I always love when a dish tastes fancy, looks super fancy, and is so easy to make that you can’t help but laugh at yourself for having never tried it before. Making something like
a salmon en croute just looks complicated and screams failure. I can’t tell you how many times I looked at this recipe in Jamie Oliver’s book(the one I reviewed) and said to myself,”Self, don’t be crazy trying to make that. It don’t look easy.” But there I was again on a Sunday just bored of the latest string of recipes I had been making over the last few weeks and searching for something different but simple enough too since football was on and my girlfriend would be out with the kids for most of the afternoon, so you know, I needed quality time with my favorite person: me!
So what I needed was something I could throw together and have ready within an hour so I could catch the 13h games in peace. By peace I mean pantless and drinking beer of course. I went through my Sunday morning routine of going through my books looking for something to make when both of my kids screeched in my face that they wanted to try this. My kids are seriously maniacs. They can’t just point and say that looks good. Remember when we were kids and we could wake up on the weekend quietly and sneak to the TV and watch cartoons while eating a whole row of cookies? Ya, you can’t do that anymore. That makes you a bad parent. Thankfully I was loaded up with two double espressos at that point and was already somewhat conscious so I didn’t fall off of my chair this time. so here I am with a recipe I’ve been too much of a wuss to try all these years with my kids insisting that’s what they want. Challenge extended.
Salmon en Croute
1 evenly cut fillet of salmon about 600 grams (by evenly I mean same width all around not wide on top and thin on the bottom)
1/2 cup of black olive tapenade (you can make your own but if you want to lie around pantless drinking beer while football is on then you can get it in a jar too)
2 puff pastry sheets
2 ripe tomatoes sliced
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella
1 small bunch of basil
salt and pepper
I am not much of a baker so I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to find puff pastry but there it was right in the frozen section with the pie crusts. There really aren’t too many steps to this recipe so pay attention, it goes fast!
1) After getting back from the grocery store remove pants
2) Open a beer
3) Lie on the couch and curse the Lions for play like crap whilst drinking my beer
4) Repeat until 13h games are over
5) Preheat oven to 400f and dust a baking sheet with flour.
6) Dust a clean workspace and rolling pin and place your two pastry sheets on top of each other and roll them out, dusting with flour from time to time, until they cover the whole baking sheet.
7) Open another beer
8) Put pants back on(no one wants to eat fish prepared by a pantsless man
9) place salmon(skin side down) onto the center of the pastry, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper)
10) Spread a thin layer of the olive tapenade over the fish and scatter the basil leaves on top.
11) Lay the slices of tomato down the center of the fish.
12) Tear apart the mozzarella and place it around the tomatoes.
13) Fold up all of the edges of the pastry so your dish looks nice and pretty. Like this:
15) Place in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. You may want to check on it after it starts getting golden to make sure the bottom isn’t going black.
16) Impress everyone with how amazing this dish looks and smells and laugh to yourself knowing you were pantless and downed a six pack over the course of an afternoon and threw this together in no time.
Now, with the holidays around the corner already dishes like this are a lifesaver. It’s twenty minutes of prep time max, looks great, tastes great, and has sexiness levels off the charts. Hosting can be stressful but usually with preparation we can all pull it off. But what happens when a get together happens last minute like it always does during the holidays and you’ve been busting your ass in the kitchen for days on end already? Man, you serve something like this to guests and they will feel immense levels of guilt for having you slave away all day making this bad boy. They don’t need to know you didn’t have pants on and were playing with your new Christmas toys like 30 minutes before they showed up. Let them feel the guilt. A guilty guest brings cheesecake the next time they come over. I like cheesecake. For as much as I cook I still surprise myself when I am afriad to make something new that looks like a tough dish. To my kids who force me to make this, challenge accepted. What you want next?