Home Made Salmon en croute - A Christmas Classic

My very simple homemade approach to a Christmas classic

Recently I took a whole side of organic salmon home to make a salmon en croute with my wife. If I’m honest it was a bit of a last-minute venture and I was busily googling recipes whilst sat in the car park of the shop. So, I had a side of salmon and nothing else. I wanted to get as few ingredients as possible to reduce waste but still make a nice meal. It turns out that the local co-op didn’t have all the ingredients I needed so I had to make some on-the-fly substitutions.

Ingredients I used: 

  • 1x 600g side of organic salmon
  • 1 bag of spinach (used instead of watercress)
  • 2 rolls of puff pastry
  • 2 tubs of Philadelphia cream cheese (I found this was a bit much and 1-1.5 tubs would be fine)
  • 1 lemon
  • Parsely (I used it instead of dill which the shop didn’t have)
  • Dried cranberries (A bit of an impulse addition to ‘Christmas-up’ my approach.
  • 1 egg to egg was the puff pastry

How I made it:

1. Get your pastry out of the fridge to warm up so it doesn’t crack when rolling
2. Zest 1 lemon, chop a handful of dried cranberries, and chop a handful of parsley
3. Add the chopped and zested items to a bowl with your cream cheese and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together and this is your cream cheese filling.

4. Roll out a full sheet of puff pastry on baking paper and place your salmon side on top of it. I trimmed the tail end of the fillet which was thinner than the rest of the filet and I skinned the fillet which was more down to personal preference.

5. Wilt spinach in a pot with a knob of butter. Once wilted drain and set to the side.
6. Add your cream cheese filling down the center length of the salmon fillet and then top with the drained spinach.

7. Wrap the base pastry up over the salmon. I found the base sheet didn’t cover the top so I cut my second strip lengthways to fill the gap. I used the remaining pastry from the second sheet to cut a rough design (I’m no artist).

8. Beat one egg and baste it over the pastry.
9. Cook in an oven on 200c for about 20 minutes or until the puff pastry has risen and is looking golden brown.
10. Once out of the oven let the salmon en croute rest for 3 or 4 minutes.

Whilst I didn't stick to an exact recipe my approach turned out really nicely. It was very tasty and ticked all of the boxes. I think I overdid it on the cream cheese and would recommend dialing that back to 1-1.5 tubs depending on the size of your salmon fillet.

The salmon en croute we made would have been a good size serving for 4 or 5 people with the addition of some vegetables. I’d recommend serving your salmon en croute with some crushed new potatoes and long stem broccoli. That’s a very traditional suggestion that's not going to get any awards for innovation but it’s a classic, so why not?

Practical thoughts: 

If you’re like me and live in a house of 2 you’ll likely find a full salmon side salmon en croute will produce leftovers - Yes, result!

I left the uneaten half of the salmon en croute on the kitchen side after it came out of the oven for 2 to 3 hours to cool down. I then wrapped it up in some cling film and put it in the fridge. The following day I took a slice to work and ate it cold and it was still good, although not quite as tasty as when the pastry was hot and flakey. My wife re-heated hers in the oven and enjoyed it the next day.

  • Can salmon en croute be reheated?

Yes it can be reheated in the microwave or oven. The microwave will make the pastry a bit soggy and the oven runs the risk of drying the fish out when reheating so be mindful of both.

  • Can you eat salmon en croute cold?

Yes you can eat salmon en croute cold although I think it’s probably a better experience if you reheat it.

  • How long can you keep salmon en croute out of the fridge once it is cooked?

Once cooked you can leave your salmon en croute out on the kitchen counter for a few hours to cool down to room temperature. Once cool, wrap and store in your fridge.