Trout en Croute- Fish Baked in Puff Pastry with Homemade Pesto

I love baking with puff pastry.

It instantly elevates anythig from a humble chicken breast to a simple piece of fruit. Wrap something in puff pastry and even the most finicky eater will like it. Be it Beef Wellington (which I did make from scratch one year- took me four days) to a simple apple tart, puff pastry should be a staple in your kitchen repetroire. I always have a box in the freezer.

This dish takes one of my favorite pieces of fish, Steelhead Trout, and encases it in layers of buttery pastry with a sharp pesto filling finished with a few sweet sun- dried tomatoes.

Sea bass, halibut and salmon would all work extremely well with this recipe.

It is elegant.

It is beautiful.

And it is delicious.

It is SO simple and you can make the bundles ahead, thaw for an hour then bake.

Put this on your list of go to recipes for when your mother- in- law or the boss comes over for dinner. That is- when we can have people over for dinner again. Enjoy!

Make a simple pesto with basil, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan cheese

trout en Croute<br>

  • 2 cups fresh basil, stems removed

  • 2 TBSP toasted pine nuts

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil- best quality

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 package of puff pastry- two sheets, thawed

  • 4- 6 0z filets of steelhead trout, salmon or halibut

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 fresh ground pepper

  • Sun dried tomatoes packed in oil

  • 1 egg- beaten

  • 1 TBSP cold water

  • Coarse sea salt flakes

Add cheese after everything is blended in the food procesor.
Roll out your pastry on a floured board.
My soap stone counters are perfect for rolling out dough.

Method- Prep time- 30 minutes. total time- 1 hour Serves 4

  • In the bowl of a food processor, add in basil, pine nuts and garlic. Pulse a few times until mixture is roughly chopped. While motor is running, add oil in a slow and steady steam until mixture is smooth.
    Remove to a small bowl. Stir in cheese. Season with salt.
    The pesto can be chilled up to three days in an airtight continer in the fridge. Press plastic wrap on the surface before chilling.
  • Pre heat oven to 425 degrees.
    Slice sun dried tomatoes into thin strips. Set aside.
    Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board in a 12’x 14′ rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise. Slice two long strips of pastry from the long end. Cut these pieces in half so you have 4- 7″ strips.
    Set aside.
    Place a fish filet on each half of pastry. Top with 2 TBSP of chilled pesto and 4-5 slivers of sun dried tomatoes, sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper.
    ***Repeat with the other two filets and pastry sheet. ***
  • Wrap the top of the pastry over the side of the fish to create an envelope. With cold water seal the edges with a pastry brush or your fingers then crimp the edges together with the tinges of a fork to create a decorative seal.
    Take the two extra long strips of pastry and weave them to create a “cord” or “braid”. Place on top of the bundles cutting any extra off the ends.
    Brush bundles with the beaten egg.
    Sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt.
    Place 4 bundles on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes prior to baking to ensure crust puffs up and is flakey.

    ***NOTE***
    At this point, you can freeze for 10 minutes, remove from freezer then completely wrap the bundles in plastic and freeze for up to one month. (If frozen, thaw for 1 hour before baking. )
  • Bake puff pastry bundles for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees or until they are golden brown. Serve immediately.
Pesto goes on top to prevent leaks. No soggy bottoms.
Place decorative strips on top then seal edges with water and brush on egg wash
Chilling bundles in the freezer for a few minutes ensures they have lots of flakey layers.
Luxurious silky steelhead trout in a butter pastry

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