While working overseas, we often used puff pastry to serve with several dishes, including fish. Puff pastry is basically created by rolling out pastry dough and then adding room-temperature butter followed by a system of folding over and rolling the mixture out in order to form several thin layers of butter and dough.
The layered butter is what puffs up the dough when baked. The butter heats up, releases steam and pushes up the layers of pastry, which gives you a soft, buttery-baked pastry.
You can look for readymade puff pastry in the freezer section of your local supermarket. Pepperidge Farms is the most common brand that I can always find. You need to temper out the dough to cut it, but this is best done when still partially frozen. I cut out a fish design, but a simple circle will also work. You can fill a split pastry with virtually anything you prefer.
Here’s how it’s done (this serves four):
1 ea. package Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry
1 ea. egg, whipped
4 ea. boneless Pacific cod fillets (or any fish you desire)
1 TBSP seasoning salt
2 TBSP canola oil
4 ea. baby carrots, split lengthwise in quarters, blanched and cooled
40 pieces of thin green beans/haricot verts, blanched and cooled
1 pound cleaned spinach leaves
3 TBSP sweet butter
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup clam juice
½ tsp. saffron threads
Chives, for garnish
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper