Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fish En Croute


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This was the result of getting bored my with own repertoire of dishes. I had the snapper fillet already defrosted, and was wondering if I should go the panfry + sauce route. But I just wanted something different, you know? So I looked through the larder and fridge for ingredients I might need to use up quickly, and caught sight of my puff pastry sheets, barely visible under a mountain of other food. Obviously, we haven't been in touch for a while.

And then it struck me - En Croute! I have always wanted to try this, but each time, I would conveniently go for the panfry route ... and the fish would be cooked ... and eaten ... and then I would suddenly remember. En Croute! Why didn't I make that?!

So the days became weeks and weeks became months. And the En Croute never reached my dining table. Until today. ;)

The great thing about an En Croute is that the fish kept is moist and tender inside the pastry casing, so there's hardly any chance of it drying out. Better yet, there's no greasy clean up - just wrap the marinated fillet in the pastry and bake! That alone gets my thumbs up.

Recipe
(serves 2)
- 1 fish fillet, about 200 to 250g (if you are using frozen ones, allow time to thaw) - I used cream snapper
- 1/2 wedge of lemon
- Large pinch of salt
- Large pinch of black pepper
- Frozen garden vegetables like peas, carrots and corn, thawed, rinsed and drained
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten

1. Briefly rinse fish fillet and pat dry with paper towels. In a shallow dish, marinate the fish with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Put aside for about 10 to 20 mins (but not over 1 hour, as the acidic lemon juice will render the fish tough and "overcooked").

2. Preheat your oven to 200°C.

3. Place thawed puff pastry on a plastic sheet (I did not roll it out any thinner, but next time, I will ... just a bit thinner would have been nicer). Arrange the garden vegetables in a rectangle, then top with the fillet.

4. Carefully roll up into a parcel. I have seen different ways of doing this - some use 2 sheets (top & bottom), some roll it all up in 1 sheet. Some like to show the seams (and decorate it with fork marks), some tuck them under. I rolled it up like I would a spring roll, placed it seamside down, and trimmed off the excess. LOL. As long as the edges overlap and the filling doesn't fall out, it's good enough. Don't overlap too much or you will get a thick pastry that won't bake through.

5. Carefully transfer the Snapper En Croute on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper. Brush the top with egg wash.

6. Using the excess puff pastry dough, cut long strips and arrange them in a criss-cross fashion on top of the En Croute. Make small slashes along these strips so that they are not visible (these slashes will allow the steam to escape while cooking). Brush with a little more egg wash.

7. Bake for about 20 mins until the top is golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool on a rack for about 10 mins before serving. You can serve it along with sauces - lemon butter or honey-mustard would be nice - but on its own, it is already very delicious. Bon Appétit!


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27 comments:

  1. first time seeing this dish! the filled puff pastry reminds me of a beef wellington. definetely a healthier alternative :D

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  2. Oh I like this! Simple with very fancy presentation! I will have to try this!

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  3. Looks tender and delicious, Ju! Such an elegant presentation and I like the veggies peeking out :).

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  4. Oh!!! Ju! This is a great way to lure my boy in having fish with that crispy puff pastry skin acting as a cover up :p

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  5. Very nice one dish meal! I like how you place the fish on top of frozen veg!

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  6. Hi,
    Interesting dish indeed!

    Emily :)

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  7. Delicious! Just curious,Do you and ur family usually finish all the yummy stuff that you make?

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  8. This certainly looks good! I would never have thought of cooking fish like this too!

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  9. It turned out beautifully Ju..The fist time I made something similar..it was a Jacques Pépin recipe..with salmon..great tip to try other fish.I find puff pastry makes everything taste so good..there's a little sweetness to it..must be the butter..

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  10. Oh wow, that's right up my alley! SO excited to see the recipe since I love anything with puff pastry and look for ideas!
    Great recipe!

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  11. Hihi! =) How can you make the fish into such an appetizing dish!? And your sister is right, it deserves to be called for an encore, because it must be really yummy!!

    Coraine @ Life is Like a Long Journey

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  12. What a nifty idea! Beautiful presentation, Ju :)

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  13. Beautiful, healthy and delicious. Oh and love a fancy name :)

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  14. I usually cook my fish en papillote with veggie to keep it moist. Well, I don't have puff pastry right now and don't think I will get any soon. But I totally love the idea :)

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  15. That is one fanciful way to serve up fish! I like!

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  16. That looks really good Ju, I must try it sometime! Like you I always go down the panfry route or actually more the bake route!!

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  17. I love your presentation, JU! I made coulibiac (salmon rice mixture in pastry) for Christmas and it was a huge hit. SInce I had many guests, I didn't take a single picture.. so it was a blogging holiday as well!
    Thanks for the inspiration to do a filet... will try next time!

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  18. MMMMMMMM,...what a tasty fish recipe!!

    I must make this soon! I recently moved my blog to wordpress.com/ Come over @ my blog & check it out! You must update your RSS too!

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  19. So pretty! I'll have to try it with salmon. My problem is that I always want to get the crispy skin, so I pan-fry it instead.

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  20. Genius idea. Do you think I could use salmon fillet?

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  21. It look so good and sophisticated! Perfect for a dinner party or just a cosy dinner =D

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  22. This looks absolutely delicious!
    Gorgeous Ju!

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  23. My mouth literally just watered when I looked at this. I know that's cliche to say, but I mean ... it happened!!!

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  24. I've always wanted to try this with salmon cos I normally do the en croute with a fillet steak.

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  25. hi there, may i know where you got your puff pastry sheets from? thanks! (:

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    1. Oh, the larger supermarkets like Cold Storage / Fairprice stock them. Just go to the freezer section. I buy mine from Phoon Huat though. The brand is Pampas. HTH.

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