Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sustainable Seafood: Salmon En Croute

AKA: Salmon and Spinach Hot Pockets

Do you know what kind of recipes are great? The kind that are easy to make but which seem fancy to everyone else. This is one of those recipes.

Another great kind of recipe is the kind you can freeze, then pull out and cook for delayed deliciousness. This is one of those recipes too!

And, I love recipes that use sustainable ingredients. Add to the list of sustainable ingredients: canned salmon. You want to read the label to make sure it's not farmed salmon (often called "Atlantic."). Instead choose wild caught Alaska salmon, which is rigorously regulated. (Click here for an article from NPR with a few more salmon facts).

Salmon En Croute (salmon in a crust) usually consists of puffed pastry around salmon and veggies (usually spinach or asparagus). However, in this recipe, I use phyllo dough, because it's lower in calories. Phyllo dough can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store. It comes in a pile of thin sheets -- they look a little like rice paper. They can be tricky to work with, because if they dry out, the dough is fragile.

To avoid breaking the phyllo sheets, unroll the sheets (they come in a tube). Cover them with some cling wrap and then a damp towel. Take out the number of sheets that you need, then cover the rest back up. 

This recipe makes a good brunch dish or a dinner with a side of asparagus or a green salad. If you freeze the pockets, you can bake them for a quick lunch (instructions at the end of the recipe).

2 cans of wild caught Atlantic salmon
12 oz. of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, with the excess water squeezed out. You can also chop up fresh spinach and wilt it by heating in a saute pan.
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
capers (a couple of tablespoons, or more if you really like them)
juice of one lemon
one roll of phyllo dough sheets
olive oil (I use oil in a mister, but you could also use a pastry brush)

Step 1: Mix together the first five ingredients in a bowl and set aside. These are the filling.

Step 2: One at a time, take five sheets of dough and lay them out on a clean surface. Mist each sheet with olive oil (or brush with olive oil). Using a sharp knife, cut the stack of dough sheets into quarters. Each pocket will use two quarters.

Step 3.
Step 3: Scoop filling into the center of one of the quarters. Carefully place another quarter over the filling. 

Step 4: You're going to fold the edges to close the pocket. Get your fingers a little wet and fold the edges toward the center, so that you have about a 1/4-inch seam all around the outside. Use the water on your fingers to seal the edges. 

Here's what it looks like when you fold
the edges. Make sure that you've sealed them
so they don't unfold.
Step 5: Mist the top of the pocket with olive oil. With a sharp knife, cut 3 slits in the center of the pocket to let hot air escape.

Repeat steps 2-5 until you've used up all the filling.

Step 6a: If you're going to bake them right away, put the pockets on a baking sheet. Cover with cling wrap and a damp towel while you're making the other pockets. When you're ready, put them into a preheated oven (look on the phyllo package directions for temperature). Cook according to the phyllo package instructions, or until golden brown.

Step 6b: If you want to freeze the pockets, wrap them individually in cling wrap or foil without baking them. You can then put them in a bag or tupperware and stick them in the freezer. When you're ready to eat them, bake until heated through. It takes about 20 minutes in my toaster oven at 400 degrees. Remember they'll need more time in a full size oven.


Anonymous said...

I don't like salmon, but I love phyllo so much that your pictures and descriptions are making me hungry...

Anonymous said...