Spiced Salmon en Croute
- 35g butter, softened
- 55g dates, stoned and chopped
- 5 whole cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp raisins
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
- 320g pack of ready-made puff pastry
- 4 BigFish salmon fillets, defrosted
- Black pepper
- A little milk, for glazing
- Hollandaise sauce, to serve (ready-made is fine)
1. Preheat the oven to 220°c/200ºc fan/Gas Mark 7. Put the softened butter into a bowl then mix in the dates, cloves, raisins, honey, mustard, ginger, cumin and mint to make a thick paste.
2. Roll out the ready-made puff pastry into a long rectangle. Put two of the salmon fillets end to end on the pastry at one end, leaving room to fold the pastry over.
3. Spoon the spicy date paste on top of the salmon fillets and spread it out to cover them evenly. Season with some pepper and then pop the remaining fillets on top, making a ‘sandwich’ with the filling in the middle.
4. Use a pastry brush to spread a little milk around the edge of the pastry, then fold the pastry over and seal well to make your parcel. Cut shapes from any spare pastry to decorate the top as you wish, then brush a little more milk over to glaze.
5. Put the salmon parcel on a baking tray and cover lightly with foil. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, taking the foil off for the last 10 minutes so the pastry becomes a lovely golden brown.
6. Serve in slices, with a selection of fresh steamed green vegetables, new potatoes and a little hollandaise sauce on the side.
Tips: You can make this a day in advance if you wish; just wrap the uncooked salmon parcel in cling film and leave in the fridge, then take it out half an hour before you want to cook so it comes to room temperature. For a larger gathering, you can make a bigger version of this recipe to serve eight using 1.5kg of fresh salmon (in two large fillets) and doubling the quantities of all the other ingredients. With thanks to cookery writer Anne Williams for the inspiration.