I’m sitting here in my happy little bubble because I just found out that Christmas is cancelled. Apparently baby Jesus wasn’t born on the 25th December. It’s been discovered by scientists that the real date was the 25th November so we all missed it and can now look forward to…another day and I don’t really now what that is; I’ll get back to you. Bah humbug.
But not wanting to be a spoilsport I thought I’d share a nice dinnertime solution that you could, should you so wish, prepare for the family on the completely benign, no-different-to-any-other-day 25th December.
I have, like so many things, created Salmon en croute before, but this time I used two whole sides of salmon. A lot of salmon.
This really is the full-on, no-holds-barred, festive version. Key to the enjoyment of the day is the wrapping of puff pastry around large amounts of salmon and the process by which this is done.
You will need:
- two sides of salmon
- punnet button mushrooms
- pack of medium sized cooked prawns
- 2 cups cooked rice
- Large handful chopped fresh parsley
- Two big handfuls of washed baby spinach
- 2 packs ready-made puff pastry
- 2 eggs, beaten with a little water
- Lemon juice
- salt and pepper
First off, pin bone the salmon using a pair of pliers. (All the faffing around to find some pliers and I found one tiny bone in the whole salmon – how often does that happen?)
Second remove the skins with a very sharp, big knife.
Third make the rice mixture. Chop the mushrooms and fry in a dot of oil to remove some of the water. Add to a bowl along with the rice, chopped prawns, parsley, lemon juice; season well and combine.
Don’t put Bud in the mix
Next open a bottle of Vodka and drink some (this is not part of the recipe but I made this last Christmas Day so I felt obliged to drink something with the Bud)
Roll out one of the pastry packs and place on some baking paper on a baking tray.
Place some of the spinach on the pastry and top with a side of salmon.
Mould the rice mixture onto the salmon.
Lay the other slice of salmon on top. Sprinkle some more spinach over the salmon.
Roll out the other pastry pack. Brush the edge of the base pastry with the egg wash. Lay the other pastry over the salmon. Mould the pastry round the salmon. Use a fork to seal round the edges.
At this point you could cut away some of the pastry from around the edge but I think the more pastry the better!
Use any remnants to create some shapes and decorate the top of the pastry. If you don’t want to cook right away then wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge to chill.
Once ready to cook remove the clingfilm and brush over with the egg wash.
Poke a hole in the top to let out steam and then bake for about 30 to 40 minutes at 170 centigrade. If the pastry starts to get too brown too quickly place some foil over it to prevent it burning.
Serve up next to the turkey – it makes a pleasant change!