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Sole en Croute

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Sole en Croute

Postby drmoss_ca » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:52 pm

This isn't hard and opens up all sorts of variations (salmon, lobster etc). You're going to wrap a packet of fish, vegetables and cheese in puff pastry and bake it. Puff pastry is hard, but as long as you don't care about too many thin flaky layers there is always rough-puff pastry for the cheats in this world.

Rough-Puff Pastry
250g all purpose flour
250g butter approaching room temperature, not soft
1 tsp salt
150ml ice cold water

Mix flour and salt in a cold bowl. Chop butter into little chunks and add to dry ingredients. Work in lightly with fingertips, but leave the butter in visible lumps ie don't work it in as much as you would for shortcrust pastry. We want those lumps of butter to melt during cooking and split apart the layers of pastry, creating the puff effect. Add most of the cold water and mix into a stiff dough, dribbling in some of the remaining water if needed. Wrap the ball of dough in clingfilm and rest in fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll it out into an oblong, rolling in one direction only (we want to smear the butter lumps, not mix them in). Fold into three, like folding a letter to go in an envelope, turn 90º and roll again. Repeat, but don't get carried away. Put it back in the fridge again for 20 minutes. When ready to use, roll out and divide into two; if one piece is slightly larger than the other all to the good.

Build it
Fish of choice - I used six tiny sole fillets. Should be boned and skinned.
1/2 onion chopped small
A cup of wilted spinach or thawed frozen spinach (squeeze well to remove water)
6 chopped morel mushrooms or other fungus
1/2 cup grated cheese

Place the smaller oblong of pastry on a baking sheet. On top of it place the fish, then the mushrooms, onions and spinach, with a sprinkle of cheese as you go along. Try to keep the filling away from the edge and build upwards, but not too high as we want the other piece of pastry to be able to cover it all. Check the size of the second, larger piece of pastry. It might need an extra bit of rolling if it isn't large enough to act as a bedspread over the base and filling. Place it on top and tuck any overlap under the base and pinch them tightly. We want a seal to keep juices in as best as possible. You could also brush the edge of the base with water to aid in joining the lid to the base. Optional extra: you can brush a beaten egg over it all to make it shiny and attractive, and the egg wash will let seeds such as sesame or poppy stick if you fancy prettifying it and adding those flavours.

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Bake
Preheat your oven to 400ºF and bake in the middle for 25-40 minutes (check every five minutes after 25 until the top is browned to your liking). Let it stand for a couple of minutes when it comes out as this will make it easier to cut. Serve by cutting into slices and accompany with roast or boiled potatoes and steamed vegetables. This will make four good servings, along with two that are mostly pastry from each end and little of the filling. You know your duty as hosts; go to it.

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Chris
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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby ThePossum » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:10 am

Chris,

Sounds yummy except for the mushrooms. I have this great inherited from my dad aversion for mushrooms. And my daughter shares that aversion with me. But your comment on puff pastry being hard to work with. Got to agree but I found phylo dough even harder to work with when I make spanakopita. Just sooooo thin and tears easily but just as easy to "patch". Thanks for the info.
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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby drmoss_ca » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:49 am

I can't eat most mushrooms - get D&V shortly after doing so, and, curiously, it's probably due to a deficiency of an enzyme trehalase, used for digesting a sugar found in fungi, trehalose. Bit like lactose intolerance but less of a nuisance. I discovered by accident in a dark restaurant that I can eat morels, so I tend to incorporate them whenever something calls for mushrooms.

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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby ShadowsDad » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:56 am

Sounds good as is for myself.

I think beef would substitute nicely in that pastry. That would make the wife happy. I can't think of any substitute for the mushrooms though. She'd just do without.

But first we need to get our new oven which should be here within 2 weeks or less. I never realized how much I would miss not having one.

Possum, are you keeping the phylo moist when the mass isn't being used? It'll dry out in a heartbeat. I cover with a damp towel.
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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby brothers » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:27 pm

Sounds good, I'll omit mushrooms.
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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby ThePossum » Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:15 am

ShadowsDad wrote:Sounds good as is for myself.

I think beef would substitute nicely in that pastry. That would make the wife happy. I can't think of any substitute for the mushrooms though. She'd just do without.

But first we need to get our new oven which should be here within 2 weeks or less. I never realized how much I would miss not having one.

Possum, are you keeping the phylo moist when the mass isn't being used? It'll dry out in a heartbeat. I cover with a damp towel.


Oh yeah, that is the first rule of working with phylo, keep it from drying out. Some times it seems that I am using too thin a phylo. Now use #7 phylo to make my spankopita. Only problem is that I am now on a potassium restricted diet as well as having to take coumadin blood thinner and spinach just plays havoc with both of those conditions. Rather than make it at home where I would be eating it for several days I go to a nearby Greek restaurant and order just one!
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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby ThePossum » Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:16 am

I wonder how it might taste with lamb instead of the beef or fish? Maybe add a bit of oregano and mint to taste with the lamb? Wow this is becoming an interesting thread.
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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby ShadowsDad » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:40 pm

Why wouldn't lamb be fantastic in it? Yumm!

Goat be good in it also. OK, I can't think of anything that wouldn't work in it. The other flavoring innards might need adjusting, but the basic technique could use anything.

There is a town somewhere in the SW US, and I won't get the name spelled correctly... Nakadoches? They have a meat pie festival and the basic meat pie is similar to what we're discussing. A similar dough to Chris' original and with a meat filling. Theirs is fried though. Many cultures have similar food products, all similar yet all different, all delicious.
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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby Squire » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:22 pm

Nachitoches, or, as the locals say, nach-a-tish. Yes, the meat pies are a regional specialty, based on (I'm told) Cornish pasties. A friend of mine who graduated from Northwestern State Univ., told me about small family owned food shops (some little more than shacks) who sold the fried meat pies as their main menu item. First rate student fare in the days before prolific fast food joints.
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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby drmoss_ca » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:42 pm

As well as the Beef Wellington option, a turkey roll is similar, with leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce all stuffed inside the rough-puff pastry. I'd better stop that train of thought right now; there's a whole cup of butter in there and I don't think you should eat it more than once a year!

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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby EL Alamein » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:15 pm

I'm going to try this as I love to make puff pastry. It will especially come in handy for Lent.

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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby EL Alamein » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:16 pm

I made this tonight for Good Friday dinner. I used a slightly different recipe that seasoned the fish with creole seasoning and omitted the onions. I also sauteed the spinach in clarified butter and made homemade puff pastry (I was out and needed to make more anyway as it gets used around here).

Fantastic stuff! I'm really glad I tried this. My wife even liked it and she doesn't eat anything but tuna from a can when it comes to seafood. I limited it to three small fillets of flounder as the kids won't eat such stuff and got (homemade) pizza for dinner. I used just enough puffed pastry to pull this off and put the rest of the pastry in the freezer and it worked out a treat. Very filling as well. One fillet is left over for tomorrow's lunch.

Dr. Moss, thank you for a wonderful recipe!

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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby drmoss_ca » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:56 am

It's a real treat, isn't it? But so much butter....

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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby EL Alamein » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:40 pm

It is a real treat. And yes, there's a lot of butter. But every once in a while it's just what's needed.

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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby ShadowsDad » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:29 pm

Everything in moderation.

Of course if one has a circumstance/motabolism prohibiting eating that then that's up to them to figure it out and adjust. Too, one shouldn't do it everyday since that wouldn't be moderation.
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Re: Sole en Croute

Postby brothers » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:31 am

Agree with all of the above. Moderation is key. I like butter, but easy does it. Here's an interesting fact I learned about butter. Flies avoid it. You never see a fly landing on butter.
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