Monday, February 21, 2011

Fennel Challenge - Coulibiac

There was slight panic this weekend when the organic farmer I get my fennel from didn't have any this week. It's been raining heavily off and on all week and they couldn't get out to the fields to pick any. So I decided that I'd just have to move on to something else. Kale? Sure. So I bought some kale from the other organic farmer that we buy produce from.

We then trekked over to the Oxbow Public Market because I needed to get some kosher salt from the spice merchant. Lo and behold, there was fennel waving to me from the produce stand. I excitedly bought two bulbs. OK, so now what do I do with them? We headed over to the Fatted Calf (also at the public market). Hmmm, pork? Chicken? Lamb? No, duck. A whole duck. Hmmm, with citrus. Then Jeanette said "Oh! I have a great recipe with fennel that you can do that involves salmon. Sounds promising and since I need to do two fennel recipes this week (started a week late on this challenge) we'll do both duck and salmon. She explains the dish to me. It's a traditional Scottish savory pastry with salmon, fennel, onions, mushrooms rice and eggs. We run over to Kanaloa Seafood Market and buy a pound and half of salmon. The salmon just so happened to be sustainably farm raised Scottish Salmon. Perfect!

Now the hard part. The puff pastry. I obviously can't go out and buy some premade puff pastry, so I was going to have to make it. We were low on butter. I only had enough to do half the recipe. So I made do. But unfortunately, we didn't have enough butter to make the hollandaise sauce that traditionally goes with this recipe, so we served it with sour cream. In my opinion though it was very tasty and didn't have to have the hollandaise.


1.5 lb Salmon Fillet, cut in half and skinned
2 12"x12" puff pastry sheets
1 cup cooked white rice
1 med. onion, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 fennel bulb, chopped finely
1/2 tsp Hungarian Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Marjoram
Dried Rosemary
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 deg F
1. Season salmon fillets with salt, pepper a dash of dried marjoram and rosemary. Saute onions and mushrooms with paprika until onions are translucent. Add fennel at end to soften.
2. Layout one sheet of puff pastry on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Put layer of 1/3 of the rice then layer of 1/3 onion mixture, 1/2 of the salmon and 1/2 sliced hard boiled egg. Repeat one more time and then put the rest of rice and onion mixture on top.
4. Cover stack with 2nd puff pastry. Seal edges.
5. Bake for 1-.5 hours.
6. Serve with sour cream.

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