Friday, March 11, 2011

Easy Salmon Pie

...that's what Sunny Anderson calls it.  If you want to search for similar recipes... just type in Salmon En Croute and you will find several...with various fillings...and each seems just as yummy.

Perfect with a big side salad and the 'ubiquitous pea', as we always refer to them at our house.  Hey! they do just nicely in a pinch.  And, usually if I do something a bit fiddly for the main?.... it'll be peas for veg.  Not always...but most times.  Good thing we love them.

This is for you Jason... and, no laughing at my little hover crafts.  That's what they look like to me anyway... honestly... if they had wheels..?  little toy cars...  hahahah..... but... and a BIG but here...they were very tasty, so just shape them a bit differently (or don't, cuz who cares really?).... and enjoy.   It was my first experience with puff pastry... so who knew what it would do?.. not me.

Hmmm..... did somebody even lick the plate? 

Easy Salmon Pie

4 (6 ounce) center cut salmon fillets, skin removed
1  lemon, zested and juiced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4  TBSP canola oil, divided
1  medium onion, chopped (she used Vidalia, I used regular onion)
2  cloves garlic, minced
1  cup chopped shitake mushrooms, stems discarded..(I just used button mushrooms,stems and all)
2  tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves (I just sprinkled on some dried thyme and a few other spices)
4  cups washed, dried, and loosely packed fresh baby spinach (or regular spinach)
1/4  cup sour cream
2  frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted
    chopped fresh parsley leaves..for garnish

Brush both sides of the salmon with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Warm 2 tablespoons of oil in 2 separate skillets over medium-high heat.  Add half of the onion and half the garlic to each pan.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir the mushrooms and thyme into 1 pan and the spinach, lemon zest and remaining lemon juice into the other pan.  Stir the spinach until it wilts, then transfer it to a bowl and set aside.  Saute the mushrooms until they are reduced and tender, about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in the sour cream. Set aside.

Trim the thinner ends of the salmon fillet so you have 4 pieces of even thickness.  (I just tucked under the thin end).   Unroll a pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.  Pass a rolling pin lightly over 2 or 3 times to seal the seams and lengthen slightly.   Cut the pastry sheet into 3 equal strips, using the natural seams as a guide.  Roll out the second puff pastry sheet to get 1 more strip.  Save remaining puff pastry for another use.   (My puff pastry didn't look anything like hers sounded.... guess we just have to go with what we can find at the store and make it happen so we get 4 sheets long enough and wide enough to enclose our salmon)....

Lightly prick the 4 strips with a fork on the part that will be the bottom.  Put 1 heaping spoonful of mushroom mixture on 1 half of each pastry, top with salmon piece, then layer with a heaping spoonful of spinach mixture.  Wet the edges of the pastry with water on a finger and fold over the other half, pressing lightly and folding to seal the edges.  Repeat with remaining pastry and filling.  Cut 2 vents on the top of each pastry packet and arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet.

You could begin preheating the oven when you have a couple of packets done.  Bake at 375 F until the pastry is golden and fish is just opaque in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes.... (I'm not sure how you are supposed to be able to actually see the fish inside the pastry... I just went with "golden" and it was perfect).

Transfer pies from oven to serving dishes and garnish with chopped parsley....