December 14, 2009

Daring Cooks: Salmon en Croute

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!

32 Responses to “Daring Cooks: Salmon en Croute”

  1. Sounds delicious with spinach! A great dish for a holiday celebration!

  2. I think you’ve done a great job!

  3. Alta, I did to!! I just became a member of the daring kitchen/baker but didn’t have time to get my challenges done :( Yours looks fabulous!! Perfect for the holidays!

  4. That looks very delicious. I would love it. That sure needs skill. well done!

  5. Looks amazing! I love the idea of the DK but the bakers was too much to take on as well. I admire you so much!

  6. a French classic! beautiful!

  7. Looks so delicious!

  8. Very Christmas-y with the bright green spinach!

  9. Very cool! I am loving this challenge (as an observer, that is). Very brave of you to join. Perhaps I will do it one of these days! I bet this tasted delicious – the star is adorable!

  10. Glad you decided to join the Daring kitchen! They have so many great ideas for new things to cook :) Your salmon looks yummy!

  11. I think the imperfection of the crust makes it even tempting. Great job!!!

  12. oh my gosh! way to go! I didn’t know about that site but I’m so impressed you’ve taken on the challenge!

  13. Congrats on taking the plunge! Looks like you’re doing swimmingly. (I couldn’t resist.)

  14. You go girl! I knew you could do it =D. I think the pastry looks amazing! So shiny and golden! Ugh, now I want some more. I just don’t want to do the work, at the moment ;D.

  15. I’ve been thinking about joining the daring kitchen. Maybe after Christmas. I saw your star right away, and while it may not look perfect, I think it looks good, especially for being gluten free. Great job!

  16. It looks fantastic to me, Alta! I never like things too perfect. ;-) Congrats on taking the plunge, but I don’t think it’s much of one … you’re very talented in the kitchen!

    Shirley

  17. another gorgeous mouth watering dish!

  18. This looks amazing! Beautiful work, and well done on joining :)

  19. Ok, I was scrolling through my Google reader tonight looking for your new posts and, believe it or not, I didn’t have a subscription to your blog. Well, that’s all changed.

    I joined the Daring Bakers months ago and haven’t done one challenge yet. I know, it’s a little shameful. January I will. I hope. I’m not sure that I want to compare my version to yours, though. LOL.

    You rocked this. It’s incredible. What else would I expect???

  20. Looks deliciious. Good job too!

  21. Alta,
    Congratulations on your new undertaking. Learning new baking techniques is difficult enough without the added challenge of making it GF. You are to be commended! You come up with so many creative and delicious alternatives that being GF doesn’t have to be a hardship. I think you’re really helping a lot of people along the way.

    Cheers to you!

  22. So!!! Congrats on joining the Daring Cooks! Isn’t it fun? And you’re gluten-free take looks wonderful.

  23. Wow, yours look amazing! I was about to try this and only found out it’s in this daring baker challenge.

  24. Hey there! Please come read my latest post. There is something good there waiting just for you! -Susan

  25. Looks wonderful and delicious! Congrats on your first challenge :) I will have to do this one of these days. And I LOVE your plate!

  26. you did such a great job on your first challenge, the salmon en croute came out beautiful

  27. OH my..Im shaking!! I MUST try this! LOve the photos!

  28. I think this is incredibly successful! Gluten free baking can be tricky and yours looks great!

  29. Oh my! The flavor combinations are SPOT ON! Gluten-free, too! Impressive!

    • Shelly – Thanks for the compliment on the plate. I suppose I should use that set more often in my photos – seems everyone likes it. That is an old china set that was my mother’s – I love it too.

      Amy – So glad you joined! I am excited to see GF bloggers on Daring Bakers!

      Linda – You should join! You’re so talented on the baking side, I’d be excited to see what you could do!

      burpexcuzme, Stacy, figtreeapps, Jessie, Susan, Kristy, Miriam, Amber, Cheah, Conor, pegasuslegend, shirley, Lauren, SimplyLife, jenn, Rochelle, Natasha, Shirley, Diana, Tasty Trix, My Mans Belly, Angie, citronetvanille, Mardi and MaryMoh – thank you all so much! I loved this challenge.

  30. Wow, great job on the Daring Cook challenge! Your Salmon en Croute looks amazing. What a creative way to eat salmon! Sometimes it doesn’t matter if it your dish doesn’t come out perfect. As long as it tastes wonderful, that’s all it matters. I’m sure whoever got to eat this would agree!

  31. To whom it may concern,

    I am a student assistant aiding with the needs of the Rangeland Center at the University of Idaho. I am currently on a planning committee for the “Taste of the Northwest” banquet to be held at the Society for Range Management’s 2012 Annual Meeting. This meeting is to be held in Spokane, WA, and will attract professionals in the Rangeland profession from all over the U.S. and beyond. We are currently putting together a letter and a promotional flyer to attract local producers who would be willing to donate to the banquet. I was wondering if I could have use of some of the Salmon en Croute pictures found on your “Tasty Eats at Home” website for this flyer.

    Your time and response is greatly appreciated,

    Brooke

    Brooke Jacobson
    Rangeland Ecology & Management
    University of Idaho

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