The flavours of the salmon and watercress in these delicious gluten-free pastry parcels work really well together to create one very tasty dish!
Salmon and Watercress En Croute
Serves 4 | Preparation time 45 mins plus cooling | Baking time 25 mins
For the pastry:
- Flour for dusting
- 500g ready made gluten-free puff pastry (we recommend using Genius’s or Silly Yak’s ready made pastries)
For the filling:
- 1x 85g bag of watercress with large stems removed
- 4x 100g skinless lightly smoked salmon fillets
- Cracked black pepper
- 1 medium egg, beaten
For the béchamel sauce:
- 150ml milk
- 1 shallot or small onion, peeled and studded with 4 cloves
- 5 peppercorns
- 1/2 bayleaf
- 2 parsley stalks
- 15g butter
- 15g rice flour
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- For the béchamel sauce, place the milk, studded shallot, peppercorns, bayleaf and parsley stalks in a pan. Slowly bring slowly to the boil then remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly then strain the milk through a sieve to remove all other ingredients.
- Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the rice flour and cook for 30 secs. Remove from the heat and gradually add the flavoured milk and the lemon juice. Return to the heat, bring to the boil beating continuously with a wooden spoon until thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7 and lightly grease a baking tray. For the filling, place the watercress in a sieve and pour over boiling water to reduce the structure, immediately afterwards pour over cold water to retain the colour. Set aside to drain.
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour, roll out 400g of the puff pastry into a 50x30cm rectangle then cut into quarters. Take one quarter and place it on your work surface with the short edges across the top and bottom. Carefully fold down the top half of the pastry and press very lightly along the folded edge to mark the middle. Unfold the pastry.
- Place a teaspoon of the cooled béchamel sauce into the centre of the lower half of the pastry quarter. Top with a salmon fillet then season with pepper. Drop another spoonful of béchamel sauce on top of the salmon then top with a quarter of the watercress (Photo A).
- Brush the edges of the pastry with egg (Photo B) then fold the top half of the pastry over the filling, cupping the salmon with your hand to remove any air as shown in Photo C.
- Knock up the pastry on the three open edges (not the folded edge) by making lots of very light and random cuts in them with your knife in a horizontal position (Photo D). Then use your knife to make decorative cuts around the edges if desired.
- Repeat steps 4-7 with the remaining pastry quarters.
- Roll out the remaining 100g pastry into a 13x30cm rectangle and cut into 24 11/4 x13 cm strips. Brush the top of the salmon parcels with egg then decorate each with six pastry strips arranged in a lattice pattern as shown in Photo E. Trim the ends if necessary.
- Place onto a greased baking tray and bake for 25 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve with green vegetables and a parsley or lemon sauce.