So I finally did it.
I took a deep breath…
Closed my eyes…
And I took the plunge.
What “plunge”, might you ask?
I joined the Daring Kitchen and became an Official Daring Cook and Daring Baker! For those of you who are not aware, individuals can choose to become Daring Cooks or Bakers to challenge themselves to learn new techniques and recipes in the kitchen. Each month, one of the Official Daring Cooks/Bakers chooses a recipe, and all of the other Daring Cooks/Bakers join in the “challenge” by making that same recipe. It’s a wonderful way to step outside your comfort zone. And if you cook or bake gluten-free (like me!), sometimes it forces you to step WAY outside that comfort zone!
This month’s Daring Cooks challenge was chosen by Simone at JungleFrog Cooking. The challenge was to make salmon en croute – following a recipe from Good Food Online. Of course, I would have to find a gluten-free version of a shortcrust pastry. Unfortunately, there is not an abundance of gluten-free shortcrust pastry recipes out there. I chose one from The Cook and The Chef, using Pamela’s Baking and Pancake mix for the gluten-free flour blend. I also used spinach, rather than watercress or arugula/rocket, as this was what the grocery had in stock.
As you can see from the photos, my crust was not perfect. It was quite “wet” and so it was a bit of an exercise in patience to wrap the salmon in the dough. It also slid a bit while in the oven and left cracks, in spite of my attempt to cut slits to allow steam to escape. But if you look really carefully, you can see that I did successfully cut a star shape out of the dough to place over my seam in the middle of the pastry.
But in spite of the less-than-perfect aesthetics, the dish was quite tasty. The salmon was so perfectly moist and flavorful, and even my spinach-fearing husband went back for seconds. I think that if I was to make this dish again (and I plan to), I’d search for a different shortcrust pastry – one that is a bit drier – but all-in-all, I’d consider my first Daring Cooks challenge mostly successful. I think once I have the pastry down, this would be an excellent dish for company!