Salmon And Rice Wrapped In Pastry With
Start this romantic supper with Russian caviar and ice-cold lemon vodka. The
main course is a simplified but impressive interpretation of the Russian fish
pie known as kulebiaka, which the French call coulibiac. Offer Champagne with
the entrée, and finish the meal with babas au rhum from a French bakery to
complete the cross-European elegance.
Salmon, Rice, Pastry
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup minced leek (white and pale green parts only)
6 ounces fresh shittake mushrooms, stemmed, chopped
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (one 17 1/4-ounce package), thawed
4 6-ounce (4x2 1/2-inch) skinless salmon fillet
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup bottled clam juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cups crème fraîche or whipping cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
For salmon, rice, pastry:
Bring medium saucepan of salted water to boil. Add rice; boil uncovered until
just tender, about 18 minutes. Drain.
Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add leek; sauté until
beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms. Cover skillet; cook until
mushrooms release their juices, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Uncover
skillet. Increase heat to medium-high; sauté until liquid evaporates, about 3
minutes. Transfer to bowl. Add rice. Season with salt and pepper. Cool
Butter large baking sheet. Roll out 1 pastry sheet on floured surface to 12-inch
square. Cut into 4 equal squares. Divide rice mixture among centers of squares,
mounding in oval shape with ends toward 2 corners of pastry. Set salmon atop
rice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring pastry corners up around salmon
(pastry will not enclose salmon completely.) Roll out remaining pastry sheet on
floured surface to 13-inch square. Cut into 4 equal squares. Lay 1 square atop
each salmon fillet, tucking corners under bottom pastry to enclose salmon
completely. Pinch edges together to seal, brushing with egg mixture if necessary
to adhere. Arrange salmon packages, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet.
Cover and chill 30 minutes. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush top of pastry with egg mixture. Bake until golden
and thermometer inserted into fish registers 145°F, about 30 minutes.
For dill sauce:
Combine clam juice and wine in heavy small non-aluminum saucepan. Boil until
reduced to 1/3 cup, about 9 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Whisk in creème
fraîche. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in
dill. Season with salt and pepper.
If crème fraîche is unavailable, heat 1 cup whipping cream to lukewarm (85°F).
Remove from heat and mix in 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Cover and let stand in
warm draft-free area until slightly thickened (24 to 48 hours, depending on
temperature of room). Refrigerate until ready to use.
Transfer salmon packages to plates. Spoon Dill Sauce around and serve.