Salmon en Croute with Parsnip and Apple Risotto

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This particular Salmon en Croute is my own creation, and a variation on Michel Roux’s Salmon Coulibiac. Instead of using mushrooms and white rice, I’ve made risotto with roasted parsnips and apples.

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First, the brioche dough.

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  • 70 ml tepid milk
  • 15 g fresh yeast
  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 15 g fine salt
  • 350 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 6 medium eggs

Put the milk and yeast in a bowl and mix to dissolve.  Blend flour, salt and eggs in a separate bowl. Add in the yeast mix and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.

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Mix the butter and sugar separately, then add to the dough a little at a time. Mix on low until the butter is incorporated, then mix on medium until the dough is smooth and shiny and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Cover the bowl with cling film and proof for two hours or until the dough has doubled in size. After two hours, punch the dough down by turning it over twice. Refrigerate for several hours (but not more than 24 hours). I find that 2 or 3 hours can be enough if you’re pressed for time.

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While the dough is chilling, start the risotto.

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups uncooked arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup oven dried tomatoes (I used sun-dried)
  • 1 cup chopped spinach leaves
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 chopped and roasted parsnip
  • 1 chopped and roasted gala or red delicious apple

Heat a skillet and saute the onion until transparent. Add the rice and stir until just browned and coated with oil.

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Add the wine and cook down. Add the stock about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Let the stock be absorbed each time before adding more.

This process can take about an hour. Once all the stock is absorbed and the risotto is creamy, add the butter and cheese. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Let cool.

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Now the salmon

I used a 2 lb filet, cut in half. In a pan, melt about 1 tsp butter for each half.  Score the skin side of each filet about 1/2 deep and place skin-side down in the pan for about 4 minutes on medium high. Watch the thick edge of the fish change color.   When the pink is about 3/4 of the way up the edge, flip and cook the other side for  2 minutes. Set the salmon aside and let it cool.

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Roll the brioche out into a large rectangle about 12″ x 16″, depending on the size of your fish. Some recipes call for crepes to line brioche, but I prefer to use spinach or phyllo dough. Layer risotto on a layer of spinach, and top with a filet.

DSC_0325_3398 copyNow add another layer of risotto and salmon. Top with spinach.

DSC_0326_3397 copyFold the brioche over the salmon and risotto and overlap the edges. Seal the overlap with egg wash. Do the same for the ends and flip the piece seam down. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Brush with egg wash and decorate with some flourishes or fish scales.

DSC_0330_3405 copyBake the brioche at 350 for 35-45 minutes, depending on how golden you like it. My dough came out nice and gold, but my “fish” ended up looking more like a baby seal. I’ll have to work on that next time.

Happy baking!

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