Sunday, February 16, 2014

Baked Salmon Filo Parcels with Lemon, Mustard & Rocket

I've been trying to kick my own butt into getting into the kitchen more & cook more healthy, nutritious food, without over complication or under-flavour. I'd like to keep my blog updated with these recipes as I go, so here's one of the first cabs off the rank!
I'm really pleased with how these turned out on my first go, they were relatively painless, quick and so tasty, you'd never believe there was no salt added to the dish!

A quick word on substitutions:
I made salmon for myself, but Alex is yet to be converted to oily fish, so I made one for him with an equal sized portion of chicken thigh, a good lean alternative, though not as full of essential fatty acids & omega three, it makes up for that in flavour retention. A word of caution for baking fish & chicken dishes in the oven at the same time; they DO require different core temperatures to be fully cooked (165F for chicken, 145F for fish; 165F would be a very over cooked fish and 145F chicken would result in food poisoning!) As well as that, you do not want to risk cross contamination, so cook the fish and chicken on separate trays, so you can take the fish out early if you need to :)
Some vegetarian & vegan friends of mine have asked what kind of substitutions would work, and I should think any vegetable that bakes well would go nicely; I think chunks of sweet potato and cauliflower cut up into florets would translate beautifully! Just make sure to double check that you purchase vegan filo.

Baked Salmon Filo Parcels with Lemon, Mustard and Rocket.

- Filo pastry, 4 sheets
- 100g skinless salmon fillet per parcel (or chicken thigh/vegetables)
- Wholegrain mustard
- 1 lemon
- A good handful of rocket for each parcel

How to:
- Preheat oven to 190C (210C conventional oven)
- To prepare parcels: Place filo sheet on a clean benchtop, spray lightly with cooking oil spray. Place next sheet on top, spray & repeat until you have a stack of four sheets of filo pastry, cut the sheets in half.
- Place 1 salmon fillet in the center of the pastry square. Squeeze some lemon juice on top, add a teaspoon of mustard & season with cracked black pepper.
- Gently place a handful of rocket on top of the fillet, being careful not to go too over the top, as it will make the next step more difficult. Rocket does cook down, but it's not like you can't eat any leftovers as an accompanying salad with a dash of balsamic vinegar & a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts.

- Very carefully, as filo is a fickle son of a b- as the filo has a tendency to flake & crumble, fold the edges of the pastry in to enclose the salmon. I find brushing with a small amount of olive oil helps to get the edges to stick together, I also used some toothpicks to keep the edges stuck down. Make sure you remove them before you tuck in though!

- Spray the top with a little cooking oil, making sure there's a little hole at the very top to let the steam out. Bake parcels for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. If you're cooking chicken, stick a meat thermometer into the meat in the parcel and make sure it's over 165F!

I served mine with a rocket & baby spinach salad, and some super yummy sweet potato smash, which would accompany chicken or vegetable versions of this pastry beautifully. Enjoy!



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