Salmon En Croute, Yuzu Dill Sauce

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/individual-beef-wellingtons

Ingredients do not recognize national boundaries -Iron Chef Michiba

…After dinner at one of Morimoto’s restaurants, diners often say to him, ‘We love what we’ve eaten, but it was not Japanese food.’ His response, ‘Why isn’t it Japanese, and why must it be?’  –Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking (p. 7)

So now that we’re fully into the autumn, I was thinking of a ‘hearty’ dish that I could do.  I’d done at the beef wellington at beginning of the year and I thought, “why not do a seafood version of it?”  After looking about the web, I finally decided to do a salmon in puff pastry with a leek/swiss chard stuffing and lemon/dill sauce.  After going over to Ebisuya in Medford to pick up a special order item, I saw that they had fresh yuzu.  At that point, I thought I’d see if I could twist the dish and replace the lemon with the yuzu.

As I saw it, the dish had three major components, the sauce, the leek/chard stuffing and then the assembly with the puff pastry (Dufour’s) and salmon.

For the yuzu dill sauce –
1/2 cup Creme Fraiche (could use sour cream)
2 1/4 t of yuzu juice
1 T finely minced fresh dill (about 8 sprigs, fronds only)
zest from 1 fresh yuzu (optional – Ebisuya just happened to have fresh yuzu today)
1/8 t  of 4:1 salt/pepper mix

1 small fresh yuzu that was $2 USD!

1 small fresh yuzu that was $2 USD!

So I began by cleaning and zesting the yuzu skin and then mixing that with the 2 1/4 teaspoons of  yuzu juice

microplane zested yuzu

microplane zested yuzu

By the way – ever wonder how much juice there is in 1 yuzu fruit?  About a tablespoon at most (I used that to make a yuzu version of lemonade!).

yuzu zest mixed with yuzu juice

yuzu zest mixed with yuzu juice

Minced dill added to the yuzu zest and juice

Minced dill added to the yuzu zest and juice with 1/8 teaspoon of 4:1 salt/pepper mix

Getting about 1/2 cup of creme fraiche

Getting about 1/2 cup of creme fraiche

So I rinsed the dill, de-stemmed it, finely minced the fronds and mixed all of the sauce ingredients.

Completed sauce to reserved in the refridgerator until serving time

Completed sauce to be reserved in the refridgerator until serving time

For the chard/leek ‘stuffiing’  –
rice oil    3    tablespoons
white part of a large leek (or tokyo negi) finely minced
3 oz of chard (leaves only) minced
Fresh Thyme    1    sprig    (or 1/8 teaspoon dried)

Nice big leek with a lot of white part

Nice big leek with a lot of the white part

So I began the stuffing by isolating the white part of the leek and trying to do a fine mince on it.

breaking down the white part of the leek for the sautee

breaking down the white part of the leek for the sautee

I had to do something similar with the chard; but the stems were a bit tough so I removed the central stem/rib to isolate the leaves.  The leaves I then stacked, rolled and did a chiffonade.  I tried to ‘mince’, as best I could the chiffonade.

A whole bunch of chard (pardon the pun)

A whole bunch of chard (pardon the pun); the central ribs have to be removed and the leafy parts isolated

the leek and chard ready to be sauteed

the leek and chard ready to be sauteed

To get the stuffing ready, I sauteed the leek whites for about 5 minutes to soften them in a bit of rice oil and then added the chard to cook down for another 5 minute, making sure that any exuded liquid was evaporated.

leek sauteed down; the minced / chiffonade of chard added

leek sauteed down; the minced / chiffonade of chard added

Leek/Chard cooked down, liquid evaporated and ready to be set aside to cool to room temperature

Leek/Chard cooked down, liquid evaporated and ready to be set aside to cool to room temperature

With the sauteed leek whites/chard softened. I added the crushed thyme and stirfried the whole thing until the liquid is gone.  Now it was just a matter of assembling the puff pastry parcel of salmon and the leek/chard stufffing.  I couldn’t do that until the stuffing cooled to room temperature (otherwise it would cause the puff pastry to melt/degrade – remember it’s only flour and butter!)

So for the puff pastry assembly, it was –
salmon fillet    6oz/person
Puff Pastry    500    g
Flour    several tablespoons (to dust the surface of the cutting board)
Egg Yolks    2
Water    1    tablespoon
Salt & Pepper    3-4  pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix

(the egg yolks/water would be combined and beaten to become the eggwash)

a sheet of puff pastry laid out, eggwashed, seasoned with a bit of the leek/chard mixture added; waiting for the salmon to be placed

a sheet of puff pastry laid out, eggwashed, seasoned with a bit of the leek/chard mixture added; waiting for the salmon to be placed

To build the individual ‘wellingtons’, I would brush the entire salmon-side puff pastry surface with the egg wash, salt and pepper it, lay down a bit of the leek/chard filling, then the salmon and then wrap the puff pastry.  You can see how Chef Ramsay packages the salmon/puff pastry here:

Chef Ramsay’s online recipe can be found here: http://www.redonline.co.uk/food/recipes/salmon-en-croute

leek/chard/salmon parcel ready to be closed up (sides eggwashed)

leek/chard/salmon parcel ready to be closed up (sides eggwashed)

I used steps 4-6 from the online recipe (that’s pretty much shown in the video). The individual salmon en

Eggwashed scored and seasoned parcels ready for the oven

Eggwashed scored and seasoned parcels ready for the oven

croute packages had to  cook in preheated 400 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes. Once they were

Salmon en Croute resting before serving

Salmon en Croute resting before serving

pulled from the oven, the ‘wellingtons’ needed about a 5 minute rest .

A little freshly blanched broccoli and yuzu dill creme fraiche sauce of the salmon en croute

A little freshly blanched broccoli and yuzu dill creme fraiche sauce of the salmon en croute

My wife loved the dish.  She was so surprised how well the yuzu dill sauce paired with the broccoli and the salmon/leek/chard en croute.  This turned out rather nicely, though I think I’d let it cook about 5 minutes more to really get that pastry crust nice and super crisp.  It’s nice to know how to do this kind of dish and be able to add that twist with the rice oil and yuzu ingredients.  If I had to add one more twist, it would be replace the leek with tokyo negi!

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