Salmon Kiev in a Crust
Make sure the salmon fillets are at least 2.5cm /1 inch thick, otherwise they will be overcooked before the pastry is ready.
4 x 175g salmon fillets, skinned and boned (each one at least 2.5cm thick)
100g butter, softened
2 tablespoons. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon. fresh chives, snipped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
500g packet puff pastry, thawed if frozen (all butter, if possible)
A little plain flour, for dusting
50g tender young baby spinach leaves
Good Pinch freshly-grated nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
Salt and freshly-grated black pepper
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F).
Place the butter in a small bowl and beat in the tarragon with the chives, garlic and a little pepper and salt to taste. Spoon on to a sheet of clingfilm or non-stick parchment paper and shape into a roll about 2.5cm thick, then wrap tightly. Chill in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to firm up (or keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours until required, if time allows),
Cut the pastry into 8 even-sized sections and roll each one out on a lightly floured surface to a 23cm x 15cm rectangle, trimming down the edges as necessary. Place a salmon fillet in the center of 4 of the pastry rectangles. Unwrap the tarragon butter, cut into slices and arrange on top, then cover with the spinach leaves. Season the spinach and add a little nutmeg.
Brush the edges of the pastry bases with a little of the beaten egg and lay a second sheet of pastry on top, pressing down to seal. Crimp the edges by gently pressing the edge of the pastry with the forefinger of one hand and between the first two fingers of the other hand. Continue all the way around the edge of the parcel, then repeat until you have 4 parcels in total. Using a sharp knife, make light slashes across each parcel but take care not to cut right through.
Place a baking sheet in the preheated oven for a few minutes. Meanwhile, brush the pastry parcels with the remaining beaten egg. transfer to the heated baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown. Arrange the salmon parcels on warmed serving plates.
Delicious served with steamed samphire or green beans and hollandaise sauce.Serving Suggestion