Sunday, February 20, 2011
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.
- 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!