RECIPE: Salmon in Pastry
As a young waiter I remember my first ever dish of (real) Salmon. It was with the late John Dudley (Captain Jasper to you!) who had hired me to run the restaurant at Dudley’s Brewhouse in Kingsbridge.
We were on our way to Kingsbridge via Bodmin Road station where he picked me up. Gently tootling along towards Plymouth and a new life he veered off the road at Landrake and headed to a village pub called The Weary Friar in the village of Pillaton.
He was greeted by a very starchy Major Cawthorne the erstwhile tweed-clad landlord who ruled with a rod of iron! Very scary sort of landlord I thought, so I remember being rather quiet in the corner with my half pint of Guinness.
“Want some lunch?” came the cry as he thrust the menu into my hand! “Salmon for me!” said John, “Me too!” I said sheepishly. I was invited to sit at the bar until the salmon duly arrived on a wooden platter with new potatoes and Hollandaise sauce. Now I bet you can taste that?
I certainly can and realised this was my introduction to better food, exciting food served in a very casual way but expertly cooked. I learned a lot that day.
Salmon in those days (1970!) was generally caught locally many from the Tamar and Dart by licensed net fishermen. The taste was very different from the farmed variety we are offered today so secondary flavours are often needed to boost the lack of “river definition” I remember from those amazing blocks of swimming silver.
As a restaurateur I purchase the best Salmon I can that comes from accredited farms in Scottish locks. This is my guarantee of healthy quality fish allowing me to cook with confidence. Try Moby Nick’s in Plymouth and Dartmouth and The Market Plaice in Plymouth’s Pannier Market for full fishy service.
The recipe I recommend will be lovely served either warm or cold the next day so make more than you want if the price of the Salmon is good.
So here goes with a dish of relative easiness. Do let me know how you get on!
RECIPE: Salmon in Pastry
For four persons
Juicy and sweet-flavoured Salmon cooked whilst the starters are being enjoyed.
- 800 g centre or tail cut of Salmon
- 30g Raisins or other dried fruit
- Fine cut Lemon and Orange peel
- Juice of a lemon and an orange
- Scant amount cracked black pepper
- Small amount chopped flat leaf parsley
- 60g chilled butter cut into cubes
- one beaten egg
- 750g shortcrust pastry
Fillet the Salmon, remove the bones and (smaller) pin bones (fishmonger can do this!). Dry with kitchen paper. Remove the rind of the Lemon and Orange, Cut unto Juliennes (thin needle-like strips). Cover the raisins with the juice of the lemon and orange add the juliennes, cracked black pepper and the parsley.
Add the two Salmon fillets, bathe until covered. Seal and refrigerate for an hour. Line a baking tray with double baking parchment or silicon paper and place in a hot (gas mark 8, 230 degrees centigrade) oven for a few minutes. Remove the Salmon from the marinade keep the marinade.
Roll out the pastry into a rectangle large enough to envelop the Salmon. Place one fillet of Salmon in the centre of the pastry, spoon the marinade mixture over then add the cubes of butter before placing the other fillet on top; bring up the sides of pastry and seal.
Remove the baking tray from the oven; place the upturned parcel of Salmon on the top of the paper. This will seal the seam Brush the top with a beaten egg and decorate. Bake undisturbed in the centre of the oven (Gas mark 6) for about 35/40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Lift the Salmon carefully with the help of the paper; place on a warm serving dish and rest covered with a clean kitchen cloth for ten minutes.
Gently carve the Salmon with a large knife into thickish pieces and serve with a separate seasonal salad with warm potatoes.
Try some Riesling either from the Mosel or Rhine offering a floral and delicate note or Australia’s Clare Valley or Adelaide Hills that shows more power and a limey scent. Both would be fine depending on your taste, not all of us like bone-dry wines so the German Riesling would be a brilliant choice.
About the Stephen Barrett:
This is a guest article written by Stephen Barrett. Stephen is a Wine and Food Writer broadcaster and Restaurateur working from his restaurant Bistro One in Plymouth.
Bistro One, 68 Ebrington Street, Charles Cross, Plymouth.
Reservations 01752 313 315. Private Parking available.