From Too Many Chefs -

December 30, 2005
Salmon and Goat Puff

Frozen puff pastry allows you to make dishes quickly that feel fancy and time-consuming. That's because making the puff pastry itself is time-consuming. I'm sure professional pastry chefs would tell me its not as bad as all that, but I'm pretty grateful for frozen puff pastry sheets.

I don't use them for dessert, however. Almost all my puff pastry work has been with savory dishes. People are either salt or sugar oriented, and I've always been more inclined to reach for the salty cheese instead of the cookie on the counter.

One lazy morning, I remembered we had some salmon and salad goat cheese crumbles in the refrigerator and decided to make this quick pastry for the two of us. I love salmon, especially sliced very thin, and complemented with a sharp goat cheese. Somewhere in some mythological pantheon, I'm pretty sure there's a salmon god who gets it on with a goat. Or there would have been had the Greeks and the Northwest Native Americans ever met.

This was our breakfast, but would make a great lunch or light dinner with a green salad or a soup.

Metanote - I know that's not the best photograph ever, but this was a very difficult dish to photograph. I must have taken twenty and the one you see was the best of the lot. It looks a lot better in person.

Salmon and Goat Puff
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted 40 minutes
4 oz. thinly cut salmon
2 oz. goat cheese crumbles
1 teaspoon dried tarragon

Preheat the oven to 425
Put a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet

Unfold the puff pastry sheet and cut it in half perpendicular to the fold lines.

Lay half the salmon minus a tiny bit on each half of the puff, leaving a half inch or so border around the outside of the pastry. Sprinkle half the goat cheese minus a tiny bit on top of that, and top each with 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon.

Fold the puff over and pinch the edges together. For best effect, pinch them under the puff. It's important you make a seal.

Place the scrap salmon, goat cheese, and a sprinkle of tarragon in the middle of the tops of the puff. This identifies what's inside each puff and makes it look a little more professional.

Place the puffs on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Check to see if the tops are golden brown. If not, let them bake for a few more minutes until they are.

Cut in half diagonally and serve.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at December 30, 2005 10:37 AM | TrackBack

Barrett, not that we can get puff pastry where we are, but the wife and I were recently discussing the merits of this frozen wonder and the topic of health came up. Can you tell me what the package says about how bad these are for a person?

Posted by Justin on December 30, 2005 at 1:29 PM

Well, it's CERTAINLY not health food. A serving size is 1/6 of a sheet (so there are 3 servings of puff in each of the puffs above).

Per serving of puff:
Calories per serving - 170, from fat - 100
Total fat - 11g, 17%
saturated - 3g, 15%
trans fat 4g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium, 200mg, 8%
Total Carb 14g, 5%
fiber - less than 1g, 3%
sugars - 1g
protein 3g

So it's an indulgence, to be sure.

Posted by barrett on December 30, 2005 at 3:36 PM

I can't imagine even a professional saying puff pastry wasn't time-consuming to make (even "quick" puff pastry), but in addition to not having all the nasty stuff you list (trans fat, for instance), it really does taste worlds better than the Pepperidge Farm stuff.

Though in truth, if you can find (and are willing to pay for) Dufour puff pastry, it's hard to argue that homemade is so much better that it justifies the time to do it.

Posted by Derrick Schneider on January 1, 2006 at 10:45 PM

After recently finishing The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon, I have decided that I'm going to have to try to make my own puff pastry. He does such a great job of describing the mechanics of rolling one out and, more importantly, WHY it just seems much less daunting. Incidentally, it's a very good read for anyone who loves food and enjoys amateur philosophizing. He reminds me a bit of Christopher Morley.

Posted by Meg in Paris on January 2, 2006 at 12:40 AM