Now that the new year is upon us, I am thrilled to be making my annual Google Doc of new year resolutions. This year's goals include
- actively seeking a career-related internship by searching and applying for at least one every week
- volunteering three to four times a month at the humane society
- losing those last pesky pounds by summer
- get in running shape for spring 5k season
- cook or eat vegan once a week
- create an ebay sales account so i can sell all the shizz in my mother's home
And now they are public so I have to keep them.
Moving on to the food part of the program...
Have you ever had beef wellington?
Traditionally, beef wellington is a beef filet coated with a meat pâté or duxelles (a mushroom pâté), wrapped in puff pastry, and baked. My first and only experience with Beef Wellington was an adaptation at Top of Waikiki restaurant in Honolulu, HI. It's no longer on the menu, as this was like 2 years ago, but it was a play on beef wellington as a burger: an angus steak patty smothered with cheese wrapped in puff pastry. It was served with a tomato chutney and a grilled romaine salad. It was one of the best thing's I ever ate. (Until I went to NYC later that year.) Anyway, for some reason I was thinking about that delectable meal and Beef Wellington and how it could be adapted to healthier cooking. Here's what I came up with: Deconstructed Salmon Wellington. I layered wild alaskan salmon, duxelles, and puff pastry to simulate the textural qualities of wellington while playing up the flavors for the salmon. Wild salmon is more lean than farmed salmon, as well as more environmentally responsible, depending on the source. Ask Leah Johannesson for details. By using less puff pastry, I made the dish healthier without compromising classical taste. What's great about this dish is that it looks super fancy pants, but it's very, very easy.
First we need to talk about Duxelles:
I had not heard of duxelles until I attempted this dish. It makes me feel like a super fancy french chef to say duxelles. Say it. Don't you feel fancy? It's just finely chopped mushrooms sauteed with some other stuff until it's like a paste. Don't be intimidated!
Deconstructed Salmon Welly
- 1 lb mushrooms, food processed until very fine
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp evoo
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- S & P
- 1/4 c. red wine
- 6 wild alaskan salmon fillets
- 1 large lemon, cut into 1/2" slices
- Juice of another large lemon
- 1 tbsp dried dill or 2 tbsp fresh dill
- S & P
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, cut into triangles to complement size of your salmon
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Place salmon fillets in a glass baking dish
- Coat surface of fillets with dijon
- Pour over juice of 1 lemon
- Season with S & P
- Arrange lemon slices, and dill on top of salmon fillets
- Add a splash of water to bottom of dish so salmon steams and doesn't dry out or burn
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes
- At the same time, pop your puff pastry in the same oven for 15-20 minutes or until puffy and golden
|i love you, TJ's!|
- Meanwhile, dump processed mushrooms into a clean towel and wring out as much excess water as possible
- In a medium saute pan over medium high heat, melt butter and EVOO
- Add mushrooms, shallot, S & P and thyme
- Saute about 5 minutes, or until softened
- Add wine to mushroom mixture and let cook another 2-3 minutes
- Remove from heat to cool
- When salmon and pastry are finished, plate as follows
- Salmon fillet
- A smothering of duxelles
- A puff pastry triangle
PS, you can also do this recipe with chicken breast braised in red wine and thyme, as seen below!
Also, I highly recommend that you find a handsome and capable man to prepare a side dish of glazed carrots for you.
He should slice them, saute them in butter, and finish them with brown sugar, lemon zest, and freshly grated nutmeg.
The glazed carrots offer a sweet and crunchy complement to the rich and salty salmon welly. That lemon zest in there ties it all together.
Bookmark this one for when you want to impress someone with your super fancy french chef skillz!