Mini hot-smoked salmon en croute

This is on the menu as part of the eight course meal planned for Big Sis’s birthday.  As I’m planning to cook them from frozen on the night I thought it a good idea to make some in advance to test out the recipe and to work out the cooking time.

Although I made 10 of these, the recipe below is to serve 4.

Olive oil
A knob of butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
75g baby spinach, roughly chopped
Approx.  4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
75g watercress, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
125g black pepper roulé (or cream cheese with loads of black pepper added)
4 hot-smoked salmon fillets
300g-ish (depends on the size of your fillets) flaky pastry
1 egg, beaten

Chopped spinach, watercress and parsley

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/400°F, and line a large baking sheet with baking paper brushed with a little olive oil.

Heat the butter and a splash of olive oil in a pan over a low heat; sauté the shallots for around 6-8 minutes until soft but not coloured.

Add the spinach, parsley and watercress, together with the lemon zest and juice.

Cooked chopped spinach, watercress and parsley

Cook down the leaves for 3–5 minutes, then tip into a sieve set over a bowl.  Press to squeeze out juices and leave to cool.Black pepper roule

Using a fork, mash the roulé in a medium sized bowl.  Add a good grating of fresh nutmeg, then mix in the cooled spinach mixture.  Adjust seasoning to taste.


If you’re looking for a  puff pastry recipe, I’m sorry, but you’ve come to the wrong place.  Shirley Conran declared that life’s too short to stuff a mushroom; it’s my belief life is way too short for making flaky pastry.  This French brand is fabulous but there are plenty of other ready made numbers that do the job just as well.Salmon fillets with toppingRemove the thin end of the salmon and trim, if necessary, to create evenly sized fillets (keep the trimmings for making fish cakes).

Spoon a thick layer of the spinach mixture onto each fillet.

Take just under half of the pastry (roll, if not pre-rolled) and cut four pieces, each around 1.5cm larger than the salmon fillets (my margins were not quite large enough.

Place, evenly spaced, onto the prepared tray.  Lightly moisten the edges of each piece with water, then pop the topped salmon fillets on top.

Salmon fillets wrapped in pastry

Take the remaining pastry and cut into four pieces (they should be slightly larger than the first four).

Lay the pastry over the salmon fillets, mould around the fish with your hands, then press the edges with a fork to seal. Score the top with a knife and brush all over with beaten egg. baked

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20–25 minutes (35-40 mins if cooking from frozen), or until the pastry is crisp.

Triple fishWe had this as part of a fish trio, served with rugged peas, home made chips, and tartar sauce, although ‘traditionally’ it would be served with new potatoes, steamed veg and watercress sauce.

How would you have yours?