This Creamy Dill and Parsley Salmon En Croute, is impressive! Being served a puff pastry parcel, always gives me the feeling I am unwrapping a delicious present and the creamy sauce is just so… Wow! I can’t stop eating this one.
Indulgent meals full of flavour are perfect for the season. Salmon always feels so posh and special whichever way you choose to serve it. This recipe is made just that little bit extra special as you break open the pastry parcel and watch the creamy sauce spill out onto the plate.
The French term, en croute, means “in crust” or “crusted”. It refers to a dish that is enclosed in a pastry shell before being baked and served. It can also be called a salmon wellington which is essentially a fish based version of a beef wellington. You can create many puff pastry parcels with different ingredients, call them “En croute” and serve up a fancy sounding dish without too much work involved.
Salmon en croute can be prepared in a few different ways, with regards to the filling or sauce inside. The thing that I really love about this recipe is the creamy dill sauce, which pours out on to the plate upon slicing. It makes the dish moist and delicious without making the pastry soggy. Since you also use a smaller portion sized fillet for these, everyone gets to break into their own fish parcel and no one will miss out on the sauce.
What to Serve with Salmon En Croute
This dish will go well with many things.
It can be served atop a simple mashed potato to dig into, which makes it simple and easy dish for any night, especially if you’ve made these ahead and frozen them. You don’t need to be too elaborate with your side dishes if you choose not to be, the Salmon En Croute does all the work on this plate.
When making the sauce, you begin by flavouring the milk with peppercorns, a bay leaf and an onion. You don’t need to chop your onion finely for this, since it will be removed. Remove the skin from the onion and chop it roughly before adding to the milk.
It’s important to add the hot milk to the roux (made from the flour and butter which will help to thicken the sauce) slowly. Don’t pour the milk all in at once as it will be harder to whisk and may go lumpy.
Make sure you allow the sauce to cool completely before you assemble your little parcels. This way, the sauce will thicken to almost a paste, which makes life a little less messy and it will stop your pastry becoming soggy and wet. A good way to quicken this step is to remove the sauce from the hot pan and place it into a fresh, cool bowl. You’ve then eliminated the heat source by removing the metal pan, which would keep the sauce hotter for longer.
Don’t forget to seal your edges firmly together to keep the sauce from escaping in the oven. Sticking the pastry together with egg and firmly crimping the edges with a fork will work just fine. It’s so disappointing opening the oven to find your sauce dried out on the baking tray, so be sure to seal your fish parcels properly.
Lightly scoring the surface of the pastry on top of the parcel allows the steam to escape as the en croute bakes. Your scoring need only be light.
You can prepare your salmon en croute ahead of time and chill it until you are ready to bake. Perfect for morning preparations if you are having friends over for dinner, you can just throw it in the oven when you need to and out will come golden, pastry goodness.
Yes you can, I recommend freezing it before baking and cooking straight from frozen to avoid the pastry turning soggy upon defrosting. It will need a little longer to bake this way so be sure to check that it is cooked and piping hot throughout before serving. A food thermometer can be used to check the internal temperature if necessary. It should reach 60-65C (140-149F).
Fresh is better in this recipe but yes you can use dried herbs if necessary, just reduce the amount by a quarter as dried herbs tend to be more concentrated in flavour.
Creamy Dill Salmon En Croute
- 4 Salmon Fillets
- 500 g Puff Pastry
- 30 g Butter
- 30 g Plain Flour
- 400 ml Milk
- 1 Onion
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 0.5 tsp Peppercorns
- 1 tsp Wholegrain Mustard
- 50 g Gruyere Cheese
- 1 tbsp Fresh Dill chopped
- 0.5 tbsp Fresh Parsley chopped
- 1 Egg beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour, mix to a paste. Leave to one side.
- In a separate pan, pour in the milk and add the onion (roughly chopped), bay leaf and peppercorns, warm gently and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain the milk to remove everything added and discard them. Add the milk slowly to the flour and butter paste and stir continuously to form a thick sauce.
- Add the mustard and gruyere and heat until the cheese has melted.
- Add the dill and parsley, stir in and remove from the heat. All the sauce to cool completely.
- Roll out the pastry and divide into 4 squares. Cut each square into two rectangles.
- Remove the skin from the salmon and place one on fillet on 4 of the rectangles.
- Spoon the sauce over each salmon fillet.
- Brush the egg around the salmon on the pastry and roll the second piece of pastry a little more to make it slightly bigger than the bottom piece. Place the larger pastry rectangle over the salmon and crimp the pieces together with a fork to seal.
- Score the top in a criss-cross pattern and brush over the egg until the pastry is covered.
- Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Recipe Notes and Guidance
- Add the hot milk slowly and not all at once, otherwise it may go lumpy and be more difficult to mix.
- Leave the dill sauce to cool completely before preparing the parcels.
- Ensure you seal the edges firmly, to prevent the sauce from spilling out inside.
- This recipe can be frozen before baking. Cook straight from frozen for a slightly longer time, check that it is cooked all the way through before serving.
- Can be prepared ahead of time and chilled until baking.
- Dried herbs can substitute fresh, just reduce the amount by a 1/4.
Want More Salmon Recipes?
Try these Sweet Chilli Salmon Fishcakes now!