Monday, July 25, 2011

Culinary Dream Team-Giada's Puff Pastry Salmon

Nothing beats having friends over for a quick dinner party, and when I discovered this dish, it has become my go-to recipe when I need to make something sophisticated on a last minute's notice.  (I often make this on a regular weeknight, to elevate a meal from ho-hum to restaurant quality)

This recipe is typical of many Giada De Laurentiis recipes...just simple food with one element that gives it a different dimension (the pesto here makes this dish slightly Italian...if you replaced with wasabi mayo, it would make this more Asian). This dish is so easily adaptable, that I usually alter it for nut allergies or just changing the arrangement of the food to accommodate smaller hands, making it easier to eat. The variations are endless!

If you use organic or pure ingredients,
it makes such a simple recipe seem complicated. 
I use Maison Gourmet's puff pastry, found in the frozen section of your local grocer.  It has pure ingredients, and tastes like homemade.  

Here's the recipe.

Puff Pastry Salmon
(adapted from original recipe at Food Network)
Prep time:  10 minutes

• 4 pieces of purchased puff pastry, each cut to be just larger than a piece of salmon
• 4 (4 to 6-ounce) pieces salmon
• 1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)
• 1/4 cup purchased pesto
• 2 tomatoes, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
On a 9x12 pyrex glass baking pan,  place the 4 pieces of puff pastry. 

In a separate baking pan lined with foil, place the 4 pieces of salmon (this makes it easier to remove the fish, especially if it has skin attached).

Sprinkle each piece of salmon with 1 tablespoon of the sliced almonds. Put both in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (I find original 10 minutes quoted in the recipe not quite long enough). You can omit the almonds and just use olive oil, melted butter alone, or with dill.
Tip:  To make quick toasted almonds, 
put the almonds in a small bowl, with 1 tablespoon of butter 
and microwave for approximately 2 minutes, stirring halfway.

Top each puff pastry with 1 tablespoon of pesto. You can replace the pesto with mayonnaise (I like mixing the mayo with hint of wasabi paste to give this an Asian dimension) for nut allergies.

Although the original recipe says top the pesto with 2 slices of tomatoes each, I find the combination of fish and puff pastry quite "high", and it would be difficult to cut through a third layer of tomato. So I omit that step and put the fish on the puff pastry.

I usually add the tomatoes on the side for the kids.

Or add a nice salad.

Then serve.

Buon Appetito! 

Simply Beautiful Now

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