The recipe for the Salmon Wellington is based on one that Marlene Sorosky, a food writer I have long admired, developed long ago. I have changed a few things about how it is put together mainly to remove some of the bulky dough when it is folded over. The combination of artichokes and mushrooms is a sure winner wherever it is used but by putting the salmon under it, is inspired. Being a baker, I love the idea of wrapping anything in dough. It's like a surprise package for your mouth! Because of all the wrapping, turning and cutting, I have included a ton of pictures to help guide you. This may seem like a lot of work, but it is actually done over several days and is amazingly easy for such a fantastic presentation.
These are particularly good for entertaining as they must be frozen solid - so you can make them a month in advance, wrap well and tuck away in the freezer. By freezing them solid, the salmon won't overcook in the time it takes to bake the puff pastry. It makes a perfect entrée for entertaining. Thank you Marlene!
I am including the recipe for the Lemon Asparagus Risotto cakes I designed to go with the Salmon Wellington for a completely make ahead entree.
4 - 5 to 6 ounce salmon fillets
Purchased puff pastry sheets (preferably butter puff pastry)
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk for glaze
To dice the onion, remove the paper skin and cut them in half from stem end to root end. Lay them down on the flat side. Make 4 or 5 horizontal cuts in the onion as big as you want your dice from the bottom to the top.
Melt the butter in the saucepan. Saute the onions and artichokes until slightly browned. Add the mushrooms and Maderia and cook, sitrring, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl and chill. Can be made the day before assembly if desired.
Mushroom Artichoke Filling
Line a perfectly flat plate with film letting it extend on both sides. Place the salmon on the film. Salt and pepper the fillets. Divide the filling between the four fillets. Place one portion of filling on top of one fillet, pressing somewhat to compact it and make it fit the entire top of the fillet. Repeat with the other two. Wrap the film around the salmon and freeze at least overnight.
If the puff pastry is too big, trim it so not more than 1 inch overlaps when both sides are folded. Fold one end over the salmon. Brush excess flour off pastry. Egg wash the edge of the opposite side. Fold it overlapping the other side. Brush excess flour off.
Glaze the top of the pastry with egg wash. After glazing all, go back and glaze again. Freeze overnight. For longer storage in the freezer, wrap in film, then overwrap in foil. They will last several weeks stored in this manner.
DO NOT THAW. It is important these be frozen hard so the salmon doesn’t overcook before the pastry gets done. Place on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot.
Lemon Asparagus Risotto Cakes1 pound trimmed asparagus (4 cups cut)
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon white pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) grated parmesan or sharp asiago cheese
Zest from 2 medium lemons
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Flour, as needed
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup dried bread crumbs
½ cup grated parmesan or sharp asiago
Vegetable oil, as needed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut asparagus into 2 inch pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes or until somewhat softened but they still have crunch to them. Remember they will continue to cook on the hot tray.In the meantime, dice the shallots finely. Here is the easiest method of doing that. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the shallots until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine evaporates. Add the rice and saute briefly. Add the stock all at once, stir well, cover the pan and cook at a low boil or simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the mixture is creamy and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir frequently and keep covered while cooking. This should be more firm than normal risotto so it will retain its shape when molded. Set aside.
When the risotto is cooked, add the 1 cup parmesan or asiago, lemon zest and juice along with the asparagus; stir until completely mixed. Re-season if necessary. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the risotto and cool completely. Rinse a 3”x 1” or deeper ring mold in cold water and shake off excess. Press ½ cup risotto into the mold and flatten. Remove mold. Continue in this manner until all of the cakes have been formed. Refrigerate until very cold and set.Assemble the breading station as follows: Place flour in a shallow bowl. Place the well beaten eggs in a shallow bowl to the right. Lastly, mix the crumbs and remaining ½ cup cheese in the third shallow bowl, placing it to the right of the eggs. Dip the risotto cake into the flour, covering the edges completely; shake off excess. Dip into the egg, covering completely, then into the breadcrumb mixture.Heat ¼” oil in a sauté pan. Place risotto cakes in pan without crowding and sauté until golden brown. Turn and sauté the other side also. Drain on paper towels. Continue until all cakes are browned. Cool completely. Place on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet or pan. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To serve, heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat for 25 to 30 minutes until crisp and heated through.
Yield: 7 or 8 risotto cakes.