

Cook spinach with a couple tablespoons of water until just wilted.
Drain and squeeze out excess moisture.
In a little butter saute the shallot until cooked, add spinach for a few moments so it absorbs the shallot flavor.
Drain excess liquid
Roughly chop spinach and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste and the lemon rind and juice.

Take two sheets of filo pastry together (keeping the rest under a damp, not wet, tea towel) and set a salmon filet about one-third of the way up from the short end.
Cover the filet with a quarter of the spinach, press down gently.
Flip the short end of the pastry up over the salmon, flip the long edges inwards, then carefully roll the fillet up the length of the pastry.
Brush with melted butter and set on a baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make four filo parcels in all.

Bake for 15 minutes until crisp and golden and serve immediately salad.

To make this a fancier dish you can add some goat cheese or Boursin cheese to the spinach.


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